Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Prop 8 Turds Just Hit the Turbines

Summary: According to the most recent data available from the IRS     which is updated monthly     Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund is not a 501(c)3 organization and contributions are not tax deductible as claimed.

Nevertheless, here is the solicitation link from ProtectMarriage.com
and here is the information on the bottom of the page:

Contributions are tax-deductible, and will not be publicly disclosed. The Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund (EIN 26-3689861) is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For questions regarding the tax-deductibility and privacy of donations, please contact us at: info@protectmarriage.com. * * * * If you prefer to donate via a check or money order, please send your donation via U.S. Mail to: "Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund, PO Box 162849, Sacramento, CA 95816-2849."
Furthermore: Both National Organization for Marriage and Alliance Defense Fund show contributions to the The Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund on their 990 filing with EIN 26-3689861 as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.

Methodology: First I went to the IRS non-profit search page. I searched by both EIN and by name and several parts of the name. Nothing found. Wanting to be more thorough, I downloaded the entire database (IRS Publication 78). I converted the text file to a spread sheet. Same result.

I searched Guidestar's database by both name and EIN. Again - nothing.

Over the last 45 days I have made two requests, to the address shown above, for copies of the organization's tax filing. I received no response. I contacted Andrew Pugno, ProtectMarriage.com organizer and attorney. He insisted that they required 30 days from receipt of my address to process sending the forms to me, refusing to email the PDF.

Potential for Error: Hey, it's a government agency. Who knows? I am only providing information that I believe is reliable.
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3 comments:

  1. I just discovered your excellent blog.

    This is very good research. I have been frustrated to see that HRC's effort to monitor NOM ("NOM Exposed") has been so lacking. This is potentially a real find on your part. Please post an update when the 30 days elapse and you receive information from Pugno.

    Also, I hope that word of your blog gets around. This really could be a go-to site if more people become aware of it.

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  2. Thanks. Personally, I think that Jeremy does a very good job with NOM Exposed. The fact is that NOM is the offspring of an extremely secretive Catholic order. Being a part of Opus Dei has shaped the organizational culture.

    There are no prizes. We are all trying to simply keep people informed and to encourage advocacy. Gays have had to fight for everything that we have.

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  3. I believe that Jeremy is loosely affiliated with NOM Exposed, but the group itself is a project of HRC, with one of HRC's paid employees running the show.

    I think that the most basic step that a project called "NOM Exposed" would take would be to demand a copy of NOM's Form 990 on the day that it is due. NOM consistently takes advantage of the automatic extension and consistently requests the discretionary extension from the IRS. They aim to keep the data secret for as long as possible, and to release data that are as stale as possible.

    HRC should have had a request pending. It didn't. NOM got to enjoy an extra 6 weeks of secrecy on its annual filing until - finally - an online newspaper made the demand and published the 990. As far as I know, there never was a demand by HRC/NOMExposed for the 990.

    That's one example of a shortcoming. It appears that you may have found another one. If it is true that NOM has been erroneously soliciting donations for the Prop 8 LDF as tax exempt, that is a big story. It is awesome that you may have broken this story, but IMO a project dedicated to exposing this one group should have scooped this a long time ago.

    Anyway, great work and I look forward to seeing what Pugno coughs up in 30 days.

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