Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.
National Organization for Marriage says HD90 is just the beginning
Iowans are already aware that the National Organization for Marriage is targeting the Iowa House District 90 special election with advertising, but residents may not be aware that NOM hopes that one election is just the beginning.
Brian Brown, executive director of the conservative group that opposes same-sex marriage rights, has sent out notice of a new initiative: The Reclaim Iowa Project. The goal is to force Iowans to pass a state constitutional amendment reversing the unanimous ruling of the Iowa Supreme Court in April that the state’s Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.
The force behind NOM’s interest in Iowa, according to Brown’s e-mail, is U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Kiron).
Over the past several months, with the help of Congressman Steve King, NOM has laid the groundwork for its Reclaim Iowa Project, making over a million automated phone calls to Iowa families, and identifying 100,000 new supporters in Iowa.
As The Iowa Independent reported shortly after the court’s decision, King told Iowans at an anti-abortion rally in Cedar Rapids that “if we don’t save marriage, we can’t remain pro-life.” King also drew a direct line between homosexuality and incest. The Iowa Independent has also noted the automated phone calls into Iowa that feature King’s voice.
The e-mail from Brown makes a request of money to be used to target Iowa races. Specifically, NOM is seeking 100 new donors to join the organization as “Monthly Sustaining Partners.” No exact dollar amount is specified.
Iowans have become accustomed to special interest organizations like NOM entering the state every four years in hopes of spurring the national debate in conjunction with the first-in-the-nation caucuses. It is unusual, however, for national special interest groups to target Iowans based on their own state politics.
Although NOM lists its executive offices in New Jersey, the disclosure related to the expenditures for the HD 90 race, filed with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, lists an address on H Street in Washington, D.C. The same address has been used by The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics, Capital City Partners, DeNukeIran.com, American Principles Project, Americans to Ban Cloning and American Principles in Action.
At the time when NOM opened its D.C. location, Brown completed a telephone interview with Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade. In that interview, Brown once again refused to release federal forms related to is finances, citing that the required Internal Revenue Service Form 990, filed in mid-August after an extension, was “processing.”
NOM, which spent millions to turn back a California decision for marriage equality, has come under fire from critics in that state who believe that much of the money spent in California stemmed directly from the Mormon Church.