Filed under: NOM Tour Tracker-California
Final day of the NOM California tour: If at first you don’t succeed, try again 37 times and you might corral a small crowd of Latino/a people
Hey, it took 10 days and nearly 40 stops, but Vota Tus Valores actually managed to stumble upon a small crowd of Latino voters (although it’s hard to not do on Olvera Street, and it’s up in the air as to how many are actually of voting age), and Alfonso managed to bring himself to talk to us. Will miracles never cease? -Adam
By Arisha Michelle Hatch
Stop #38: Los Angeles
It was raining when we arrived at the Panorama City Mall and the Vota Bus was nowhere to be found.
Security guards informed us that the event had been canceled. Apparently, the mall told them they weren’t welcome after being informed of the political nature of the event.
Too bad. There were tons of Latinos present to engage. If Vota Tus Valores was serious about voter engagement, they could have at least sent organizers over to hand out literature, sans the bus, but I digress.
At the Olvera Street stop in Los Angeles, Vota Tus Valores organizers attracted a crowd with music from Alan Marco (previously incorrectly reported as Alan Campo) and Rafael Valazquez led a mariachi band. In what was likely their most successful stop to date, approximately 22 people looked on (many Latino) stopped to enjoy the music as Vota Bus organizers handed out literature.
A group of Latino high school seniors were on a field trip scavenger hunt and stopped to hear the music. We got a chance to interview them about their views on Latino values (we’ll upload ASAP) and I will say that the future looks bright.
And in a surprise move, Alfonso Aguilar broke his vow of silence to speak briefly with us on-camera.
Although Allegra Huebert-Hewell and Thomas Peters, both organizers for the tour, attempted on several occasions to rush the interview we were able to discuss a few topics with Alfonso, including the wave of recent teen gay suicides, the overall “success” of the tour, marriage equality, Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell and the assault of our videographer, Anthony Ash, in Santa Ana on Monday.
We’ll upload that video as soon as we can, as well.
Now, Alfonso that wasn’t so bad was it?
You may now resume your vacation. Sorry to rain on your parade these past 10 days.
By Adam Bink
A few hours ago I wrote about Jennifer Roback-Morse’s appearance on the NOM California tour. Here’s the video again:
The mistake Jennifer made is that the Ruth Institute is supporting an electoral effort to elect Carly Fiorina. Jennifer sayeth:
We’re very glad to be part of this electoral effort.
And on that, and their involvement thus far, we’re calling them out. The following press release was just sent out by Courage and HRC:
National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Charitable Organization Violates Tax-Exempt Status by Campaigning for Senate CandidateRuth Institute, Part of NOM’s Marriage Education Fund, Ignores Laws by Supporting Carly Fiorina in California
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, and the Courage Campaign today called on the National Organization for Marriage, or NOM, to explain why its tax-exempt charitable organization, the Ruth Institute – a project of NOM’s Marriage Education Fund – is violating federal laws by intervening on behalf of a candidate for elected office.
This past Monday, Ruth Institute President Jennifer Roback Morse spoke on behalf of her organization at a campaign stop of the “Vota Tus Valores” bus tour, a NOM-backed independent expenditure in support of California Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina in San Diego. At the campaign event Morse talked about the role of the Ruth Institute, held up the organization’s signage and closed her remarks by saying, “We’re very glad to be part of this electoral effort.” (Watch the Courage Campaign’s video of Morse speaking at event.)
Morse’s campaign appearance followed a NOM-issued press release titled “National Organization for Marriage and Ruth Institute Join Bus Tour Supporting Carly Fiorina in California.” The release states that “Brian Brown, president of NOM, and Jennifer Roback Morse, president of The Ruth Institute, a project of NOM’s Marriage Education Fund, will both be supporting the bus tour as it makes its way around California.” In addition to supporting Fiorina, the NOM charitable group has also illegally participated in a campaign to elect California judges.
Pursuant to the federal tax code, a charitable organization – which is permitted to receive tax deductible contributions – may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates. Violation of this prohibition can result in stiff penalties against the organization and its officials as well as potential revocation of its tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. Federal and state election laws also require such organizations to disclose their campaign expenditures.
“One has to wonder if the Ruth Institute is nothing more than a sham charitable organization designed to use tax-deductible contributions to help secretly fund NOM’s election activities,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “As usual, it’s win at any cost with NOM, which continues to make up the rules, with no regard – and no respect – for federal or state laws.”
“Much as its actions may suggest otherwise, NOM’s radical extremism is not above the law,” said Courage Campaign Chairman and Founder Rick Jacobs. “Instead of secretly funneling charitable resources into political campaigns that attack families, it’s time for NOM to finally come clean—with the public, state elections officials, and the IRS.”
Morse has previously appeared on behalf of the Ruth Institute at events supporting Fiorina. In July, she boasted on the Ruth Institute’s website about appearing at an event announcing a $1 million campaign for Fiorina. Morse also has used the Institute as a front to participate in other illegal electoral activities, including a campaign to elect judges as part of a shadowy group called Better Courts Now. In April, Morse wrote on the Institute’s website that “we hope everyone … will go to Better Courts Now and seriously consider the candidates they have endorsed.”
NOM is fighting campaign finance laws in a number of states, including New York, Washington, California and Maine, where it remains under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission for failing to register with the state as a ballot question committee and refusing to disclose the donors to its campaign to overturn Maine’s marriage equality law in 2009.
More information on NOM’s activities can be found at www.NOMexposed.com, and below:
“National Organization for Marriage and Ruth Institute Join Bus Tour Supporting Carly Fiorina in California,” NOM website, September 28, 2010
“Latino Values Coalition,” Ruth Institute website, September 30, 2010
“Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles,” Ruth Institute website, July 27, 2010
“Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute … making her case for Better Courts Now,” Vimeo, undated
“Better Courts Now,” Ruth Institute website, April 29, 2010
Over at Freedom to Marry, Evan Wolfson adds his $0.02 on how much legal trouble NOM is in of late.
One step too far, NOM, and it’s caught up with you.
By Adam Bink
Here’s Jennifer Roback-Morse of the Ruth Institute, who joined the NOM/Vota Tus Valores tour at a recent stop, going off on a tear regarding on marriage and abortion:
The first thing I’ll say is that she’s much more of a dynamic speaker than Alfonso. The second is that I don’t even know where to start with this:
Everybody who reads Genesis, everybody – Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Mormon – supported Prop 8!
Most people do not realize that Obama is the most pro-abortion President we have ever had!
Those who believe that need to come together to work together for this great opportunity, to work together for this great vision, so that young people have something to look forward to besides casual hook-ups, and one divorce after another. Because that’s what we’re looking forward to unless we do something about it.
My physician told me I have to keep my blood pressure in check, so I’ll let you do the rant analysis. I will say I’ve read Genesis and here’s one person who thinks she’s full of it regarding her interpretation.
The other thing I would say is Alfonso’s nonsense at the beginning about Latinos “voting our values”. Well, here’s one Latino quoted in the KPBS piece on Monday’s stop who disagrees:
But not everyone in the crowd accepted the Vote Your Values message.
“I’m a Latina. I want the same things that everybody else wants, I want to be able to make choices, I want the freedom to marry who I want to marry,” said Phyllis Lozano, a field organizer and a critic of this and other campaigns trying to get the Latino vote.
“So you know, to target me and to say that these are the traditional Latino values — well, that doesn’t mean that we’re all the same.”
That “dink” you hear is our own Phyllis Lozano hitting the nail on the head. Go Phyllis!
Someday NOM will realize that painting Latino/a people and religious folks, or even folks who’ve read the Bible or Torah or Qur’an and aren’t religious, with a broad brush, and telling them “here’s what your values are, now on your way you go!” can be more offensive than helpful.
And by the way, where’s Brian Brown? I thought he was joining this party. Did he back out when he saw what a mess this tour is?