In the discussion thread: Group challenges Green Bay diocese's tax-exempt status [View all]
Response to hue (Original post)
Fri Nov 9, 2012, 04:45 PM
mojowork_n (2,342 posts)
4. Churches are the steeple sticking out from the highest part of the tip of the iceberg.
It doesn't really matter whether they're spelled out as 501c3's or 501c4's, or if they're incorporated under any one of the other tax code formulas or dodges.
The name on the letterhead can say, "Americans for Prosperity," or it can spell out "Americans for Prosperity Foundation."
The astro-turf, non-taxable front groups are all involved in 'social welfare' activity. They get bland, ho-hum names like, "Crossroads GPS."
The Brothers K. don't like paying taxes. On anything. That goes triple for their 'public-spirited' charitable contributions.
It's why they call it "Dark Money."
It is the absolute best way to hide dollar numbers as well as political activities in support of candidates that never have to be disclosed as 'campaign donations.'
When it's combined with electioneering and voter suppression right outside the polling booth, that's democracy at the nadir for some -- or non-profit tax write-off's being used to leverage the effectiveness of every dollar spent, in the view of others:
On Tuesday, Tea Party group True the Vote will dispatch poll watchers throughout the country to challenge voters’ rights as they cast their ballots. True the Vote often insists it is a nonpartisan organization simply concerned with election integrity. It has even applied for non-profit status, which would exempt them from taxes. But a new email to True the Vote volunteers in Illinois shows that the organization is recruiting poll watchers specifically for one candidate — Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL).
The email was sent by John Curry, the 32nd Ward Republican committeeman in Chicago who apparently moonlights as a True the Vote coordinator. He encourages volunteers to contact another coordinator named Sharon Keller:
…I have identified an important area for you to poll watch in this election. It is in the general area of Northwest suburban Chicago, including Schaumburg and Elk Grove Village. The area is of concern because of the close campaign between Joe Walsh and Tammy Duckworth for Congress, in which millions of dollars are being spent and many out of area workers are coming in to influence the election. Will you work as a poll watcher in this area? If you agree to do so, please contact Sharon Keller, who is coordinating pollwatching in this area. Her email is email@example.com and her cell phone is 310-871-3611. Please tell her you were referred by John Curry. She will be running a special poll watcher training on Sunday, so it would be great if you can attend.
This Sharon Keller appears to be the same person who is in charge of partisan poll watchers for the Joe Walsh campaign, according to a Tea Party website....
....Illinois categorizes poll watchers as either partisan or nonpartisan. Presumably, True the Vote poll watchers will be posing as nonpartisan so as to not endanger their pending non-profit status. Yet this email to volunteers suggests they are recruiting partisan poll watchers for the Walsh campaign — in blatant defiance of their claim of nonpartisanship.
But whether it's indirectly state-sanctioned 'authority being used to intimidate and influence' voters in the form of in-your-face voter suppression efforts at the polls, or it's a homily from the pulpit or flyers being handed out after church, those are all nickle and dime, small time -- but highly public -- examples of dark money spending.
I suspect the worst damage is done when only a few accountants and those writing the checks are the only people who could ever connect the dots.
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Churches are the steeple sticking out from the highest part of the tip of the iceberg.
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