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Mormon church reports spending $180,000 on Proposition 8

Top officials with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints filed reports today indicating that they donated more than $180,000 in in-kind contributions to Proposition 8, the November ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California.

The contributions included tens of thousands of dollars for expenses such as airline tickets, hotel and restaurant bills and car-rental bills for top church officials such as L. Whitney Clayton, along with $96,849.31 worth of “compensated staff time” for church employees.

The church said the expenditures took place between July 1 and the end of the year. The church’s involvement has been a major issue in the campaign and its aftermath. Individual Mormon families donated millions -- by some estimates more than $20 million -- of their own money to the campaign.

On top of that, some Prop. 8 opponents say church officials violated election law by failing to file campaign disclosure reports outlining church funds being spent on the campaign. Fred Karger, who filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission after the election alleging that church officials had not properly disclosed their involvement, said he thought today’s filing proves that his complaint has merit.

“They said they reported all their travel ... now, when there is a [complaint filed] they disclose 25 Southwest tickets just in October,” he said. “They were required to report this” in an earlier filing, he said. Church officials could not be reached for comment this evening.

-- Jessica Garrison

 
Comments () | Archives (65)

Mormon involvement in Prop 8 ranks among the most well known "secrets" of all time. What are we going to learn next? That gays donated to the "no on 8" effort? And couldn't Ellen have spent $100K on feeding the poor instead of forcing gay marriage on society? Give me a break. It's time to move on, grow up, and realize that democracy isn't always the same thing as getting your way.

Mormon involvement in Prop 8 ranks among the most well known "secrets" of all time. What are we going to learn next? That gays donated to the "no on 8" effort? And couldn't Ellen have spent $100K on feeding the poor instead of forcing gay marriage on society? Give me a break. It's time to move on, grow up, and realize that democracy isn't always the same thing as getting your way.

It is quite clear that the Mormon Church has spent lots more money fighting poverty and disease throughout the world than it did on Prop 8... Prop 8 was a relatively MINOR expenditure for Mormons and their Church, so don't be surprised by the numbers. I've seen figures that the Mormons spend like a billion on foreign aid and welfare and education, etc. But yeah it is too bad that they took this on as a major cause. However, it is not a legal issue. leave it alone and work for progress without fighting back with intolerance.

$180,000 is nothing compared to the total raised by the yes on prop 8 campaign (which raised $ 40 million) . This is just another example the mega liberal LA times riling up the homosexual community to further despise conservatives.

It is time for decent people to start a systematic execution of the liberal scum that infects this planet. So you want to kill babies? How about killing you instead? That seems like a fair deal. You want to tax churches? You want church and its followers out of government? Seems like you should stay out of churches business. It is high time to rid ourselves of the liberal scum cancer that has infected this country.

All of you people who say that gay is a choice and too bad cause it's ungodly are going to burn in hell. If you are against gay rights then you WILL burn in hell for showing contempt for your fellow human beings. God will smite you for suggesting his creations are not equal to you. God creates all, GOD CREATES HOMOSEXUALS. You will be condemned to hell for defying gods plan.

The Earth would be a better place without the Mormon Church and their EXTREMELY wacky views. Look up the origins of Mormonism-pure fantasy.
And no, I'm not gay.

It wasn't until 1972 that one could be African American and be a Mormon. Through a "revelation" that magically appeared to the council, this was repealed. Keep the pressure on these folks and I suspect another "revelation" will come to one of the old white dudes that head up the Mormon church.

Why don't these politically correct liberals go after blacks since blacks voted for Prop 8 by a 70 percent margin? Black turn out for Obama passed the anti-gay measure. Liberals are hypocrites. They are just picking on Mormons because they view them to be an easy target.

Never mind $180,000, the church leadership prodded their members into donating more than $20 million. Shame on them for making the continued persecution of a minority near the top of their priority list.

The Mormon Church donates more than $100M a year to the poor and needy around the country. Where's the coverage on that?

$180K of in-kind travel is a non-issue.

$180k that was "officially" donated by the Church...which is the amount they are "stating". But as EVERYBODY is aware, more than $20 million was donated by Mormons...you think perhaps some money went from the church coffers to private donors to donate?

And as for tax exempt status? Since when are political contributions tax deductible? Well, for these Mormons, who "donate" money to the church in the form of either tithing, or simple direct donation, they get to deduct these amounts on their taxes. The Mormon church then then turns around and uses that money to donate to the fighting of prop 8. This is absolutely ridiculous.

And I'm fully aware of the hypocrisy and oppression Mormons endorse...I am a recovering Mormon, and lived in the state of Utah for over 15 years of my adult life (as a non-Mormon). You think this hindered my opportunities? Well, if you don't, move to the state and try to get ahead.

I'd really be interested to see how much money other churches donated to the NO on 8 side. Have any of you on here been to a Mormon congregation recently? Overflowing. Not nearly enough seats. The press they are getting from this has been a huge boon to their numbers. It has brought more attention to them than a decade of missionary work. Keep it up LA Times.

So, does this $180,000 include the cost of the semi-secret, targeted satellite broadcasted "firesides" put together at the behest of the LDS Church's First Presidency that were beamed to dozens, if not hundreds, of wardhouses across California? The cost of the satellite uplinks, the cost of the people who man the cameras and provide other services, makeup people, lighting, sound, etc.? What about the cost of opening up the wardhouses, making sure the lights are on and the local video systems running? I would bet money that this expenditure list doesn't include that at all. I know of one video "fireside" for sure, but believe there were others. The church didn't expect to have to ever pony up this information, but now it's being legitmately ordered to do so. And, frankly, it's long overdue. Of course, the church could just pay taxes and we wouldn't have to go through this charade, but hell will freeze over first!

Posted by: ESTELLA DAVIS:
"WOULD IT BE SAFE TO SAY THAT THE WHOLE ISSUE OF GAYS IS TO SAY THAT THIS IS A GROUP THAT IS IN FAVOR OF DYING OR DEATH? EVEN IF WE WERE TO JUSTIFY THE GROUP'S IDENTITY BY SAYING THAT THEY WOULD STILL BE IN THE "CLOSET" IF THE SANCTITY OF TRADITIONAL RELATIONSHIPS AND MARRIAGES WERE NOT TO BLAME FOR THE PUBLICITY OF THE GROUP OR THE SURFACING OF THE GROUP, WOULD IT STILL BE SAFE TO SAY THAT THIS IS A TERMINAL GROUP? SAME SEX IS DOING NOTHING IN THE WAY OF FOSTERING OFF-SPRING. AGAIN, WOULD IT BE SAFE TO SAY THAT GAYS ARE A FATAL GROUP? THAT THE GROUP EXISTS TO THE EXTENT THAT TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE IS NOT WORKING."

As long as there are straight people around there will be gay people! How? Gay people are born to heterosexual parents! Want to stop gays, keep straights from having kids!

"Traditional marriage", "centuries of tradition" are simply horse feathers! For many centuries, no one but rich people could marry in a legal way. It was the method to guarantee the transfer of wealth between rich landowners and their off springs. Poor people, peasants, workers had no legal standing. It doesn't mean they didn't copulate! But it wasn't registered on a piece of paper or in a municipality. Civic documentation of a marriage is a new idea and has nothing to do with the bible, book of mormon, or any other bad science fiction masquerading as truth.

BTW, I am not gay. Just hate bigots, homophobes and cowards cloaking their ugly intentions in the name of religion, truth, moral values, family values, etc..

Religious organizations should not be tax exempt.

Religious organizations that are involved with politics should especially not be tax exempt.

Religious organizations that are involved with politics and fail to properly disclose their financial support of political issues should absolutely not be tax exempt.

The red-diaper babies want to silence religion. If the Mormons spent millions to support Gays, that would be okay in their book. You see they are actually against freedom of speech, unless it's speech which is in agreement with their
viewpoints.

This isn't about human rights or the Civil Rights Movement. The law protects civil unions basically the same way marriages are protected, the real problem is that gays want to throw their perversions in our face & demand for all of us to bow down to their childish like demands.

Can you imagine this bunch of flag-hating, pro homosexual, left wingers had to ever protect this country?. They would run & hide. Stop society's misfires from changing the basic tenants of civilized society.

TAX THE CHURCHES!! Why should they get a free ride?

The issue is that the Mormon Church is tax-exempt. Tax-exempt organizations shouldn't use that extra money given to them by the government and the country to influence politics. In addition, their involvement in Prop 8 basically funded over a third of Prop 8's campaign through the church's contribution and their members' contributions. That is completely inappropriate for a non-profit. They are acting more like a political action committee (those organizations are taxed).

Steven Spielberg and Brad Pitt gave their own money from their income that they paid taxes on. The Mormon Church does not pay taxes on their income. That is the point. Non-profits are not supposed to get involved in politics. Otherwise, they lose their non-profit status.

Religious extremists are used to justifying discrimination by using the Bible. You justify demonizing gay people by quoting Leviticus while the same book says eating shellfish is also an abomination. Historically, these same people used the "curse of Ham" to justify enslaving Black people. It's just bigotry.

No matter how one feels about Gay marriage, the implications of the Church's behavior extend FAR BEYOND this particular controversy.

Look at the facts:

1. The Mormon Church is an out-of-state, $50 Billion institution. Many corporations that are common household names are worth less than that!!

2. Under California campaign disclosure law, ALL $50 billion-dollar, out-of-state corporations are required to fully disclose the extent of their involvement in initiative campaigns. (We all know corporations already dominate the system, but that's another posting for another time.)

3. The law does NOT exempt religious institutions from reporting requirements.

4. The Church was required to fully report the extent of its involvement in the Yes-on-8 campaign early in the process and througout the entire election season. THEY FAILED TO DO SO.

5. It is obvious the ONLY reason the Church has finally filed its statements is because the FPPC opened its investigation -- and they waited to file just one day after their members lost a stupid lawsuit in Federal Court that sought to invalidate some of the same campaign disclosure laws.

6. Any other corporation engaged in this type of behavior would be FINED.

7. What does this mean? As a direct result of the Church's failure to disclose sooner, the **voters were misled** into thinking that the entire election was put forth and arranged by families and individuals, when in fact it was really arranged by a large, out-of-state corporation. The Public has been harmed.

I say this: I HOPE THE FPPC FINES THE LYING, OUT-OF-STATE CORPORATION.

No more tax exemption for churches. Not everyone buys into this whole church thing. Not all Americans believe in God. Religion, churches, and 99% of churchgoers are the scourge of societies.

OH JEZUS MARIA PLEEZE LETS TAKE AWAY THEIR TAX-EXEMPT STATUS NOW!!

What the article doesn't mention is that until now, the LDS church has insisted that it only had spent just over 2000 dollars, for travel for one senior church leader. Only after the lawsuit was filed did the church suddenly remember that it had spent over 190,000 dollars. Their financial records are kept secret. I have the feeling that the longer this process continues, the more the LDS church will remember even larger amounts of money it had spent on Prop 8. This is not over yet. The new figure is almost 100 times larger than the old. If a company had misreported earnings or expenditures to the same extent, there would be all sorts of investigations.

 
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