Gay-marriage challenge group can't bundle donations, PDC says

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Gay-marriage challenge group can't bundle donations, PDC says
1
Fri, 08-31-2012 - 12:35pm
It's just one big irk when churches try to get away with this!  Locally, in the smaller towns, many churches gave out signature forms and encouraged their congregations to go door to door to collect signatures!  While that may not be 'monetary' in nature, it still stomps on the intent of the separation of church & state.  I say we tax all churches & then we wouldn't have to bother with this issue!

 

Gay-marriage challenge group can't bundle donations, PDC says

The group seeking to overturn Washington's gay marriage law has been advising churches to take special collections and forward them to the campaign, which the state's campaign finance watchdog said earlier this week is not allowed under state law.

By RACHEL LA CORTE

The Associated Press

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019032693_gaymarriage31.html

OLYMPIA — The group seeking to overturn Washington's gay-marriage law has been advising churches to take special collections and forward them to the campaign, which the state's campaign-finance watchdog said earlier this week is not allowed under state law.

Preserve Marriage Washington's website includes a "church tools" section, where it asks churches to collect "all envelopes from donors, put them in a larger mailing envelope, put your church name and return address on the mailing envelopes and send it via regular U.S. mail" to the campaign.

Lori Anderson, a spokeswoman for the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC), said Thursday that she wasn't aware of Preserve Marriage Washington's notice on its website but would look into it.

She noted that no organization, like a church, can be an intermediary for a contribution. While the church can make a call for a special collection and hand out envelopes to parishioners, either a member of Preserve Marriage has to be on hand to collect them, or parishioners must send them in individually, she said.

Anderson said the prohibition on so-called "bundling" stems from Initiative 134, which voters passed in 1992 to regulate political contributions and campaign spending.

Christopher Plante, deputy campaign manager for Preserve Marriage, said he was confident that the campaign's fundraising process was "completely compliant with the PDC's rules."

"The PDC has in no way communicated with the Catholic church, or with Preserve Marriage Washington," he said. "We are confident that our legally reviewed materials comply with all of Washington state's campaign finance requirements."

He noted that the campaign has thousands of volunteers statewide, so it would have no problem collecting the donations if that was what was ultimately required. Preserve Marriage pushed to get Referendum 74 on the November ballot. It asks voters to either approve or reject the law passed earlier this year that allows same-sex marriage in the state. That law is on hold pending the vote.

Earlier this week, the PDC said it would be reaching out to the Yakima Diocese and the Washington state Catholic Conference after the bishop in Yakima announced last week that there would be a special collection for Preserve Marriage Washington.

Anderson said letters were being sent Thursday to the Yakima Diocese and the Catholic conference, and she expects to speak with Preserve Washington soon.

"If someone from the campaign asked me ahead of time, 'Can this happen?' I would have said no," Anderson said. "We think that they're wrong and potentially giving people advice that could get them into trouble."

Zach Silk, a spokesman for Washington United for Marriage, which supports the gay-marriage law, said "everyone ought to play by the rules."

"We'll be watching," he said.

Preserve Marriage Washington has raised about $471,000 so far in its campaign, compared with the nearly $6.1 million raised by Washington United for Marriage.

Washington United for Marriage announced Monday that the group has reserved $5 million for television advertising starting sometime after Labor Day.

 nwtreehugger  

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
While I do belong to a church (I'm not a super active member, my dh is) I feel that churches should be paying taxes. Our church has a nice church & the vparishage (that we rent out). We saw the LDS church spent millions in Cali over pro 8. And we have our own wack-a-doo Ken Hutching church Antiadox(sp?) Who tryed to talk his church members into buying 4 to 5 shares of Mircsoft stock & turn over to the church, so they could force mircsoft into no longer supporting gay rights. But the feds informed him what he wanted to do was illegal
~~Sam stitches well with others, runs with scissors in her pocket. Cheerful and stupid.