Monday, February 2, 2009

LDS Prop 8 donations...

I have a few theories as to why the LDS church keeps miscalculating their Prop 8 donations. But first, let's review:

First, the LDS Church reported donations of $2,078.97.

Then after the election, Fred Karger (founder of Californians Against Hate) filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission, alleging that the LDS Church had underreported its donations to the Prop 8 cause. I have no idea if he had any evidence or just suspicion but he believed that the Church had actually donated the equivalent of "hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Then a little over a month ago, another amendment was filed (due to pressure because more evidence that popped up) that added an additional $19,715.08 to the grand total.

Then a couple of days ago, the Church, facing an intense investigation from the FPPC, reported an additional $190,000 worth of donations, previously unreported.

Now while naysayers would point fingers of scorn as to why the Church wasn't more forthcoming in their expeditures or why Church officials had declared from the beginning that they were in full compliance with California regulations regarding the reporting of political contributions, not I, oh no.

The explanations are simple:
1. They just misplaced the receipts but have found them now. The receipts were found bookmarked in the Doctrine and Covenants section 134, verse 9. They had been placed there as a reminder to come up with an explanation for the Mormons who believe in the Constitution and the scriptures, as to why we would be ignoring this doctrine during the Prop 8 campaign.

“We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.”

Maybe they will get to it after their next political contribution amendment.

2. They simply didn't have the legal counsel to inform them of these silly California laws. Oh wait, the Church is full of lawyers, especially in the governing leadership. Elder Oaks was a justice on Utah's Supreme Court. The two most recently called apostles are both well-educated lawyers (Cook and Christofferson).

Besides, the Church isn't frugal when it comes to obtaining high quality legal services (I mean, it hired Kenneth Starr to write its amicus brief for the California Supreme Court in In re Marriage Cases). Should the claim even be made that required disclosures were simply overlooked, even if it is true, it is inexcusable.

Maybe they should have used Pre-Paid Legal...an excellent opportunity for any one looking to start their own business. The income potential is unlimited when you start your own business with Pre-Paid Legal. If you are interested please click "HERE" and "HERE"!

3. Though I sarcastically jest, we should all keep in mind that the FPPC has not yet made a determination as to whether the Church did indeed violate any laws. But let's be honest, in light of how this is unfolding, it doesn't look good.

Anyone else have any other theories? Apologists are welcome, you don't have to be a malcontent like me to comment...

6 comments:

Christopher Maloy said...

I am speechless.

Jrodius said...

The FPPC may not have a determination yet, but I do. That money would have been better spent on children's programs, or battered women shelters, or feeding and clothing homeless. It's sickening that it was used to propagate hate. Even if you are in favor of Prop 8, is that really the best way a church could use $2M? I mean that is people's tithes they are spending.

Matthew Shelby said...

HAHAHAHAHA............and I was labeled the apostate!!!

Gina said...

I'm sorry but I just have to correct Jrodius here. The Church did not spend $2M - its members did with their own money. Many members also chose not to.

Gina said...

Okay and one other thing. I wanted to see the other side of the story (http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/media-reports-on-proposition-8-filing-uninformed)and at first glance it doesn't seem too controversial to me. I am surprised that anything at all would be donated (nonmonetary or not) but I personally don't think this was done maliciously. It looks like the filings were made in compliance with the rules...I guess time will tell the truth.

Chino Blanco said...

I expect a fine will be paid before this story ends.

Roman Porter, executive director of the FPPC, has described the only thing that matters here: "Cases like these hinge over what had to be reported and when it had to be reported."

That's a pretty low bar, it makes intent irrelevant, and suggests that filing amended reports does not eliminate the possibility that fines will be levied.

Complicating matters for the Yes on 8 side is that their campaign manager, Jeff Flint, has a history with the FPPC:

"Respondent Curt Pringle ... was a candidate for State Treasurer ... in the ... 1998 general election ... Respondent Jeff Flint was the paid campaign manager ...

In the campaign statements filed for the 1998 calendar year, Respondents failed to disclose subvendor information for payments totaling $1,629,292, in violation of section 84211, subdivision (j)(6), and section 84303 of the Government Code. Of the subvendor expenditures not disclosed, approximately $1,590,800 was for payments to Russo Marsh & Raper, Inc., to purchase broadcast advertising, and approximately $38,491 was for payments to Flint Nelson Associates and Linda Kasem, for travel and office expenses.

... the evidence in this case establishes that Respondent Jeff Flint is primarily responsible for the occurrence of the subvendor reporting violations."

Oops. Jeff's not someone you want listed as your campaign manager as you head for FPPC review.

And, sorry, but another correction ... it was approx. $20 million, not $2 million, that members spent on Prop 8.