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06/09/2014

NOM shameless in its deceit, example #1,403,210,701,201,312

by Jeremy Hooper

Last week, a federal judge dealt a crushing blow to the National Organization For Marriage's over two years of trying to raise funds and make hay out of a fake IRS scandal. Judge James C. Cacheris, a Reagan appointee, used the harshest language available to him to smack down NOM's repeated claims that there was some sort of concerted effort within the IRS, ultimately denying the org of punitive damages and essentially ending whatever self-victimization the pro-discrimination group hoped to achieve. David Badash has a really great writeup of the development and the history, if you want to learn more.

But now check out how NOM spins what every other media person realizes to be a major loss:

Dear Marriage Supporter,

First, the IRS news you've been waiting to hear — they finally admitted we were right and they were wrong! This week the IRS was forced to admit that they were the ones who unlawfully released our confidential donor information to a gay activist who promptly gave it to our political opponents, and opponents of marriage, the Human Rights Campaign. As our chairman John Eastman said,

When we began this process, the government denied the IRS had engaged in any wrongdoing and suggested that NOM itself must have released its confidential list of donors to our political opponents, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Now the government has been forced to admit that the IRS was responsible for disclosing confidential tax information and the private identity of our donors. We are looking forward to holding them accountable in court for the damages they have inflicted upon us.

Beginning on June 30th we will go to trial to determine not whether someone in the IRS committed this act but how much the IRS owes NOM for the damages caused by their actions.


MORE: NOM

Yes, the government denied that there has been any wrongdoing—because there hadn't been any wrongdoing! That is exactly what Judge Cacheris found as well. The release of the NOM donor info, according to all evidence, was a simple error. A mistake. Someone requested information from the IRS, as all citizens are free to do, and one IRS employee, acting alone, gave that person more information they she needed to give. Period. That's what I always assumed had happened (and is in fact what I told treasury department investigators who came to talk to me about the matter two years ago).

But NOM had been claiming, from day one, that this was some sort of secretive, targeted, shady act perpetuated by the Obama administration itself. And even though the judge pointedly repudiated that in a ruling that more than a few people have described as scathing, NOM is sticking to that very same script. Still. They are still trying to make it sound like they "caught" the IRS in something nasty, without letting their supporters read the actual ruling for themselves (NOM doesn't link to the decision or any report about it). They are still pretending that some "act" of political malice, if not full-on collusion, was perpetuated against them, even though a federal court has told them, in clear language following a thorough investigation, that this was a simple incident of haste

At this point, this organization is nothing short of disgusting. Truly. NOM has always been wrong, yes. But at least NOM employees used to try to be something resembling factual (or at least their version thereof). Now they're just building a vast world of pretense and demanding, in the most egregious of ways, that we all buy into whatever false witness they bear. Yuck.

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