State to probe allegation of Mormon church role in Prop. 8
Aurelio Rojas, Sacramento Bee, Nov 25 2008
California’s political watchdog agency is investigating a complaint alleging the Mormon church failed to report non-monetary contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign, a state official said Monday. The sworn complaint by a group called Californians Against Hate contends the LDS organized phone banks from Utah and Idaho and sent direct mail to voters. The complaint, filed four days after Californians voted to end gay marriage in the state, also alleges the Utah-based church transported people to California to walk precincts, and distributed thousands of lawn signs and other campaign materials. The church is also accused of establishing web-sites and producing commercials and other video broadcasts geared toward non-members. Roman Porter, executive director of the state Fair Political Practices Commission, said the agency sent a form letter last Friday to Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate, informing him it would investigate the complaint. “At this point, the commission hasn’t made any determination relative to wrongdoing or any individual’s culpability in matters raised by the complaint,” said Porter, cautioning that the agency receives hundreds of complaints each year. Californians Against Hate has also organized boycotts of businesses that contributed to the Yes on 8 campaign. If the FPPC determines fault, the Mormon church — whose members contributed more than $20m to the campaign — could be fined up to $5k per violation.