The California Fair Political Practices Commission is opening an investigation into a complaint alleging the Mormon church failed to report non-monetary contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign, a state official has said.
The sworn complaint by a group called Californians Against Hate contends the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized phone banks from Utah and Idaho and sent direct mail to voters.
The complaint, filed four days after the passage of Proposition 8, the referendum that seeks to end gay marriage in the state (but has yet to be legally decided), also alleges the Utah-based church transported people to California to walk precincts and distributed thousands of lawn signs and other campaign materials. The church is also accused of establishing Web sites and producing commercials and other video broadcasts geared toward nonmembers.
Californians Against Hate has also organized boycotts of businesses that contributed to the Yes on 8 campaign. If the FPPC determines fault, the Mormon church – whose members contributed more than $20 million to the campaign – could be fined up to $5,000 per violatio.
Maybe that money could be used to build a taller, more solid wall to separate church and state.
Read the press release on the Californians Against Hate website.