Karger For President - California Ethics Commission Finds Mormon Church Guilty on 13 Counts

June 11, 2010                                                                                    619-592-2008


Statement by Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate, re Guilty Finding by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) Against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) Case #08-735

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today the FPPC, in an unprecedented ruling against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, found the Salt Lake City based Church guilty on 13 counts of late campaign reporting.  The Mormon Church was fined $5538 in an agreement worked out ending the 19 month long investigation.  The Church was the primary backer of California’s Proposition 8, which ended gay marriage in California two years ago.

The Mormon Church initially admitted to spending only $2078 to pass Prop 8.  When I filed my sworn complaint on November 13, 2008, they instantly attacked me.

The Mormon owned Salt Lake City Deseret News reported on November 14, 2008 that Church spokesman Scott Trotter said the allegations are “false” and the complaint — filed by Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate — has “many errors and misstatements.” Trotter said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “has fully complied with the reporting requirements of the California Political Reform Act.  Claims that the Church has violated the act and failed to report political expenditures made by the church are false. The church has, in fact, filed four reports with California authorities; these reports are a matter of public record.  A further report will be filed on or before its due date, Jan. 30, 2009,” Trotter said.

Don Eaton a spokesman for the Mormon Church said in an interview with KGO-TV (ABC San Francisco)  "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put zero money in this.”

Well, three months later the Mormon Church filed an amended return in which they admitted to spending $190,000.  Unfortunately, this was 3 months after the election, so 17 million California voters never were able to know the full extent of the Mormon involvement until well after the election. 

The Mormon Church ran phone banks, sent out direct mail, had well designed web sites, produced 27 slick commercials, bussed people in from Utah and had lots of travel expenses by high ranking Church officials.  They also raised  approximately $30 million from Mormon families to pass Proposition 8.

The Mormon Church also was behind the creation of the infamous National Organization for Marriage (NOM) in 2007, and was the biggest contributor to pass Prop 8.

NOM continues to be one of the great mysteries of the world.  I have been closely following them since they reared their ugly heads in California just three years ago. 

NOM is currently under investigation in the state of Maine for possible money laundering, and failing to file the required campaign reports for that state’s Question 1 campaign.  Question 1 took away gay marriage in Maine just last November.  

NOM was also the largest contributor to that election by contributing $1.9 million to Yes on 1.  They have steadfastly refused to identify any of their donors in spite of three federal court orders and a State Attorney General’s ruling demanding that they do so.  It begs the question, whom are they working so hard to protect?

When I filed my sworn complaint against NOM in Maine last year, NOM subpoenaed me two weeks later just to harass me, attempt to stop me and force me to spend tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees. Fortunately, many people have helped out and contributed to my legal defense fund Five for Fred

 It has helped significantly.

This victory today against the Mormon Church is very gratifying to all those who seek truth and transparency in politics.  I sincerely hope when and if the Mormon Church and the National Organization participate in the political process in this country, they abide by all state and federal laws.