NHDP - Another Discredited Out-of-State Group Meddles in NH and Peddles Lies

National Organization for Marriage under Ethics Investigation in Three States

CONCORD - An out-of-state group may be breaking New Hampshire law advertising in New Hampshire, and is lying about Governor John Lynch's record to advance its agenda of hate and discrimination.

"This is a right wing group out of New Jersey that is ignoring New Hampshire law, and spreading outrageous and deliberate lies in an effort to push a message of hate and discrimination," said Ray Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

"The truth is Governor Lynch has decreased spending, kept New Hampshire's state spending the fourth lowest in the nation, and kept its taxes among the lowest in the nation," Buckley said.

"Governor Lynch's record of fiscal discipline is far better than any of his Republican predecessors, who created the business enterprise taxes, numerous other taxes, and who increased state spending an average of nearly 15 percent a biennium," Buckley said.

"Governor Lynch's strong management also stands in stark contrast to the dismal fiscal record of Republican candidate John Stephen," Buckley said. Stephen asked for a half-billion dollar increase in his budget when he served as Health and Human Services Commissioner; double-counted revenue, creating a $70 million budget hole; and the state is facing a federal audit from his years as commissioner. As a private consultant, he recently demanded Rhode Island pay him $370,000 for supposed "volunteer" work - a scandal that has led to the Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor calling for a change in the state's laws.

"This out-of-state group is lying in a desperate attempt to distract voters from John Stephen's ethical transgressions and financial mismanagement because they know he believes in their agenda of hate and discrimination," Buckley said.

The National Organization for Marriage has said it plans to spend $200,000 to run its misleading ads. Buckley pointed out that the group is being investigated in at least three other states for its failure to comply with state law.

The organization is currently under investigation by the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices; the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board; and the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

John Stephen quickly put out a statement today embracing the National Organization for Marriage's advertising campaign.

"Given his own history of ethical transgressions, it's no surprise that John Stephen is embracing an organization that is not even from New Hampshire, that is under ethics investigations in three states, and is preaching a message of hate and discrimination," Buckley said.

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Three Investigations in Three Different States are Pending Against NOM

The State of Maine's Ethics Commission is Investigating NOM for Not Revealing Its Donors According to State Law. The Portland Press Herald reports, "The state ethics commission voted 3-2 today to order an investigation of the fundraising efforts by the National Organization of Marriage, a Washington, D.C.,-based organization that has given money to fight same-sex marriage in Maine. Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate filed a complaint with the commission saying the group should be required to disclose the names of donors. In response, Brian Brown, executive director of NOM, said they have not raised money specifically for Maine and therefore are not required to report individual donors." [Portland Press Herald,10/1/09]

NOM Went to Federal Court to Try and Block the Release of Donor Information in Maine. The No on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign released the following information on NOM's latest court actions, "The NO on 1 campaign called on the Question 1 campaign to stop changing the subject and focus instead on its issues of lopsided funding by a national organization intent on hiding its donor base from the voting public. In fact, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the number one donor to the Yes campaign is in court today to stop any donor disclosure...According to Maine campaign finance reports, the Yes campaign has received more than $1.55M from the National Organization for Marriage which is essentially financing that campaign. Today, NOM is in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Maine campaign officials from asking them to reveal its individual contributors." [No on 1/Protect Maine Equality Press Release, 10/26/09]

NOM is Also Suing the State of California to Try to Stop an Investigation into Its Funding of Proposition 8. According to Danielle Truszkosky, "In California, NOM lodged a lawsuit against the secretary of state, the attorney general and the five commissioners of the California Fair Political Practices Commission for allowing an investigation into the group. NOM has also initiated litigation in California that attempts to remove all disclosure of contributors to political initiatives and campaigns. Rather than comply with state and federal regulations, it seems NOM and its backers prefer to use their massive war chest to conceal records and intimidate the officials who seek to protect the citizens they represent." [South Florida Blade, 10/22/09]

Iowa is Also Investigating NOM's Participation in a 2009 Iowa Special Election. According to 365Gay.com, "Two civil rights groups in Iowa filed a letter with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board Mon., Aug. 31, requesting an investigation into the National Organization for Marriage (NOM)... On Aug. 20, NOM filed a report with the Disclosure Board indicating it had spent $86,060 in the campaign to fill a vacant seat in the state House. But the report did not report where the money came from." [365Gay.com, 9/8/09]