National Organization for Marriage, Minnesota Family Council accused of lobbying breach

Confused about who and what they wanted you to vote for?
Confused about who and what they wanted you to vote for?

Two anti-gay marriage groups, one of them national and one based here in Minnesota, are being accused of hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying expenditures during 2010.

Common Cause Minnesota filed complaints against the National Organization for Marriage and the Minnesota Family Council with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Disclosure Board today.

Among the alleged offenses are a radio ad from Aug. 17 and a TV ad from Sept. 23 that the two groups released together, that both encouraged voters to support Republican Tom Emmer for governor and a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The intent of both spots is clear as daylight, even if they danced around specific calls for action: When your favored special interest group is dead set against gay marriage and it tells you to be sure to vote on Election Day, you know what they're asking for, Common Cause says. And if NOM wants to influence voters, then it needs to register as a lobbying organization with the State of Minnesota and file the required transparency reports. [Read the NOM complaint here.] In MFC's case, they are also need to file the right paperwork. [Read the MFC complaint here.]

This isn't the first time NOM has run afoul of the state's lobbying rules. AP dug into their tactics in 2006. And the Minnesota Independent called NOM out last year.

Here's a sampling of their handiwork:

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