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Campaign board allows Catholic to keep confidential his anti-marriage amendment donation


In a rare move, the state board that oversees campaign contributions will allow a campaign donor to remain confidential because he fears losing his employment with the Catholic Church.

John Doe, as the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board called him in its report  (PDF) released Friday, pledged $600 to a campaign fighting the proposed amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman in the Minnesota Constitution.

The Catholic Church has been a leading proponent of the amendment, and has sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars into the fight.

Doe told the board that he believes revealing his identity could lead to termination of his unspecified job with a church organization.

The report, however, did reveal that Doe’s job requires him to represent the views of the Catholic church to others. Doe contributed to Minnesotans United for All Families, which opposes the amendment. ”

Typically, when people contribute to a political campaign or candidate, a name, occupation and address appear on finance reports.

But, in making his case, Doe referenced the case of Trish Cameron, a Catholic schoolteacher from Moorhead. Cameron was asked to resign, MPR reported, after privately voicing her disagreement with the church’s position on gay marriage.

As a result of his petition, the board concluded, Doe established his case by clear and convincing evidence.

Any of his future contributions to the organization also would be listed anonymously.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Tim Droogsma on 08/17/2012 - 07:39 pm.

    What a craven coward

    That’s why none of the men in Philadelphia signed the Declaration of Independence, because they were afraid of reprisals….oh, wait, no, I guess they actually DID sign it, because they had the courage of their convictions. People like this cowardly “John Doe” deserve to remain anonymous and forgotten.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 08/20/2012 - 08:35 am.

      Then your party

      Is a party of craven cowards because the republicans have been fighting disclosure rules of any kind since the stupidly pathetic decision in Citizens United.

  2. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 08/17/2012 - 10:35 pm.

    The Catholic Church

    Acts unAmerican in its suppression of Free Speech. Exactly why people left Europe for religious freedom

  3. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 08/18/2012 - 01:27 pm.


    I wonder how the courts will rule if a person donates to a pro-heterosexual marriage group and wants to keep it a secret so his pro-gay marriage employer doesn’t find out and fire him. What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/20/2012 - 01:41 pm.


      If a person who wants to donate to an anti-marriage campaign can show some real threat that he would be dismissed, there might be a claim there. On the other hand, the vague claims that have been used to justify secrecy (“I heard someone say that this guy out in California . . .”) just aren’t cutting it, threat-wise.

  4. Submitted by Karen Cole on 08/20/2012 - 11:54 am.

    Good result in this case but . . . .

    I’m happy for the outcome in this case and for this donor, but worried about the precedent.

    The idea behind the campaign finance laws is to be able to see where money and influence are coming from. Granted, this one donation won’t swing the election. But it wasn’t a trivial amount donated either, $600 if I have my facts straight. What happens the next time if lots of people I disagree with politically want to keep their identities secret? Won’t the law be undermined?

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