There comes a time where “honest mistakes” become less than honest and more than mistakes.
We’ve seen where the vast majority of the III empire that is controlled by the Kerodins really is controlled by the Kerodins. They’ve organized them as LLCs.
We can debate the business astuteness of choosing an LLC over another type of business entity, but that’s just a diversion. In their defense of these actions, many of the Kerodin defenders actually nailed the real issue!
The real issue is that the Kerodins own the parts of the III movement that they endorse and advertise. There is no altruism here, it’s a business.
As far as we are concerned, that is between those who send them money and the Kerodins. We just think it’s important to know and understand that.
The III Percent Society is a little different. This one gets into required Federal reporting. Depending on which blog page you read, the society claims that it is both a, “527 Issue Advocacy Organization,” and a “Tax Status: Applying for 501(c)(4) status”.
No reason to take our word for it, or somehow believe that it’s an insinuation, half truth, or gratuitous assertion. Click on their links as indicated.
Other than the obvious confusion presented to potential members, what does the difference mean in reality?
For IIIs, the difference is scary. A 527 requires donors to be publicly reported. As bad as our government is at times, 527s are pretty well regulated. Anyone can go on line to the IRS page and look up 527s. They can read the annual reports, look at funding and look at the names and addresses of donors.
You don’t even need to go to the IRS web pages! There are plenty of watchdog organizations that provide the same information!
How many IIIs want their names and addresses shared with the world as members of the III Percent Society?
501’s are a different animal. 501(c) is a category in the US Code for nonprofit organizations. There are 29 different sub classifications but the two that are most normally argued over are 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4).
501(c)(3) — Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations
501(c)(4) — Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations, and Local Associations of Employees
So, what are the differences between the 3 of them?
|Ability to engage in politics||Not supposed to engage in any political activities, though some voter registration activities are permitted||May engage in political activities, as long as these activities do not become their primary purpose||Politics is what 527s are *required* to do|
|Endorsing Candidates||CANNOT Endorse Candidates||CAN Endorse Candidates||CAN Endorse AND Field Candidates|
|Campaign Spending||Prohibited||Permitted but taxed||Required|
|Lobbying||Some lobbying||Substantial lobbying||No direct lobbying|
|General Political Advocacy (not related to legislation or the election of candidates.)||Yes, as an educational activity.)||Yes, provided it is not the primary activity of the organization||Yes|
|Contributions||Able to accept unlimited, tax-deductible donations||Able to accept unlimited, non tax-deductible donations||Able to accept limited (based on FEC regulations), non tax- deductible donations.|
|Donor Reporting||Donors kept anonymous.||Donors kept anonymous.||Donors are publicly reported.|
|Must apply with the IRS||YES||NO||YES|
So, we see that if the Society is planning on becoming a 527, they have to apply for such status (there is no record of that yet) and they have to report the names of the donors.
If the Society plans to become a 501(c)(4) organization, there is no requirement to apply for such status. In fact, the IRS allows for organizations to “self declare” their status by simply operating as a 501(c)(4) and filing annual returns using the Form 990 (same reporting form that 527s use).
Again, no reason to take our word for it, or somehow believe that it’s an insinuation, half truth, or gratuitous assertion. Click on the IRS web site!
What’s really strange is that these types of organizations are primarily used for political advocacy. A 501(c)(4) is the organization that the liberals whine about when they discuss the Citizens United law suit. It has turned into an anonymous 527! A 527 exists solely to engage in politics.
Is a political advocacy group the role that the III Percent Society really is intended to perform?
Is political lobbying the “secret” purpose of the Society? Do they plan to field candidates for office?
Is there a plan to collect and report III supporter’s names and addresses for government and public review?
These are questions that deserve answers.
We said from the beginning that we wanted to find the truth. Despite being attacked and accused of obscuring the truth, we have to ask who really is engaging in insinuations, half-truths, gratuitous assertions, and convenient omissions?
“Honest mistakes” when repeated over and over and over again can cause folks to come to a completely different conclusion.
Mistakes or deception and diversion?