Californians Against Hate founder Fred Karger has formally asked Maine election officials to investigate anti-marriage equality campaign Stand For Marriage Maine. He accuses the campaign of money laundering and lists specific allegations, the details which were requested by the officials after he initially contacted them.
In a letter to election official Jonathan Wayne, Karger wrote that, "These entities are laundering money to evade the disclosure of the actual contributors to Stand for Marriage Maine."
"The four organizational donors that gave to Stand for Marriage Maine, with the possible exception of Focus on the Family, circumvented Maine’s campaign reporting law to avoid disclosure of the true contributors."
Karger goes on to list the organizations as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Dioeces of Portland, Knights of Columbus, and Focus on the Family. In the letter, he details his allegations about how the groups have hidden where the donations are coming from to avoid identities being revealed and violating laws regarding churches donating past maximum amounts.
The group's first financial disclosure report raised even more suspicions when it listed total contributions from individual donors at a paltry $400 out of $343,689.50 reported.
“By way of comparison,” Karger says, “last year, the Protect Marriage, Yes on Proposition 8 campaign in California disclosed more than 60,000 individual contributors of $100 and above. Thousands more contributed under that amount to repeal same-sex marriage in that state.”
Pam's House Blend reports that a reader has also had enough and has asked the IRS to investigate NOM.
Karger asked Maine's ethics commission to consider his request at their September 8 meeting, but the commission is likely to decide on the matter in October, its executive director Jonathan Wayne told the Associated Press.
Wayne has asked Stand for Marriage Maine to respond to Karger's allegations by September 16.