Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), has criticized an Iowa ethics official as biased against NOM,
the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage.
In a statement released Monday, Brown attacked Megan Tooker,
executive director and general counsel of the Iowa Ethics &
Campaign Disclosure Board, calling on the board to remove her from an
investigation filed by Fred Karger of the gay rights group Rights
“The people of Iowa are entitled to the highest standards of
ethical conduct and independence from the state's top ethics officer,
but Megan Tooker has shown herself to be biased and incredibly
unprofessional in her handling of the complaint against NOM,” Brown
Brown pointed to a statement Tooker gave to the Des Moines
Register in which she asserted that NOM argued in its written
response that it was not required by Iowa law to release donors if
funds are raised through phone calls and emails.
“That's absolutely false,” Tooker said.
“[H]er comments to the media reveal deep-seated animosity toward
our position and are grossly inaccurate, prejudicial and
inappropriate,” Brown said. “We demand that she be removed from
having any role in evaluating the complaint filed against us.”
Karger's complaint charges that NOM failed to disclose donors
behind two campaigns aimed at ousting four Iowa Supreme Court
justices who joined the court's unanimous 2009 ruling which struck
down the state's laws limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.
Three justices were removed from the bench in 2010, but an attempt to
unseat a fourth justice in 2012 failed.
Karger has filed similar complaints in California and Maine and a
separate complaint with the Federal Election Commission.
The litigation, Karger told On Top Magazine, has rattled
Brown, who went after him during a The Family Leader event held in
Ames, Iowa over the weekend.
He explained that Brown confronted him while he was speaking to
representatives manning the NOM booth.
I'm in the middle of a conversation when “Brian sees me and
comes over and, 'Oh, Fred Karger is here.' And then just began to
lash out at me, much to the amazement of his staff there. And I just
relaxed and listened to him and then shot back many times with
questions for him. He was clearly bothered. The last two times I've
seen him now, he's been so hyped up it looks like he's on the verge
of a nervous breakdown,” Karger said.