Prominent Mormons Were Reimbursed For Prop 8

In what seems to be an endless line of embarrassments for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it is now coming to light that several prominent Mormon figures were actually reimbursed for their efforts and participation on the Yes On 8 campaign.

Below is a list of several of them, brought to my attention by my good friend Reed Cowen (many thanks to him for this). The full list can be seen here (if unable to be viewed, too many people are looking at it at once) and I highly recommend that everyone views the list to see who they recognize.

Lawrence Research (Gary Lawrence, Mormon pollster and Meridian contributor): $528,877.35

Eagle Foundation (a Mormon PAC set up by Bart Marcois and David Parker): $135,912.76

Glen Greener (former Salt Lake City Police Commissioner, Meridian contributor, and now a GOP operative and sometime Cali property developer): $50,236.42

Sonja Brown ( communications director): $41,844.00

Zion Multimedia Corp.: $2,000.00

Rob Wirthlin: $768.18

So what does this all mean for the LDS church? Well it’s still unclear, and the list of those who were reimbursed may be getting longer as more is unearthed. But until then, you can count on more and more outcries against this “loving and tolerant” religion.


25 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Andrew Jenkins on February 2, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Hey Eric,

    I’m not surprised. Unfortunately, the link you posted doesn’t work.




  2. Posted by Christina/Jingles on February 3, 2009 at 1:47 am

    I agree, not surprised… they had a report on how much $$ the church actually contributed to Prop 8 tonight too… we were watching ABC 4, not sure about the other channels. Everything combined it was way more than what the church was originally claiming (of course, right?).


  3. Posted by Mar on February 3, 2009 at 8:22 am

    I don’t understand how this shows that the church actually reimbursed these people? Can you please expand on that? I’m very interested, and appreciate all you do to put this information out.


  4. Posted by Clarity on February 3, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Link isn’t working anymore. šŸ˜¦


  5. Posted by Horrible Leftist on February 3, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Reimbursed by whom? Your posting doesn’t say. By the Mormon Church? Please trace the mechanics of that reimbursement. It wouldn’t surprise me if it happened, but your account lacks specificity. You need to fill in the details for this to have impact.


  6. I found Eagle Foundation, for example, under expenditures made, but how do we know they were reimbursed by the Church?


  7. Posted by Michael on February 3, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    How do we know that they were reimbursed by the church? This list only contains expenditures, but says nothing of reimbursement.


    • Posted by ethingtoneric on February 3, 2009 at 2:14 pm

      Hey everyone. This is still a developing story so I’m not entirely sure of the details yet. But my understanding is not that the church reimbursed them, but that prominent mormons were reimbursed by other groups for participating in Yes On 8. I’m keeping my eye on this and will post as soon as more details are available! Thanks for the feedback!


  8. Posted by Scott E. on February 3, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    It’s an interesting story. However, I think that before you publish something that is putting blame on the LDS church as a whole and as an organization, you should get all your facts straight. I couldn’t care less that you put blame on specific members, but to make an accusation that encompasses the whole church I think you should have all the facts gathered first.


    • Posted by ethingtoneric on February 3, 2009 at 10:42 pm


      I’m curious as to where in this article you see blame being place on the LDS church as a whole? This article is about individual donors.



  9. Posted by Horrible Leftist on February 3, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    I am very interested, but so far all I can see is that the Yes on 8 campaign hired some of its donors. I suppose it’s a little unusual to do that, but given that nothing’s tax deductible I don’t see anything unethical or illegal about it.

    The alternative would be that various donors would simply agree to give in-kind contributions rather than cash. But if they had done it that way, I could imagine it presenting a tougher accounting and reporting issue than to simply give cash and then be paid for services rendered.

    Believe me, no one on this planet will EVER count me as a friend of the Mormon cult or what they’ve done on the marriage propositions and a whole lot of other things, but I’m having a hard time seeing any “there” there on this one. Where am I wrong?


  10. Posted by Horrible Leftist on February 3, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    I don’t think “reimbursed” is the correct way to describe this activity, and I’m going to demonstrate it by example.

    If I donate, say, $100,000 to Barack Obama (I wish …) and then get a $100,000 contract to print signs for them, I haven’t been “reimbursed.” I’ve been hired to perform a service.

    Now, let’s imagine that I earn a 20% net margin on that business, and that ordinarily in a competitive bid the net margin would be 10%. Then you might say I was “reimbursed,” but for $10,000 not $100,000.

    In any case, even if it was a $1 million printing contract and my unfair profit was $100,000, why would it be a problem? As long as I didn’t get a tax deduction on the original contribution, I don’t see the issue.

    If political campaigns were 501(c)(3) groups and the contributions were deductible, then a reimbursement of this sort could be illegal as all get-out. But here? Where’s the violation?


  11. Posted by Horrible Leftist on February 3, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Iā€™m curious as to where in this article you see blame being place on the LDS church as a whole? This article is about individual donors.

    I can hardly believe I’m coming to the defense of the f****** Mormons, but if the article is about individual donors, then what explains your lead paragraph? “In what seems to be an endless line of embarrassments for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints …”

    Believe me, I’d LOVE it if there was more embarrassing material on the Mormons. But at least for the time being, your article looks to me like a bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing. You implied that there was something wrong with the arrangement and that there was some Mormon Church connection to the data you published, but neither is true.


    • Posted by ethingtoneric on February 3, 2009 at 11:46 pm

      The article is not about the LDS church as a whole. But when prominent members are brought into what may or may not turn into a scandal, it reflects on the church as a whole. I would not be so bold as to say that is correct to happen, but I do draw the inevitable conclusion that this is how it will be perceived. As such, when I state it is an embarrassment for the church, that is true, even if it is unclear at this time whether or not they were involved, directly or indirectly. Remember this post shows only the newest data that is coming available, it’s significance not fully understood yet. In this article, I make my own personal thesis as to the outcome, nothing more.


  12. What I know is all anecdotal, but it comes from folks who are in the same social orbit as the Mormon brain trust that attends church services in/near Palo Alto and Stanford.

    For the LDS faux “grassroots organizers” who ran the Prop 8 ground game, the campaign was a cash cow and a list-building bonanza.

    It helped Mormon pollsters and politicos like Gary Lawrence, Bart Marcois, David Parker and their LDS buddies to position themselves to be even bigger players the next time a similar initiative comes around.

    I’ve heard in comments over at my place that these guys were overheard gloating in the ward (church) hallway about the awesome lists that they now have in hand because of the Prop 8 effort.

    And, yes, “reimbursement” should probably read “remuneration” (except in Robb Wirthlin’s case).

    In any case, the connection that bugs me the most personally is that I know Gary and Bart work exclusively for the GOP. And as far as their professional lives are concerned, they are political animals first, and Mormons second, but they take advantage of a vast volunteer army of Mormon rank-and-file to promote their own careers and political agendas. The members get told it’s a “moral” issue and wind up becoming complicit in an effort to turn their church into an extension of the Republican party.

    Of course, the Mormon church already is an extension of the GOP, and has been a damn effective GOTV machine for that party for several cycles now, but dammit, it still sucks to watch guys like Gary and Bart getting paid out of monies donated by my own gullible tribe.


  13. Posted by Horrible Leftist on February 4, 2009 at 9:43 am

    I did some more reading of your site. It looks like you’re in Utah, and that you’re dedicating to opposing the cult. In that regard, you have my undying support and respect, not to mention my best wishes.

    You know as well as anyone that The Morg is a big, sophisticated entity. To effectively oppose them, you need to have your ducks in a row, and part of doing that is to be accurate. Part of being accurate is to fairly present information, and not to imply one thing and deliver another.

    What you’ve presented here is interesting. What you’ve highlighted is that the donors and the vendors were, to some degree, the same, and that they are Mormons. The data reinforces the impression that Yes on 8 was a Mormon group-grope.

    What I’m questioning is your statement that the donors were “reimbursed,” which itself just isn’t supported by the evidence, and the implication that the Mormon cult itself, i.e., Mormon Inc. as an entity, did this. You didn’t directly state the second proposition, but you implied it.

    You’ve also implied illegality. How? By mention the possibility of scandal. In America today, for something to qualify as a scandal, it’s either criminal or sexual. There might be a few scandals that aren’t in either category, but not very many. Here, there’s no sexual impropriety, and you haven’t demonstrated any criminality. So, to write about it in terms of scandal leaves a misimpression.

    Really, what you have is, like I noted at the outset, another view of the available data that shows just how thoroughly Mormon all of this was. I think it’s useful in and of itself to make that point, without the allusions to church reimbusement and implications of illegality.

    Or to put it differently and perhaps more simply: Don’t overstate your case. Go with what you have.


    • Posted by ethingtoneric on February 4, 2009 at 1:56 pm


      Many points well taken, thank you. One thing I would disagree with you on however, I do not think that a scandal solely comes about by criminal or sexual misconduct. Currently, a scandal can erupt from any situation where one person (or entity in this case) becomes associated with anything that even has a sniff of ir-reputability. The LDS church, being already heavily involved in any conversation involving prop 8 has left itself open to the backlash of almost anything negative that comes to light with the Yes On 8 campaign. If you would like my personal opinion, I would not be surprised to find high-ranking LDS leadership unearthed under these corporate names, and payments being made where no particular services were rendered. However, that is for a later story when (or if) that information comes out.



  14. Posted by Horrible Leftist on February 4, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    f you would like my personal opinion, I would not be surprised to find high-ranking LDS leadership unearthed under these corporate names, and payments being made where no particular services were rendered. However, that is for a later story when (or if) that information comes out.

    It wouldn’t surprise me, either. But what wouldn’t surprise us + $4 will buy a McDonald’s Happy Meal, so you’ve got to get the information.

    As for scandals, well, I suppose “scandal” is in the eye of the beholder. But if you look at the biggies, in this country scandals almost always originate between the waist and the knees. Either the genitalia, the wallet, or both. šŸ˜‰

    Keep plugging away. Just take better aim next time. I thought about what I wrote (naturally) after I wrote it, and another way to say it is that it’s all about the story angle. You used the scandal angle, implying Morg Inc.’s involvement in a financial reimbursement scheme of some sort.

    I think that was the wrong angle, because it wasn’t supported by a fair reading of the data. I think a better choice would have been “Mormon Family Night,” i.e., isn’t it interesting who their contractors were.


    • Posted by ethingtoneric on February 5, 2009 at 12:15 am


      Yet again, many fine points. Thank you for your comments to this post. I hope to hear from you again in the future!


  15. Posted by Scott E. on February 4, 2009 at 9:56 pm


    I just don’t see how whatever happens to prominent members of the church would reflect the church as a whole. I’m sure that any intelligent person wouldn’t blame an entire religious organization because of the affairs of a few members, whether they are well known or not.


    • Posted by ethingtoneric on February 5, 2009 at 12:14 am


      I’m sure if you’ve watched the news or read any article on the topic in the past few months, you have seen the righteous rage swelling out of communities nationwide, most prominently focused towards the LDS church. So if a new scandal erupts regarding it’s members in connection with the Yes On 8 campaign, can you rationally say that “the church” won’t be linked in people’s minds?


  16. Posted by fifthgen on February 10, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I am probably echoing some other thoughts here but, where is the scandal? I see no suggestion that people were reimbursed by the LDS Church. If they were reimbursed by the YEs on 8″ campaign, why is that a problem? I was no Prop 8 supporter, but this post is confusing at best and just dumb at worst.


    • Posted by ethingtoneric "The Pig" on February 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm


      Thanks for the comment. Yes, you are a little late on this one šŸ™‚ The original theory when this story started coming out was that the LDS church itself might have been doing the reimbursing. That of course would raise all kinds of tax questions, as well as proof-of-services-rendered implications. Thanks for your thoughts!


  17. Posted by Confused on February 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    The ironic thing about all this is that Glen Greener is an adulterer and is now married to one of his “friends”. He ruined two families and has altered their religious beliefs away from the Church. He got paid for writing in the name of the LDS Church. That is the definition of a hypocrite.


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