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American Family Association spends another $24,000 in Iowa
Mississippi-based American Family Association (AFA) has spent around $24,000 more on the campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices up for a retention election this fall, according to documents filed with the state.
The group, which previously reported spending $60,000 to fund former GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bob Vander Plaats‘ judicial retention campaign, has promised to spend $200,000 on the effort. The campaign also got a boost when New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage spent nearly $235,000 on a TV ad campaign targeting the three judges.
The push to oust the judges is based on the court’s unanimous 2009 decision that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa. AFA is outspoken in its opposition to gay rights, with one of its leaders — Bryan Fischer — saying that gay sex is “domestic terrorism,” gay adoption is an “inexcusable, inhumane thing to do to children,” and Hitler and his Stormtroopers were all gay. These statements, as well as numerous comments denigrating Muslims, have led a group of religious leaders to gather in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids Wednesday demanding Vander Plaats denounce AFA.
The largest single Iowa expense was a check for $5,000 to Chuck Laudner, the effort’s campaign manager, although several payments totaling around $6,500 were sent to Texas-based consulting firm Murphy Turner & Associates LLC. The group’s disclosures also show a $500 payment to Schubert Flint Public Affairs for media consulting. In 2008 Frank Schubert, the president of the firm, was the chief strategist for Protect Marriage, a group that supported the Proposition 8 ballot initiative which amended the California constitution to ban gay marriage.
In 2008, AFA donated $500,000 in support of Proposition 8.
American Family Association’s latest expenses as part of the Iowa for Freedom campaign:
$5,000 to Chuck Laudner for October
$4,667.63 for printing
$2,923.15 to Murphy Turner & Associates LLC telephone expenses
$2,215.99 to Murphy Turner & Associates, LLC for telephone expenses
$1,374.03 to Murphy Turner & Associates LLC for travel expenses
$1,250 to Barbara Heki for October
$1,250 to Vicki Crawford for October
$1,250 to Dave Davidson for October
$1,000 to Greg Baker for October
$1,000 to Chris Dorsey for October
$941.67 to Murphy Turner & Associates, LLC for shipping and overnight charges, stamps, and envelopes
$779.28 to AT&T for telephone services.
$642.90 for travel expenses.
$500 to Schubert Flint Public Affairs for media consulting
$400 to Tierney Kendall & Co. for bookkeeping