Apparently National Organization for Marriage, wed to the mistaken belief that they are doing God’s work, decides which laws it will, or will not, obey. It’s a stunning display of arrogance. It’s also a pattern of lawlessness.
California law requires that all charities seeking donations from California residents provide the state with an unredacted tax return (form 990). The unredacted return includes a schedule of significant donors. This law applies to National Organization for Marriage Education Fund (NOM-ed) which is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Donations to a 501(c)3 are tax deductible. NOM decided that it would not comply. In 2012, NOM-ed received donations greater than $5 million. In 2013 that dropped to $1.7 million. It gets worse.
In 2014 a non-profit by the name of Center for Competitive Politics sued Kamala Harris as California AG arguing that they should not have to provide the complete return. They lost. They appealed the matter to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District. On May 1, 2015 they lost again and the court revoked a stay that had been in effect since January.
NOM had the balls to file a friend of the court (amicus) brief in the case. Included therein is this:
In January of 2014, NOM-Ed received a letter from the California Attorney
General that was almost identical to the letter Center for Competitive Politics
received that served as the impetus for this case. Exhibit A. Due to the unpublished
rules being imposed by the Attorney General, NOM-Ed will be banned from
speaking in California unless it discloses the names and addresses of its
contributors, something it cannot do.
NOM-Ed received a similar notice in 2013, demanding NOM-Ed’s donor list
in order to maintain good standing for purposes of doing charitable solicitation.
Exhibit B. This was the first year in which NOM-Ed had ever received such a
notice, though it had been active for several years prior. Counsel for NOM-Ed
responded to the California Registry of Charitable Trusts stating that there was no
statutory or regulatory authority for the demand for the Schedule B and that the
Registry either provide such authority or consider NOM-Ed’s filing complete and
approved. Exhibit C. NOM-Ed received no response to this communication and
therefore did not provide an unredacted Schedule B in 2013. It did provide a
redacted Schedule B, which lists the amounts and dates of contributions received,
just not the names and addresses. Nevertheless, NOM-Ed’s status is presently
listed as “Current” on the Registry of Charitable Trust online database. Exhibit D.
When NOM claims that providing the unredacted form is “something it cannot do” it is really saying that this is something it chooses not to do. Furthermore, NOM admits that the state still considers them to be in good standing. In the brief they refer to the entity as the National Organization for Marriage Educational Trust Fund. Even that is bullshit designed to suggest a different purpose. The correct name is National Organization for Marriage Education Fund. Ironically the word “trust” is nowhere to be found.
All I can say to that last part is “not for long.” Not if I have anything to do with it. I will be updating this story during the week.