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Monday, February 2, 2009

Doing the Math: Discrepancies in Contribution Dates, Values on Disclosures from Yes on Prop. 8, Mormons

Posted By on Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 12:01 AM

click to enlarge yesoneight.jpg
The Mormon Church's recent "Oh, that $190,000!" disclosure to the California Secretary of State regarding its contributions to pass Proposition 8 and derail same-sex marriage should lead to a renewed bout of number-crunching from the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Well, here's where to start: The amount the Yes on 8 campaign reported receiving in nonmonetary donations from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not match the amount the Mormons reported giving. What's more, the dates don't match -- Yes on 8 suspiciously reports the donation a day before the Mormons recorded making it.

Here's what a little fishing on the Secretary of State's Web page revealed:

On Nov. 4, the Mormon Church reported non-monetary donations of $96,849.31 and $20,575 -- a total of $117,424.31-- to the Yes on 8 campaign. You can see the file here:

Xcontributions made - disclosed by Church of Latter-day via 1.30.09 461 - 09.2.1 export from SoS site2.xls

Since the Mormon Church is listed as the donor and the recipient, the $96,849.31 is for "compensated staff time" of church workers, and the $20,575 was for use of facilities. (Here's the filing that backs that up). Amazingly, this donation just happened to occur on election day!

And yet, according to Yes on 8,  the Mormon Church's nonmonetary donation actually came on Nov. 3 -- and was only $30,354.85. Once more, you can see the file here:

Xnonmonetary ctbs from latter-day saints as disclosed by yes on 8 committee - 09.2.1 SoS Adv Search download.xls

So, which is it? We just don't know yet. But it's a good bet those questions will soon be asked. Those grousing that the Mormon church has been hiding its contributions and both Yes on 8 and the Mormons have been lowballing have a treasure trove to work with now. As they say, follow the money.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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