Gay Rights Groups Again Link Carly Fiorina to Latino Outreach Bus That Breezed Through OC

We began Monday morning by noting the "

Vota Tus Valores

" ("Vote your values") bus filled with conservative Hispanics and marriage inequality proponents was in Santa Ana, following up with the news that a demonstrator against the Latino outreach effort there claimed he had been roughed up by someone aboard the bus.

The second item began with the Carly Fiorina for U.S. Senate campaign distancing itself from the bus--even though "Vote Fiorina" appears in big letters on the vehicle. The bus by then had rolled into San Diego, where the Republican's ties to the tour resurfaced again.

To refresh your memory (or, in case you missed them), here they are:

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Meanwhile, Evan Wolfson throws some dirt at the National Organization for Marriage, some of whom's members were aboard the "Vota Tus Valores" bus, on today's Huffington Post.

Now, check this out today from the Human Rights Campaign, America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality:

NOM Charitable Organization Violates Tax-Exempt Status by Campaigning for Senate Candidate
Ruth Institute, Part of NOM's Marriage Education Fund, Ignores Laws by Supporting Carly Fiorina in California

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, and the Courage Campaign today called on the National Organization for Marriage, or NOM, to explain why its tax-exempt charitable organization, the Ruth Institute - a project of NOM's Marriage Education Fund - is violating federal laws by intervening on behalf of a candidate for elected office.

This past Monday, Ruth Institute President Jennifer Roback Morse spoke on behalf of her organization at a campaign stop of the "Vota Tus Valores" bus tour, a NOM-backed independent expenditure in support of California Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina in San Diego.

At the campaign event Morse talked about the role of the Ruth Institute, held up the organization's signage and closed her remarks by saying, "We're very glad to be part of this electoral effort." (Watch video of Morse speaking at event.)

Morse's campaign appearance followed a NOM-issued press release titled "National Organization for Marriage and Ruth Institute Join Bus Tour Supporting Carly Fiorina in California." The release states that "Brian Brown, president of NOM, and Jennifer Roback Morse, president of The Ruth Institute, a project of NOM's Marriage Education Fund, will both be supporting the bus tour as it makes its way around California." In addition to supporting Fiorina, the NOM charitable group has also illegally participated in a campaign to elect California judges.

The statement goes on to note that, pursuant to the federal tax code, a charitable organization-which is permitted to receive tax deductible contributions-may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates, and that violations can result in stiff penalties against the organization and its officials as well as potential revocation of its tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service.

It also includes these follow-the-dots links:

"National Organization for Marriage and Ruth Institute Join Bus Tour Supporting Carly Fiorina in California," NOM website, September 28, 2010

"Latino Values Coalition," Ruth Institute website, September 30, 2010

"Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles," Ruth Institute website, July 27, 2010

"Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute ... making her case for Better Courts Now," Vimeo, undated

"Better Courts Now," Ruth Institute website, April 29, 2010

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