Thursday, March 13, 2014

NOM's 'serial complaint filer' wears the description as a badge of honor

Fred Karger
Fred Karger
Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage calls Fred Karger a “serial complaint filer.” Fred is “lovin’ it.” The reality, of course, is that NOM is a serial flouter of campaign finance disclosure laws. NOM's folks seem to think that they don't have to comply with the laws like everyone else. NOM wants special rights.

We are all fortunate that Fred has been on NOM's case. NOM is forced to divert time and energy to defend their unlawful actions. Furthermore, it was through discovery — due to the case Fred pursued in Maine — that we know about NOM's intentions to create a wedge between gays and the Black community. Needless to say, NOM is not fond of Fred.

As I wrote about yesterday, NOM deposed Fred in relation to their suit against the Internal Revenue Service. At issue is NOM's contention that Karger used information gleaned from a confidential donor schedule (published to Huffington Post) to pursue a a complaint in California. NOM contends that this has cost them $12,500 to date.

John Eastman
John Eastman
However, that was not what the deposition was about. The relevant issue could have been settled in less than ten minutes. NOM's chairman, John Eastman, grilled Karger for more than three hours. Presumably Eastman was using the opportunity to find out what Fred is up to and, possibly, to poke holes in his credibility. At one point, according to Fred, Eastman was so enraged and so red-faced that he appeared close to having his head explode.

On the subject of credibility, Eastman, the former dean of Chapman University law school, is responsible for bringing his friend and disgraced Bush torture memo author John Yoo to the the school. Eastman also ran for California attorney general. In the run-up to the GOP primary, Eastman tried to dupe voters by distributing materials claiming that he is, or was, an "assistant attorney general" or "special assistant attorney general." That was an outright lie. Eastman tried to defend himself by asserting that he was acting as outside counsel for South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley on a U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the way kosher food is prepared in a state prison. What wasn't kosher was Eastman's bullshit. Treyf!

Karger was represented by counsel at the deposition. It is also quite possible that Eastman was trying to run up the clock to cost Karger more money in legal fees.

Meanwhile NOM is in the process of diverting more time, resources, and attention to a matter with little probability of meaningful success. Their more substantive claim is that they lost donors because of what the IRS terms an inadvertent disclosure. That would seem to be very difficult to prove. In the Northern District of Virginia, the average time between complaint and trial is about two years (over three years had they filed in DC). NOM's complaint was filed in October, 2013 which means that it could be close to, or in, 2016 before NOM sees any resolution. Then there are the inevitable appeals, and so on.
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