Saturday, January 4, 2020

Abracadabra FOIA

Be careful what you wish for.
This stack of paper from the IRS weighs in at 1.4 pounds
In December the Focus on the Family files relating to its designation as a church disappeared from IRS offices. Poof! I made an exceedingly polite (honestly, I was on my best behavior) yet assertive request to the Service to reconsider the matter. Saturday I received about a pound and a half of paper.

I might be able to post something meaningful next week (there is a great deal of correspondence to review). The bottom line is that Focus on the Family is many things. A church is not one of those.

For the record I continue to press the case of the mis-designation of Liberty Counsel as a church auxiliary. It is not — and never was — a church auxiliary. The very sanctimonious Mad Mat Staver doesn't seem to mind defrauding the taxpayers and the U.S. government.

The fact that Focus on the Family and Liberty Counsel are anti-LGBTQ gets my attention. However, the real issue is that we all subsidize nonprofit organizations. In return we expect transparency according to the law. Arbitrarily classifying activist organizations as churches — not required to file an annual report for public inspection — does a disservice to the American public.

While the wheels of government turn slowly, I have learned a few things through the Liberty Counsel experience. Next up is Franklin Graham's two 501(c)3 organizations. Graham claimed that it was just too tedious to file annual reports. The two Bill and Melinda Gates foundations have combined assets of nearly $100 billion and they manage to file annual reports on time and without complaint.

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