Mormon church officials, facing an ongoing investigation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Friday reported nearly $190,000 in previously unlisted assistance to the successful campaign for Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.
Now there’s a huge surprise.
Up until Friday, the Mormon church had denied any direct financial support for the campaign beyond a reported $2,078 spent for bringing church Elder L. Whitney Clayton to California.
Church officials complained that Karger’s complaint was full of errors and that the church had “fully complied” with California law.
The report filed Friday contained few details about how the money was spent.
While the deadline for the report, which covers the period from July 1 to Dec. 31, is Monday, many campaign contributions by major donors and independent committees must be reported within days after they’re made.
The final reports are due today, because U.S. District Judge Morrison England late last week refused to exempt the yes-on-8 campaign from making their filings today.
If the Prop. 8 campaign was exempted from disclosure because of reports of harassments of individual donors, said Deputy Attorney General Zackery Morazzini, the same case could be made for any controversial initiative. Courts would have to “keep the entire California electorate in the dark as to who was funding these ballot measures,” he said.
He noted that some of the reprisals reported by the Prop. 8 committee involve legal activities such as boycotts and picketing. Other alleged actions, such as death threats, mailings of white powder and vandalism, may constitute “repugnant and despicable acts” but can be reported to law enforcement, the judge said.
Even if there have been illegal reprisals, that would be insufficient reason to grant a wholesale exemption for a multimillion-dollar initiative campaign, England said. He also rejected the Prop. 8 campaign’s argument that the $100 disclosure limit established in 1974 should be increased for inflation, saying some states require reports of contributions as low as $25 and the Supreme Court has never invalidated them.
Interesting to see what comes out today that the yes-on-8 campaign was so anxious not to have come out.