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NOM Awarding $100 Visa Gift Cards to Folks Who Oppose Same-Sex Marriage in Minnesota

Minnesota for Marriage, a coalition of Minnesota Family Council, the National Organization for Marriage and the Minnesota Catholic Conference, is awarding $100 Visa gift cards as bait to get people to sign pledges opposing same-sex marriage in the state. Good as You has the form sign-up sheet.

MfmThe Minnesota Independent reports that Minnesota prohibits purchase of votes in elections, according to state statute:

Bribery, advancing money, and treating prohibited. A person who willfully, directly or indirectly, advances, pays, gives, promises, or lends any money, food, liquor, clothing, entertainment, or other thing of monetary value, or who offers, promises, or endeavors to obtain any money, position, appointment, employment, or other valuable consideration, to or for a person, in order to induce a voter to refrain from voting, or to vote in a particular way, at an election, is guilty of a felony. This section does not prevent a candidate from stating publicly preference for or support of another candidate to be voted for at the same primary or election. Refreshments of food or nonalcoholic beverages having a value up to $5 consumed on the premises at a private gathering or public meeting are not prohibited under this section.

They note that the contest might pass that test because it doesn't explicitly ask for a vote.

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  1. No, the fact that NOM doesn't use specific inducing language does not cleanse this of potential criminality. The statute is broadly written and focuses on an intent to induce a vote, not on specific language used in order to induce. The reference to November 2012 is enough for a jury to conclude that the intent was to procure votes in favor of the constitutional amendment in the 2012 election.

    What determines whether this is legal or illegal is whether the raffle award is supposed to go to the 5 pledged voters or to the individual who gathered those pledges. If it is the former, that would seem to meet the statutory definition of the felony IMO. If it is the latter, then NOM would be able to argue that it is not offering anything to voters to induce a vote and that payment to the pledge gatherer is no different than paying a canvasser or a direct mail company to help them win over voters.

    It isn't clear from the form who the recipient of the prize is supposed to be.

    Posted by: Vic | Nov 4, 2011 9:48:19 AM

  2. Oh, those silly homophobic hate-mongering Papists! One can only imagine how a $100 VISA gift card would be welcomed by the growing legion of American homeless folks. Just think how much food and/or warm weather wear $100 could purchase, especially for Minnesota's upcoming winter weather. I suppose this is the new vision of Christian charity at its very best....NOT!

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Nov 4, 2011 9:49:08 AM

  3. Let's hope there are grounds also to nail the Minnesota Catholic Conference for meddling in the political process. Rescind it's tax-exempt status and NOM's too for failing to disclose it's donor base ordered by three courts under section 501(c)4 of the IRS code for non-profits.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Nov 4, 2011 10:24:08 AM

  4. Wow!!! What a great opportunity... someone should organize people to sign up in droves, and simply TAKE THEIR MONEY! What a stupid corrupt idea. I hope it backfires in every way possible.

    Posted by: Louis | Nov 4, 2011 10:34:02 AM

  5. What no 2012 Maggie Gallagher calendar to induce donations?

    Posted by: nick | Nov 4, 2011 10:41:27 AM

  6. If I lived in Minnesota I'd take their money... then give it to the fight against them. Then when NOM started sending me junk mail I'd burn it to heat my house.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Nov 4, 2011 11:25:32 AM

  7. I would take the card and give all of the money to one of the organizations fighting for equality...put the cash to actual good use!

    Posted by: Nicholas | Nov 4, 2011 12:35:57 PM

  8. NOM seems determined to break every campaign law on the books and they're obviously not going to stop until somebody slaps them with some jail time. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised at all to find pictures proudly posted on NOM's website of Maggie Gallagher badly disguising herself in fake wigs and mustaches and voting over and over again in the same election.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Nov 4, 2011 12:44:51 PM

  9. time to really follow the money. if these people have all this money to buy votes the voters have the right to know where this money is coming from. also if it turns out churches are involved in the purchasing of votes it is time to tax them as political organizations.

    Posted by: walter | Nov 4, 2011 12:51:53 PM

  10. I see how they are trying to circumvent the law and if they get away with it I think every gay, and gay friendly person in that state should sign the pledge, take the gift card, donate the card to gay charities and then vote for gay marriage. If they are claiming the pledge is not buying votes than the pledge is non-binding so they can't come after you for not voting as pledged.

    Posted by: George McGinnis | Nov 4, 2011 1:10:18 PM

  11. I say drain their coffers by signing the pledge card, collecting the money, then voting for a candidate that believes in maintaining the liberties of all individuals regardless of sexual orientation.

    Posted by: Brent | Nov 4, 2011 3:36:03 PM

  12. And now I don't like Visa funny how that works. But wait, can you even get away from Visa? No you can't. Did the anti trust laws forget about someone?

    Posted by: MKe | Nov 4, 2011 4:40:12 PM

  13. It's disgusting how they try to put bounce their bigotry off of themselves by twisting it with language of "protecting" male-female couples.
    Newsflash to NOM: Nobody is seriously trying to take away any rights from any opposite-sex couple.
    If I were to sign this pledge, it wouldn't even be a lie: Of course, I want male-female couples to have protections for their famlies. The difference is that I want EVERYONE to have those same protections for their families.

    It's only a $100 grand prize "monthly each month" (sic) anyway, for one person.

    Posted by: GregV | Nov 4, 2011 10:27:02 PM

  14. A Pledge (like promises from RWNJ's) are meaningless. What is to stop decent and real American Patriots from signing this pledge and taking that $100 and then voting against bigotry and stupidity?

    Sign the Pledge and take that $100!

    Posted by: mmike1969 | Nov 6, 2011 1:06:08 AM

  15. @MMIKE1969
    A conscience, something the people at NOM completely lack. Also, would you want their dirty money and have your name associated with them?

    Posted by: Garst | Nov 6, 2011 2:52:07 AM

  16. Oh, what the heck, Sign the pledge,; get the credit card, and still vote YES for marriage.

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Nov 6, 2011 10:48:53 PM

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