Critics’ Jubilant Cries of “Scandal!” Backfire as Facts Come Out
Still grousing over their campaign losses, prop 8 critics gushed with glee as they rushed to color facts and pass sweeping judgments over campaign contribution filings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, posted this week:
Mormons Caught in $188,000 Lie!
“It took six weeks for the California’s Fair Political Practices Commission to uncover that the Mormon Church spent nearly $188,000 more on the Yes on Prop 8 campaign than it initially stated.
The church faces $5,000 fines for each omission. This discovery may help prove to church leaders that a separation between church and state serves both entities.” (from JustOut blog)
Picked up, reshuffled and repeated, here it is again: Mormon Church Admits It Spent 100 Times More Than Reported! –365 Gay.com
It’s really too bad because if a church that large had truly lied, it would have really made a good story. Unfortunately, it’s no more exciting than all this paperwork piling on my desk for annual tax return filings.
2 February 2009 Today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints clarified erroneous news reports following the filing of its final report on donations to the ProtectMarriage.com coalition.
On Friday, 30 January, the Church filed the final report of its contributions (all of which were non-monetary) to the ProtectMarriage.com coalition. The report, submitted in advance of the 31 January deadline, details in-kind donations totaling $189,903.58.
The value of the Church’s in-kind (non-monetary) contribution is less than one half of one percent of the total funds (approximately $40 million) raised for the “Yes on 8” campaign. The Church did not make any cash contribution.
Because media coverage about this filing ran without a comment from the Church, the following statements of fact from the Church add context to this story and should help correct the record:
Fox13 (Utah): “The documents show the amount spent by the Mormon Church is greater than what was initially stated.”
Fact: The Church, like other organizations on both sides of the ballot issue, was required to publicly file these donations by the 31 January deadline. The Church has been filing required contribution reports throughout the campaign. Those earlier donations “initially stated” were filed for specific time periods prior to this last reporting period, as required by law. Other groups are also filing their final contribution reports to meet the same deadline.
San Francisco Chronicle : “Mormon church officials, facing an ongoing investigation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Friday reported nearly $190,000 in previously unlisted assistance to the successful campaign for Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.”
Sacramento Bee : “The disclosure comes amid an investigation by the state’s campaign watchdog agency into whether the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints violated state laws by not fully disclosing its involvement during the campaign.”
Fact: This filing is in no way prompted by an investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Many organizations are filing this week to meet the deadline required by law. We believe we have complied with California law.
KFMB 760 AM (San Diego) :
“Mormon Church Misstated How Much It Spent in Prop 8 Fight.”
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints previously claimed only about $2,000 was spent in support of the measure.”
365Ga y : “Mormon Church admits it spent 100 times more for Prop 8 than reported”
Fact: Again, the previous disclosure of an in-kind donation was to meet an earlier deadline. In fact, previous filings detailed over $50,000 out of the total non-monetary contribution of $189,903.58.This week’s filing reported donations that fell within a different time period and required reporting by the 31 January deadline. Other groups also made their final contributions reports this week.
Source: LDS Newsroom
Fortunately facts in the case help promote true understanding….if true understanding is what you are interested in.
No amount of mud throwing smear tactics will change what happened in California. The voters were given an opportunity to vote their conscience, and they exercised it. The fact that so many gay news outlets picked up the same facts and spun them the same way points to the widespread inner angst still circulating about prop 8′s passage.
The finger pointing is still going strong, but I have a hint for the plethora of the perplexed. It’s not some church pocket book that won California, you just can’t buy the kind of grass roots involvement we had for prop 8….it was the people.
California’s Secret Weapon–Plain Good People
The one thing pro-family groups have that can’t be beat are their armies of smiling, happy people who are honestly living their lives, and it shows. In contrast with what we’ve seen the last few months parading through our streets, that’s where our brilliance is. It’s in our eyes and faces, more than our pocket books.