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Gay rights group aims to raise $10,000 for HD90 special election
An Iowa-based political action committee that supports marriage rights for same-sex couples is working to raise $10,000 by midnight Friday in the hopes of countering the huge investment made by an anti-gay marriage organization in the special election in House District 90.
Fairness Fund PAC, which is associated with the state’s largest gay-rights advocacy group, One Iowa, is hoping a last-minute surge of money can help bring Democrat Curt Hanson to victory. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a New Jersey-based group that opposes same-sex marriage, spent nearly $90,000 on a television ad campaign for Republican candidate Steve Burgmeier.
“If Stephen Burgmeier wins this election, it will be spun as a victory for anti-gay marriage opponents in Iowa and across the country,” said Carolyn Jenison, executive director of One Iowa, in a post on the PAC’s blog. “We can’t let this happen.”
One Iowa has also started a petition drive hoping to force NOM to reveal its donors. Charlie Smithson, executive director of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, said in a letter to NOM Executive Director Brian Brown that if his organization continues to engage in express advocacy in Iowa, the group would have to form a PAC and disclose its donors.
NOM filed an independent expenditure Aug. 20 disclosing it was purchasing television advertising in support of Burgmeier. Smithson said in his letter that the independent expenditure process is “not a vehicle to shield political contributors.”
“It is a way for a group to disclose an expenditure it makes outside of a direct contribution to an Iowa committee,” he wrote. “However, if you are accepting more than $750 for political activities in Iowa, then you become a ‘permanent organization temporarily engaging in political activity’ and would be required to disclose donors to your Iowa activities under Iowa Code sections 68A.401(9) and 68A.102(18).”