Left-wing blogger recycles discredited Ohio marriage campaign accusations

For Immediate Release
March 28, 2007

Contact: David Miller (513) 733-5775

Left-Wing Blogger Recycles Old Story on Ohio Marriage Amendment Finances; Can’t Accept the Will of Voters

“Study” claims that reports weren’t filed but doesn’t know where to look for them

Columbus, OH – Today a recently formed left-wing blogger in Columbus released his so-called “study” claiming that the organization behind Ohio’s 2004 marriage protection amendment – Citizens for Community Values (CCV), its leaders and/or affiliates – failed to file the proper campaign finance and tax reports for expenses related to the ballot issue.

In a letter to Ohio’s Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, requesting an investigation, Brian Rothenberg, Executive Director for ProgressOhioEducation.Org and former spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party, recycles old claims that have previously been investigated and dismissed by the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) in early 2006 (see Case No. 2005G-050).

But CCV’s Vice President for Public Policy, David Miller, says Mr. Rothenberg’s claims are not only unsupported by facts but are suspect in regard to his requests of this particular Secretary of State.

“We have already been through a very similar circus on these very same issues and have been exonerated for lack of evidence presented by the claimants,” Miller said. “Furthermore, Mrs. Brunner doesn’t even have jurisdiction over these issues, which lies solely with the bi-partisan OEC. It makes us wonder why he’s asking for her help.”

Miller made several points about the complaint:

1.   FACT: Mrs. Brunner, along with her attorney husband Rick Brunner from Columbus, argued the previously mentioned failed case before the OEC in 2006 on behalf of another left-wing homosexual group. Even if she had jurisdiction, she would undoubtedly have to recuse herself from any investigation related to it.

2.   CLAIM: Mr. Rothenberg claims CCV Action “apparently” terminated its existence shortly after the marriage amendment campaign, thereby circumventing campaign finance laws. His evidence for this claim is that IRS can’t find the organization’s tax filings for 2005 or 2006.

FACT: CCV Action continues to be in good standing with all government authorities, including the filing of all required reports. The 2005 return for CCV Action was signed and filed by the organization’s CPAs on August 2, 2006 not only with the IRS but with Ohio’s Attorney General. Any taxpayer knows that just because the IRS can’t find something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

FACT: The 2006 return for CCV Action is not due until May 15, 2007. So, in a sense, Mr. Rothenberg is right on this one…the IRS can’t find it.

3.   CLAIM: Mr. Rothenberg claims that CCV Action only reported campaign expenditures of $42,286.58, far less than amounts disclosed to the IRS, and provides some PAC reports to prove his claim.

FACT: The PAC report and amount cited is for a different organization that was not formed until early 2006, over a year after the 2004 marriage campaign ended and which is unrelated to it. It should be different.

4.   CLAIM: Mr. Rothenberg references and provides to the media various filings with different governmental agencies, all having differing campaign finance expenditure totals, as evidence that CCV Action is “hiding campaign cash.”

FACT: The varying amounts on differing reports are due to campaign finance law requirements. CCV Action reported every penny on every report but Mr. Rothenberg has failed to gather all of the reports from the proper agencies. Ironically, his failure to find the right reports and add up the right numbers is being attributed to our failure. Uh…go figure!