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Friday, February 6, 2009

Following the Money: Disclosure Discrepancies from Yes on 8, Mormons Persist -- and Grow

Posted By on Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 5:30 AM

click to enlarge yesonprop8.jpg
On Monday, we wrote about how the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints' recent disclosure of how much it contributed to Yes on Prop. 8 was nearly $90,000 more than the amount Yes on 8 reported receiving from the Church.

After several days of sifting through additional forms provided by the California Secretary of State and communications with both the Mormon Church and the treasurer of Yes on 8, that discrepancy has not been cleared up. If anything, more discrepancies have been revealed.

The central -- and unanswered -- question is: Why did a $30,354 in-kind donation Yes on 8 reported it received on Nov. 3 come out as a  Nov. 4 contribution of  $117,424 in the Mormon Church's filings? This week, SF Weekly requested all of the Mormon Church's paper filings made during the last 16 days of the campaign -- and, sure enough, there's a $30,354 donation the Church recorded making sometime on Nov. 3 or before. You can view that here:

LDS 497s.pdf

So, again, how did that donation grow four-fold by the time the Mormon Church got around to making its late January disclosures? David Bauer, the treasurer for the Protect Marriage Coalition, has no idea. When asked why there was a discrepancy between what he reported getting and the Church reported giving, he quickly replied, "If we could figure that out, their [number] and ours would agree."

Bauer conceded that he may well be forced to file an amendment restating how much his coalition really received. So, while the Mormon Church trumpeted that "Claims that the Church ... did not report all its contributions to the Protect Marriage Coalition are erroneous" on a press release, Bauer's answer belies that. So does the following data from the Protect Marriage Coalition.

According to this document,

filed on Jan. 30, the Church contributed $45,816 to the Coalition

between July 1 and Oct. 18 of last year.Yet, according to the

Coalition's own filings, it received no contributions from the Mormon

Church over this period.

You can see all of the Protect Marriage Coalition's reported donations from the Mormon Church here:
Xnonmonetary ctbs from latter-day saints as disclosed by yes on 8 committee - 09.2.1 SoS Adv Search download(2).xls

SF Weekly's calls to the Mormon Church were shunted to spokeswoman Kim Farah, who would only send us PR material. Their press release tosses out a whole mess of numbers, but artfully manages to avoid answering the $90,000 question. 


short, a $30,354 donation supposedly made on Nov. 3 morphed into a

$117,424 contribution made one day later, and we are no closer to

knowing for certain what happened here. When the Church is ready to

talk, we're ready to listen. We do recall Mormon commercials from yesteryear touting the merits of forthrightness. We're waiting.

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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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