Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has the back of the National Organization for Marriage. In a letter to IRS Commissioner Doglas H. Shulman this week, he called for an investigation into the leak of NOM’s 2008 Schedule B, which revealed some of the anti-equality group’s top donors, including Mitt Romney. Hatch’s letter parrots the same conspiracy-mongering rhetoric that NOM has been pushing:
The public 2009 and 2010 forms do not include confidential donor information. Moreover, unlike the 2009 and 2010 public 990s, the 2008 Schedule B published by HRC and Huffington Post is a PDF document that appears to have been deliberately altered in a manner to obscure information that would identify its origins with the IRS. First, the 2008 Schedule B appears to have been cropped in order to hide a stamp appearing across the top of each page that states, “THIS IS A COPY OF A LIVE RETURN FROM SMIP. OFFICIAL USE ONLY.” Second, a white rectangle appears diagonally across the middle of each page of the document at issue — a redaction that hides a number that appears to have been generated by the IRS.
Blogger David Cary Hart has already debunked NOM’s “proof” that the documents had to have originated from the IRS. When the Human Rights Campaign and Huffington Post originally reported on the leak, they attributed the document to a whistleblower within NOM. Because it seems that Romney’s contribution was not properly disclosed, it’s likely that NOM’s cries for an investigation are an attempt to distract attention from their potential lawbreaking.
Hatch faces a primary challenge from former Utah state Sen. Dan Liljenquist and has been swinging to the right to appeal to his base. Though polling overwhelmingly favors Hatch, this may explain why he’s endorsed NOM’s attempt to avoid taking responsibility for its misdeeds and its possible whistleblower.