In a development reported earlier today by The Huffington Post's Sam Stein, documents provided to Metro Weekly and other LGBT entities show that Mitt Romney's Free and Strong America PAC contributed $10,000 to the National Organization for Marriage in 2008.
One of 50 donations listed on NOM's 2008 IRS Form 990, the donation is listed only as having come from Free and Strong America from a Post Office box located in Belmont, Massachusetts. As Stein noted, however, the Alabama Fair Campaign Practices Act 2008 report filed by a Romney PAC of the same name organized in the state, which has lax campaign finance laws, shows the NOM contribution as having come from that entity. Stein reports that the Romney campaign confirmed the contribution.
The donation, given on October 14, 2008, according to the Alabama PAC report, was about three weeks before Election Day, as Romney was serving as a surrogate speaker for the McCain presidential campaign and as NOM was focused almost exclusively on the upcoming California vote on Proposition 8.
There appears to be significant overlap between the NOM 2008 Form 990-reported contributions and donations to the Proposition 8 campaign previously listed at the Fred Karger-supported Californians Against Hate "California Dishonor Roll." The Romney PAC donation, however, does not appear on the California list.
The Free and Strong America - Alabama PAC report also lists an administrative expense immediately above the NOM contribution and listed as occurring on the same date for $601.87 to Peter Flaherty, who was recently profiled in The New York Times as Romney's "liaison to the Republican Party's right wing."
According to FollowTheMoney.org, a watchdog organization that identitifies itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization revealing the influence of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy in all 50 states, Romney has registered PACs in at least four states besides Alabama: Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire and South Carolina. According to a February report from the site, "These PACs -- called Commonwealth PAC, or Free and Strong America PAC, with some state PACs switching between the two names -- have been contributing to state-level candidates since 2004, when Romney was the governor of Massachusetts."
The questions about Romney's use of the Alabama PAC were referenced in Alabama media this past summer, with one report noting, "Romney's Alabama PAC collected $456,750 last year [in 2010] from 41 individual donors. Some of the checks were less than $5,000, but others were huge. One South Dakota household, for example, gave two checks of $35,000 each, on the same day. Under federal limits, Romney would have needed 92 donors to generate that amount."
READ the NOM Form 990 from 2008: NOM 2008 990.pdf