Monday, February 20, 2012

Prop 8 legal fees and contrasts in transparency

Attorneys working to overturn Prop 8 have contributed significant resources pro bono. This according to The Recorder, a California legal news source.

David Boies' firm; Boies, Schiller & Flexner, originally accepted a payment for legal fees at a discounted rate. The firm returned those fees and now considers the case strictly pro bono. It has accepted close to a half million dollars in travel and other expenses.

According to AFER's IRS filings, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (Ted Olson's firm) has received $2.7 million in legal fees. However, the majority of the work is being done pro bono     the largest such effort in the firm's history. One of the partners is quoted saying:
. . . the AFER Board made clear that they viewed this as something that went well beyond the ordinary pro bono case — a long-term, comprehensive, multi-faceted strategy to strike down Proposition 8 and win marriage equality nationwide.
Absolutely nothing is known about the fees paid by proponents of Prop 8.

Thus far, neither I nor the reporter for The Recorder have been able to obtain tax filings from "Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund." The 2010 tax return of National Organization for Marriage Education Fund finally came on line at Guidestar. They donated $225,000 which is in addition to $75,000 donated by NOM. I have also found that Alliance Defense Fund donated $150,000.

The ADF tax return gave me a suite number at the physical address. This allowed me to track down David Bauer who was also the treasurer for ProtectMarriage.com. I contacted Bauer by email and requested the last two 990 filings.

In spite of the fact that they are still accepting tax-deductible contributions for the public; I have a sneaking suspicion that something is awry. I will try to verify the EIN with the IRS.
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