Why campaign watchdog wants to lift veil on anti same-sex marriage SuperPAC

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In filing a complaint against the African American Clergy Coalition, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform has lifted the veil on who was actually bankrolling all of those robo-calls condemning same-sex marriage from the Rev. James Meeks that flooded districts of African American state lawmakers.

None of the money poured in from the masses of church-goers who employ Chicago’s African American clergy.

Instead, the funding — all $82,000 of it, according to the campaign watchdog group, came from the National Organization for Marriage.

In essence, says David Morrison, you had a “National organization masquerading as a different entity.”

The National Organization for Marriage, known as NOM, is Washington D.C. group whose prime purpose is opposing same sex marriage legislation — a major issue of the last session that ultimately was never called for a vote.

It’s no secret that wealthy donors have bankrolled a good portion of opposition’s efforts (Gay marriage support is headed by Illinois Unites for Marriage; a coalition of groups, including, most prominently: Equality Illinois, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union. Beyond that, ASGK Public Strategies firm is in the mix as well as deep-pocketed private donors such as Laura Ricketts and Fred Eychaner. Eychaner hosted a Barack Obama presidential fund-raiser at his home last year, in which Michelle Obama was the keynote speaker.)

In fairness, the African American Clergy Coalition told the Sun-Times in an April interview that NOM was bankrolling robocalls and estimated that about $75,000 would go toward anti-same-sex marriage efforts in that legislative session.

Still, Morrison of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, says the SuperPAC failed to comply with state election statutes, which calls for disclosing on campaign filings who is behind your financing when a single source makes up more than one-third of your funding.

“African American Coalition got all of its money from (NOM) but did not own up to it on their statement of organization,” Morrison told the Sun-Times in an interview. “The concern is that if someone is going to pretend to be one thing when they’re really something else. That’s why the public ought to know or ought to be told.”

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