Red Flags in NOM Tax Return

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM, of 2M4M fame) has (several months after they were legally obligated to do so) released their 2007 IRS form 990 (pdf). Justin McLachlan, who obtained the form, and others are going over it to find out why the release was (illegally) held up for so long. It’s been alleged that NOM receives substantial support from the Catholic Church and/or the Mormon Church, and we may finally learn if that’s true. There have also been seemingly credible allegations of money laundering.

While others are looking at the $189,000 in “consulting” fees paid in 2007 to Common Sense America, an organization headed by NOM President Brian Brown, I noticed another discrepancy.

National Organization for Marriage, 2007 form 990, page 15
National Organization for Marriage, 2007 form 990, page 15

In Section IV-B (above), NOM states that they performed no lobbying activity (“including any attempt to influence public opinion on a legislative matter”) in 2007. While that’s conceivable (they had just put up their shingle, after all), it’s factually incorrect. The Press Room of NOM’s own website shows that it’s not true.

On October 6, 2007 NOM republished a news article (screencap) about the group from The article includes at least two germane points, saying “Brian S. Brown, director of the newly created National Organization for Marriage, of Princeton, N.J., which financed the billboard…” “The billboard is an effort to highlight Puppolo’s vote and educate the public”. That would be activities listed in section C, which NOM told the IRS they didn’t do.

On October 9, 2007, NOM republished a news article (screencap) from CBS3 in Springfield, Massachusetts about the same billboard.

On November 2, 2007, NOM published an mp3 of their then-recent radio ad. The following audio is taken from that post.


This would be activities listed in sections C and/or E, which NOM told the IRS they didn’t do. Note that the ad is paid for by NOM.

On November 29, 2007, NOM republished a news article (screencap) about their radio ad from (link provided by NOM now dead). One germane quote from the article: “Brian Brown of Princeton, the executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, said, ‘If the bill doesn’t come up and legislators hear from their constituents, that’s also a success for us. We’re going straight to the public.'”

Keep in mind that I’m neither an attorney nor a tax accountant. I may just be chasing a wild goose, but it seems to my layman’s eye that something’s amiss.

Is there another section in which NOM reported expenditures for the billboard and the radio campaigns? If not, who paid for them, and why is it accounted for separately?