AUGUSTA — The National Organization for Marriage has filed details of its financial activities related to a 2009 effort to repeal Maine’s same-sex marriage law following a more-than-five-year legal battle over Maine’s campaign finance laws.
Jonathan Wayne, executive director of the Maine Ethics Commission, said in a written statement Monday morning that the list had been filed at the commission’s website and that the organization has indicated it will not further fight the matter through the courts.
“The investigation, commission decision and litigation have been a long haul, but they have had the effect of strengthening Maine’s campaign finance laws,” wrote Wayne.
In early August, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court denied an attempt by the National Organization for Marriage for a stay on releasing the list while its case against a prior Ethics Commission ruling was pending. The Aug. 4 decision essentially denied that request and suggested that NOM’s case was not strong in the overall case.
The National Organization for Marriage funnelled more than $2 million to a political action committee called Stand for Marriage Maine, which represented about 64 percent of the PAC’s spending on the referendum that repealed a same-sex marriage law enacted by the Legislature and Gov. John Baldacci. Same-sex marriage became law in Maine after voters endorsed it through another referendum in 2012.
The National Organization for Marriage, which has been arguing that Maine’s campaign finance law should not apply to the disclosure of national-level donors, has already paid a record fine to the state of more than $50,000 in the matter.
The donor list includes a mix of in- and out-of-state donors who gave NOM between $50,000 and $750,000. The largest donor was Sean Fieler of New York City, who is the president of Chiaroscuro Foundation and gave $1.25 million.
The only donor listed from Maine was Richard Kurtz of Cape Elizabeth, who gave $50,000. There are only six names on the list, plus about $5,300 of “unitemized contributions.”