Anti-Marriage Political Group Claims It’s Not A Political Group To Avoid Finance Laws
The National Organization for Marriage, the multi-lingual group that vocally opposes any kind of marriage they don’t agree with, has filed suit in Providence for the right to ignore existing campaign finance laws, reports the AP.
In a case filed last week in District Court, NOM claims that expenditure reports and spending limits imposed on political action committees are not applicable to the political actions performed by their particular committees. Actually, NOM states in the lawsuit that it does not consider itself a PAC at all, because they claim not to be controlled by a political purpose.
However, they should have maybe considered updating their own website before making that claim:
NOM Rhode Island announces the formation of a Political Action Committee to campaign for candidates who are pro-marriage and –family in Rhode Island’s upcoming election cycle… Right now the Rhode House of Representatives sits on a knife’s edge regarding homosexual-marriage and one or two seats either way in the coming election may determine the fate of marriage in Rhode Island. At the same time, the wheeling and dealing as to who will be the next Speaker of the House is well under way. The Speaker of the House is the arguably the most powerful position in Rhode Island government and yet no one elects this person.
The James Madison Center for Free Speech, which is representing NOM in this case, says that campaign finance laws interfere with free speech–in this case, the speech of a non-human entity that’s based in Princeton, New Jersey. “You have to negotiate the myriad regulations that apply,” says lawyer Jeffrey Gallant, “and for a lot of organizations, it’s just not worth it.” He goes on to say that the laws “are a deterrent for free and open speech in political matters.”
My first reaction was that NOM should just go away if they can’t be bothered to “negotiate the myriad regulations that apply” as a result of “throwing money around to get what they want.” But then I wondered if RI’s campaign finance laws may genuinely be more complicated than they are in other states.
But no. They’re also suing Florida. And they’ve already sued about the same thing in Maine, New York and California. So apparently their problem doesn’t stem from our own laws so much as from the fact that we live in a country that’s made up of states, and that sometimes those states have different laws.