Friday, May 11, 2018

Minnesota anti-LGBT group violates the law

John Helmberger
John Helmberger leader of the anti-LGBT group Minnesota Family Council and advocate of Christian privilege.
John Helmberger of Minnesota Family Council has sent out a lengthy, rambling solicitation for funds (below the fold). The stated purpose is to elect a sanctimonious Republican governor in Minnesota. MFC claims to have matching grants up to a total of $200,000.

Minnesota Family Council (MFC) is a 501(c)4 entity. While that makes MFC a tax-exempt organization, donations to MFC are not tax deductible. When exempt organizations ask for money that is not tax deductible they must conspicuously indicate that in the solicitation. Here is the rule:
Section 6113 of the Internal Revenue Code provides that certain tax-exempt organizations that are not eligible to receive tax deductible charitable contributions must disclose, in any fundraising solicitation in "an express statement (in a conspicuous and easily recognizable format)" that contributions to the organization are not deductible for federal income tax purposes as charitable contributions.
There is no such disclosure in the email that I received let alone one that is conspicuous. They would like potential donors to assume that donations are tax-deductible. In fact, many donors will do just that. Unless they are subjected to a line-item audit by the Service the deduction will not be challenged. Guess who subsidizes ineligible deductions?

Moreover, if charities and foundations donate to MFC they are required to demonstrate “expenditure responsibility.” They can donate to an organization that is not eligible for tax deductible contributions if the money is used for an exempt purpose. In no way, whatsoever, is electioneering an exempt purpose.

I have written previously about so-called matching funds. These are usually scams; restructuring money already received or committed that is not subject to additional donations. Six-figure donations ordinarily come as grants from charities which seems highly unlikely and would create an IRS violation for the donor. Thus, I call bullshit. The holier-than-thou set frequently operate as if they are subject to different laws than everyone else. It is called Christian privilege which is a subset of Christian supremacy.

MFC being MFC, in referring to Governor Dayton:
And he has scores of appointees at all levels of state government who are in lock-step with him on his vehement opposition to our values. Think, for example, of the Transgender Toolkit, pushing extreme gender ideology in schools as “best practice”.

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