(Manassas, Virginia) Mark Fitzgibbons, President of Corporate and Legal Affairs at American Target Advertising, Inc., issued the following statement about North Carolina Secretary of State and the Democratic Party's nominee for United States Senate, Elaine Marshall, on her unauthorized, unilateral decision to post on the Internet residential addresses of registrants with her office:
"Elaine Marshall has refused to withdraw the names and residential addresses of registrants with her office she published on the Internet without legal authorization and in contravention of a statute protecting the residential addresses and privacy of victims of domestic violence, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.
"As Secretary of State, Ms. Marshall gathers certain information, some of it private such as residential addresses, Social Security Numbers, etc., for licensing and other oversight responsibilities meant only for government records, and not for publication on the Internet. Yet Ms. Marshall decided to publish on the Internet residential addresses filed under North Carolina's Charitable Solicitation Licensure Act, claiming wrongly there is no law that can stop her from doing so.
"When Ms. Marshall was informed she is violating the law and privacy rights of victims of domestic violence, stalking and other crimes, the outrageous response from Heather Black of Ms. Marshall's office was, in effect, "So sue us."
"Ms. Black, who is Ms. Marshall's Director of Charitable Solicitations, and acts on behalf of Secretary Marshall and at her direction, attempted -- ironically and disturbingly -- to use a law designed to protect the privacy of residential addresses of victims of domestic violence, stalking and other crimes as justification for Ms. Marshall's publishing residential addresses on the Internet.
"Under the Charitable Solicitation Licensure Act, the Secretary of State was directed to publish only summary information and reports prepared by her to help North Carolina guide donors. Instead, she ignored and violated that very specific and explicit statute to infringe on privacy rights, and potentially expose victims of crime and domestic violence to their stalkers.
"On June 24, just three days after Secretary Marshall's latest written attempt to cover for her acts, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in Doe v. Reed, Washington Secretary of State, following a long line of precedent that disclosure statutes are subject to exacting scrutiny, and there must be a substantial relation between any disclosure requirement and an important government interest. But even in that case, the state official did not publish on the Internet residential addresses gathered for ballot initiatives.
"Ms. Marshall does not publish on the Internet the residential addresses of her own political campaign consultants, but does so for charitable consultants.
"I have called upon North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper to conduct a legal audit of this and whatever violations of law are taking place in the Secretary of State's office.
"Ms. Marshall is apparently content telling victims of domestic violence: 'Don't do business in North Carolina, and certainly don't register with my office.'"
NOTE TO EDITORS: American Target Advertising, Inc. first pioneered grassroots ideological marketing and fundraising in 1965.