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Grassroots write-in effort on Everytown/MDA

Discussion in 'Activism' started by wojownik, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. wojownik

    wojownik Member

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    Discussions in another forum have coalesced some info about likely improper activities by Everytown/Moms Demand Action activitists (crossing the lines on political campaign efforts). Here's someone's blog post based on the discussion:

    https://ilwd4cr.home.blog/2019/08/0...-everytown-for-gun-safetys-tax-exempt-status/

    Below is a draft letter that is now circulating on a couple of state gun-owner forums, asking that Congress look into the activities and financial backing of these politically driven anti-gun groups - they have very (very) likely broken Federal tax law (for non-profits) as well as campaign finance laws. And this is the same angle of attack they are now against us using on pro-gun groups.

    Please consider writing and emailing your Congressmen and Senators, using the letter below as an example. Contacting state representatives may be appropriate as well, since these groups are increasingly targeting pro-gun state reps.

    ****

    Your Name
    Address
    City, State Zip Code

    [Insert Date]


    Dear Senator (or Representative) [Insert Last Name]:

    My name is [Insert Your Name] and I reside in [Insert Your City, State].

    I am deeply troubled by the actions of several non-profit groups that are explicitly engaging in aggressive political campaign activities. Everytown for Gun Safety, and its Moms Demand Action group, are purported non-profits and exempt from federal tax under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. I am writing you today to alert you to what I believe are activities that clearly fall outside of Everytown’s non-profit charitable purpose and mission.

    Non-profits organizations are not supposed to engage in “political campaign activity” and if they do, IRS regulations mandate that the charitable nonprofit will lose its tax-exempt status. I have routinely observed representatives and officers from Everytown and Moms Demand Action engaging in political campaign activity (actively supporting or opposing a candidate for public office), explicitly and well beyond mere lobbying or legislative activities. Examples of their political activity can be found here on their 2017 form 990 return form: https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images...0455af3-9O.pdf

    Their own document specifies that
    • Page 2 section 4a: “The organization also supported successful candidates for elected office nationwide, most notably in Virginia”.

    • Page 34-37 part VI: “In 2017, Everytown For Gun Safety Action Fund made contributions to political candidates and political committees related to promoting the election of candidates who support the enactment of common-sense public safety measures to keep our communities safer from gun violence. In addition, Everytown made coordinated expenditures for communications related to the election of candidates for public office in Virginia and New Jersey.”

    Everytown for Gun Safety has provided explicit support and donations for campaign finance activities, including:
    • Democratic Governors Association
    • Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee
    • Friends for Adam Morfeld (Nebraska State Senator) $5000
    • Friends of Justin Fairfax (Lieutenant Governor of Virginia) $10,000
    • Friends of Manka Dhingra (Washington State Senator) $1000
    • Murphy for Governor (Governor of New Jersey) $3200
    • National Conference of Democratic Mayors $50,000
    • Nevada State Democratic Party $25,000
    • South Carolina House Democratic Caucus $2500
    • Virginia House Democratic Caucus $50,000
    • Virginians for Mark Herring (attorney General of Virginia) $70,000

    Local representatives of Everytown and Moms Demand Action leaders, actively campaign for political candidates under the banner of these organizations. Political candidates appear at Moms Demand Action meetings to make campaign speeches.

    For these reasons, I implore you to investigate whether (i) the Everytown and/or Moms Demand Action have violated the federal laws governing 501(c)(4) charitable organizations since they became Everytown For Gun Safety in 2013, and (ii) if so, consider what remedies are warranted, including asking the IRS to revoke their 501(c)(4) status.

    I understand this is a politically charged issue, however, the fact that Everytown and Moms Demand Action are in large part merely a path for “dark money” for with the only beneficiary appears to be Democratic political candidates. These organizations seem to be hiding behind the veneer of non-profit status, while essentially serving as de-facto political action committees.

    I sincerely and respectfully ask that, as my representative in Congress, you support an investigation of these organizations, any why they continue to enjoy tax-exempt status while explicitly engaging in political campaign activities.

    Sincerely,

    (Your name)

    Thank you for your time and considering my request.
     
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  2. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    First, I DO NOT (see what I did there?) want this to devolve into another rant. I just want to know, before we send this, what is the difference between these charges, and what the NRA, another non-profit, does on our behalf? I am curious if added scrutiny here could have unforeseen repercussions on our side.
     
  3. wojownik

    wojownik Member

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    Fair questions:
    - please be very clear that Everytown/MDA and their backers have already made a formal petition to the IRS requesting investigation and revocation of the NRA's tax status. So the stated concern is moot - it is already in play. Everytown/MDA is already working this line among their favorite House representatives. So that's concern would be moot as well. They are attacking the NRA for the same game they are playing ... BUT

    - the difference is in how far Everytown/MDA has crossed the line. There is explicit participation by Everytown/MDA reps in state and congressional campaigns. The party partisanship from Everytown/MDA is far beyond NRA, or any other non-profit I have worked with.

    If there is scrutiny, as you say, unless we flag this, the only scrutiny will be on the NRA. Everytown went on the attack first, and is seeking to destroy the organzation by revoking its tax exempt status.

     
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  4. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    MomsDemand/EveryTown are backed by a multi-billionaire.
    NRA is backed by citizens.
     
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  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    They say the same about us. There's nothing useful in that rhetoric.
     
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