Is ‘Organizing for Action’ in violation of IRS Code and E.O. 13490?
By now, its almost a running joke, or better yet, a trail of constant obfuscation, applying new meanings to words, selective enforcement of law, suing rivals and sovereign states, outright lying, and so many more examples of the reign of a despot rather than Presidency of the United States.
Presidential fiat rules the day and unfortunately we are becoming desensitized to it. Executive Orders and the blame game, end-runs around Congress, and now, possibly even conflicting with IRS Code. Oops, did they just conflict with their own rules?
The transformation of the reelection campaign to a 501(c)4 may just prove to be illegal. In fact, one of his own Executive Orders may seal their fate, but more likely, people will just look the other way.
There appears to be nothing they will not say or do to ‘transform’ America. Please read the story below, but first, read Executive Order 13490 from January 21, 2009. Here are a few snippets to ponder as you review the story below it:
- Lobbyist Gift Ban. I will not accept gifts from registered lobbyists or lobbying organizations for the duration of my service as an appointee.
- Revolving Door Ban – All Appointees Entering Government. I will not for a period of 2 years from the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients, including regulations and contracts.
- Revolving Door Ban – Appointees Leaving Government. If, upon my departure from the Government, I am covered by the post-employment restrictions on communicating with employees of my former executive agency set forth in section 207(c) of title 18, United States Code, I agree that I will abide by those restrictions for a period of 2 years following the end of my appointment. (Read the whole E.O. here.)
The question also to ask is, who is working for that new team that was employed by the campaign, and/or the administration? Additionally – we may need some legal definitions – Is the new group another Media Matters fiasco of a sham; a not-for-profit with tax exempt status that is actually an advocacy group for a specific candidate and agenda of a sitting politician?
Here is the link to the United States Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c). Dull reading, but worth the effort.
White House denies claims that a $500,000 donation ‘buys’ face time with the president
- It was reported over the weekend that donors who gave more than $500K to Organizing for America would be invited to quarterly meeting with the president
- Press Secretary Jay Carney did not dispute claims and said there was nothing unusual about Obama meeting with donors
The White House defended itself today after suggestions that high-dollar donors to President Obama’s new non-profit advocacy group would ‘buy’ face time with the Commander-In-Chief.
Organizing for Action, which is set up to be a social welfare organization, will allow large donations not unlike Super-PAC contributions, to be given to aid Mr Obama in carrying out second-term goals such as climate change and gun control.
There have been reports that those who contributed more than $500,000 to his cause would be invited to quarterly meetings with the president in a pay-to-play.
However, White House press secretary Jay Carney did not specifically dispute the claims, saying only that there was nothing new and unusual about Mr Obama meeting with people and groups who support his political agenda.
He said today: ‘It has been organized to rally support for the president’s policy agenda, but is a separate organization.
Administrative officials routinely interact with outside advocacy organizations, and this has been true in prior administrations.’
An article appearing in the New York Times originally reported the benchmark funding over the weekend.
Mr Carney told reporters today that administration officials may attend events for OFA, but won’t be raising money.
The group, which is a spinoff of the president’s re-election group ‘Obama for America,’ has said its purpose is to rally support for Mr Obama’s policy agenda – not to support or oppose candidates.
It’s accepting unlimited personal and corporate donations, but plans to disclose its donors.
According to the Times, the non-profit will accept unlimited donations from both personal and corporate coffers.
Those who donate more than half a million to the OFA will be invited to the nonprofit’s ‘national advisory board,’ giving the donors access to quarterly meetings with the president as well as other White House events.
Jon Carson, the executive director of the OFA and former director of the White House office of public engagement, told the Times on Saturday that the group’s goal is to ‘change the conventional wisdom’ on hot-button issues like gun control and climate change.
The organization’s modus operandi is not unlike those of Super PAC, which until early 2012, the president called a ‘threat to democracy.’
The OFA site reads that it exists to help President Obama in the ‘achieving enactment of the national agenda.’ As such, it operates as a 501(c)(4) of the IRS.