UPDATE: One Iowa, an LGBT organization, has responded to NOM's launching of "Reclaim Iowa" campaign, claiming that NOM is a front of the Mormon church.
"The Mormon Church and NOM have invested millions of dollars to spread lies and fear in California and now they have their sights set on rural Iowa,” said Carolyn Jenison, Executive Director of One Iowa. “This raises the question: Has Burgmeier been bought and paid for by out of state religious extremists? If not, he should reject this divisive ad."
Read the rest of the press release here.
As reported earlier, Iowa will be holding a special election in September to replace a vacant seat in the state House. This race has now turned into a vote on marriage equality, with one candidate, Steven Burgmeier, using the recent Iowa Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage as a way to garner votes by adamantly opposing it.
The National Organization for Marriage has reportedly poured $86,080 into campaign ads, a large amount for such a race, using Burgmeier's run as a platform to launch their "Reclaim Iowa" campaign, which includes over one million robocalls, in an effort to overthrow the Supreme Court's decision. The effort is described as a multi-year “targeted intervention” into the politics of the state.
In Iowa, an amendment to the constitution must first be approved by the legislature before going to the voters, and they see their chances increasing through Burgmeier.
Here's a recently launched ad:
NOM Executive Director Brian Brown, responsible for the organization's efforts to pass Prop 8, wrote supporters that donations could be used across the country, to “allow us to rapidly intervene … in key races across the country where a handful of House or Senate seats could make the difference between whether a same-sex marriage bill or state marriage amendment passes or fails.”
However, NOM isn't escaping notice.
The Washington Blade interviewed Brian Brown. The article states, "Brown promised to release to the Blade NOM’s 2007 IRS 990 finance reporting form and said the group also would release its 2008 990 form as soon as it completes its processing. He said the group submitted the 2008 report to the IRS last Friday."
Right Wing Watch responded, "NOM's finances are a complete mystery, and the group seems intent on keeping it that way for as long as possible. But there's just one problem -- there's no such thing as a 'processing' period."
They report that non-profits must make their 990s open to the public. "NOM should know better than to play games with its 990. The group could be fined by the IRS for its conduct and is succeeding only in generating greater interest in its finances."