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August 26, 2010

NOM Mails an Unauthorized Appeal for Delano Hunter

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) continues to try and influence D.C.'s elections. NOM for Delano Hunter

They vowed at an early legislative session to replace every Black member of the Council who voted for the Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Amendment Act with a Christian. This was met with amusement by nearly everyone.

  1. Why just the Black councilmembers?
  2. All of the Councilmembers are Christian, so how would this be different?
  3. Every member of the Council was on record about how they would vote on a marriage equality bill for at least one election.
  4. No one believed for a moment that NOM, an outside group with no local roots, would have any more success on election day than they had before the Council.

Since then, they've lost 3 times before the Board of Elections and Ethics. They've lost 8 times in court, and have exhausted all of their appeals accept to the U.S. Supreme Court. They said that they would appeal to the Supreme Court, but no one really believed them, and no one thinks the Court would take the case or that NOM would win. They haven't filed an appeal as of yet.

NOM decided to back a few fringe candidates: Leo Alexander, Anthony Motley, Delano Hunter, and Kelvin Robinson. Robinson, a foe of marriage equality, has disavowed any connection with NOM. NOM no longer lists him as an endorsed candidate. Leo Alexander is running for Mayor and tends to poll around 2%. It is hard to guage support below the margin of error.

Motley is running as a independent and is on the primary ballot. Delano Hunter is now NOM's only hope of unseating a Democratic councilmember. He's a long, long shot, but NOM is trying. They've previously spent more than $60,000 on their candidates, and now have mailer out to Ward 5 households. He attended NOM's bus stop tour in D.C., but isn't running openly as an anti-gay or anti-marriage candidate. He's hoping that most people won't notice, and will learn about his anti-equality positions through church or conservative channels. NOM is going to help educate the voters. That isn't going to help Hunter.

(Hat tip to Keith Ivey and Elle Cayabyab Gitlin.)


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Being an independent expenditure this would be how they get around campaign finance laws that limit donations to Ward candidates to $500.

NOM is a 501c(4) organization and is required to be non-partisan. But their web site says they also have an Education Fund (that could receive tax-exempt donations) and a PAC where they could fund campaigns. This all stinks but my guess would be that it is legal.

OCF reporting requirements are that the next deadline for a Political Action Committee is eight days before the primary election. At that time we might see how much money they squandered on this. NOM hasn't posted it 2009 IRS 990 form on their web site yet.

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