Anti-gay group wants investigation on leaked document

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Brian Brown of NOM. - PHOTO: Courtesy

The National Organization for Marriage wants a federal review of how its “confidential federal tax return information” reached the press.

Last week, news agencies, beginning with the Huffington Post, reported that Mitt Romney’s PAC donated $10,000 to NOM, the national group leading the campaign against marriage equality in multiple states.

The information was found in a copy of NOM’s federal Form 990-Schedule B for 2008. A copy of the document was posted at the Huffington Post site and said to come from the Human Rights Campaign.

The document listed other donors NOM has tried to shield from publicity.

“All of this information is submitted to the IRS on a confidential basis and is not available for lawful public disclosure,” NOM claimed in a news release on April 5.

“It appears that someone with either the IRS or the HRC may have committed a federal crime by illegally obtaining and then releasing a confidential tax return of the National Organization for Marriage,” said NOM president Brian Brown. “It’s clear that the tax return was stolen, either from NOM or from the government.”

He added, “We demand to know who this criminal is, whether they work for the HRC or the IRS, and how they obtained confidential tax information filed only with the US government.”

Federal law requires that nonprofit groups make their form 990 filings available for public inspection, but according to NOM the law provides that Schedule B information is redacted, leaving only the amount given and the date of the donation as publicly available information.

The document circulated last week was unredacted.

Brown said he would present a written demand for an investigation to both the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and to the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

The first response from HRC was that "NOM has had a rough few weeks" after losing a campaign to repeal marriage rights for same-sex couples in New Hampshire and the release of documents in a Maine campaign finance investigation that revealed the organization pursued a strategy to manipulate blacks and Hispanics in a campaign against gays. 

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