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Complaint Against Gay Marriage Repeal Campaign Filed With Ethics Commission
08/26/2009 4:14 PM EST  

A California-based gay rights group alleges that groups contributing to the Stand for Maine campaign are circumventing rules requiring the identity of individual donors.

A California-based gay rights group has filed a complaint with the Maine Ethics Commission alleging that groups trying to overturn Maine's gay marriage law are engaging in "money laundering." 

Californians Against Hate founder Fred Karger filed the nine-page complaint, alleging that several groups pushing for repeal of the law are engaging in practices aimed at hiding the identity of donors to the Stand for Marriage campaign, which is leading the repeal effort in Maine.

Karger says the groups, including the National Organization for Marriage and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, solicited contributions from individuals, then they in turn gave the money to Stand for Marriage -- in effect, hiding the identity of the individual donors.

In a letter to Ethics Commission Chair Jonathan Wayne, Karger says the Stand for Marriage campaign's quarterly finance report indicates that only a fraction -- $400.00 -- of the group's $343,689.50 in donations came from individuals.

Wayne says he's sent a letter to the Stand for Marriage campaign requesting a response to Karger's complaint by September 16.  He says the Ethics Commission will likely decide whether to launch an investigation at its meeting scheduled for October 1st. 

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