Minnesota For Marriage Campaign Pledges Full Disclosure Consistent With Current Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            Contact: Chuck Darrell
October 4, 2011                                                     (612) 275-9141

Minnesota For Marriage (MFM) Campaign Pledges Full Disclosure
Consistent With Current Law
MFM Opposes Attempt of Campaign Finance Board Bureaucrats to Adopt Illegal Regulations

St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota for Marriage campaign (MFM) today pledged to disclose all donations and expenditures to its campaign consistent with longstanding Minnesota law, but expressed its opposition to efforts by bureaucrats with the Campaign Finance Board to impose illegal regulations on outside parties.

“Minnesota for Marriage will disclose all donations we receive, as well as all expenditures that we make, consistent with longstanding Minnesota law,” said John Helmberger, MFM’s chairman.  “However, what CFB bureaucrats are attempting to do goes well beyond what the law requires, substituting themselves for the Legislature in an illegal attempt to compel disclosure of information not required by law. We oppose such illegal regulations.”

Longstanding Minnesota campaign disclosure law has required ballot question committees to disclose donations to the committee, as well as expenditures it makes. Proposed regulations of the Campaign Finance Board would also require a nonprofit corporation who donates to a ballot question campaign to itself disclose its own donors, even if those donors did not designate a contribution to the ballot question committee.  The proposed new rules appear aimed at the marriage protection amendment, since CFB executive director Gary Goldsmith specifically has singled out national pro-family organizations for additional regulations.

The CFB previously requested the Minnesota Legislature to give it the authority to regulate donations by nonprofit corporations, but the Legislature has refused.

“What the CFB is attempting to do is wrong on two counts,” Helmberger said. “First, the Board does not have the statutory authority to force a nonprofit organization to publicly reveal its own contributors, especially when those donors have not designated a contribution to a ballot question committee. Such statutory authority was expressly denied by the Legislature. Second, such disclosure rules would mislead the public about who is supporting or opposing a ballot question committee. If a person named ‘Sally’ gives a general contribution to support the work of a nonprofit group, and that nonprofit group subsequently decides to support a ballot question committee, it would be wrong for the CFB to declare that ‘Sally’ has contributed to the ballot campaign. ‘Sally’ has done no such thing and to say otherwise is to mislead the public.”

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