Monday, March 24, 2008

501(c)(3) questions

A 501(c)(3) is not allowed to be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities. So, if a 501(c)(3) takes in grant money as one group, then calls itself another group name, and funnels the money to themselves as that group which does actively attempt to influence legislation as its prime directive, is that legal? Or is it money-laundering and cheating the system?

Or in other words if "Humboldt Watershed Council" is a 501(c)(3) that takes in $125,000 (or $325,000), and then Mark Lovelace, the "President" of "Humboldt Watershed Council" sets up a new group, (a "project"), and uses the money to pay himself, Mark Lovelace, acting as the second group, actively working to, and acting solely to, affect and influence legislation, is that legal?

He submits his own plans for the Gounty General Plan for God's sake: Healthy Humboldt Letter to Board of Supervisors
"...it seems prudent to investigate further the possibilities of a truly city-centered plan, as proposed by the Healthy Humboldt Coalition..." and he also came up with his own plan to deal with the TPZ/Palco issue(s).

Tax Information for Charitable Organizations
Exemption Requirements
To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

Political and Lobbying Activities

Measuring Lobbying Activity: Substantial Part Test
...Whether an organization’s attempts to influence legislation constitute a substantial part of its overall activities is determined on the basis of all the pertinent facts and circumstances in each case. The IRS considers a variety of factors, including the time devoted (by both compensated and volunteer workers) and the expenditures devoted by the organization to the activity, when determining whether the lobbying activity is substantial.

Under the substantial part test, an organization that conducts excessive lobbying activity in any taxable year may lose its tax-exempt status, resulting in all of its income being subject to tax. In addition, a religious organization is subject to an excise tax equal to five percent of its lobbying expenditures for the year in which it ceases to qualify for exemption.

Further, a tax equal to five percent of the lobbying expenditures for the year may be imposed against organization managers, jointly and severally, who agree to the making of such expenditures knowing that the expenditures would likely result in the loss of tax-exempt status.


Related:
Resources Legacy Fund Foundation
Lovelace's funding
NCJ This week's Town Dandy

59 comments:

  1. Healthy Humboldt Coalition is an educational group.

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  2. So is Baykeeper, right?

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  3. It stinks. Good work Rose.

    And Mr. Lovelace wants to be on the Board of Supervisors!

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  4. On PAPER they claim certain things because that is what it takes to get the grant. Grant writing is a language in and of itself.

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  5. Lovelace let the FPPC sort out Tom Herman and John Campbell questions. Maybe the IRS can sort out his.

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  6. By all means, file a complaint with the IRS, the FEC, the FBI, the CIA and any other initials you can think of. It has to hurt to be as dumb as you are.

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  7. By all means, file a complaint with the IRS, the FEC, the FBI, the CIA and any other initials you can think of. It has to hurt to be as dumb as you are.

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  8. there are some local churches that could be challenged on the same basis.......

    if we can get some taxes out of churches and non-profits, id be one happy camper..

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  9. It is almost biblical. Live by the sword die by the sword, this is the climate that Miller created.

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  10. Moronic rather than ironic

    Do you fools really believe the crap you post or is it just a smear game to impress your fellow fools? If you really believe what you claim, file a complaint. I dare you! Of course you won't because anyone with the intelligence to file a complaint knows this is nonsense. Your only purpose is smear and an investigation would show what fools you are to everyone.

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  11. http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/03/25/antartica.collapse.ap/index.html

    Conspiracy Indeed

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  12. Shame on you 1:15. You know this is all lies perpetrated by whacko environmentalists at CNN. They probably set off a nuclear bomb to cause that ice shelf to collapse! They should be ashamed of themselves destroying that old ice shelf just to prove a point. Caused by global warming indeed!

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  13. Uhh, somebody already wrote that book, 2:12. :)

    There is a problem with their theory, though Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling

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  14. The current cooling reported is caused by lower ocean temperatures caused by ice melt which is caused by global warming. This is slowing and cooling the currents which means less warm water from the equator. Warm currents keep the eastern seaboard and Western Europe from freezing solid in the winter. You have to do a little research so you aren't suckered by the report Rose posted. Climate change is a better name for this phenomenon than global warming because it doesn't confuse the weak minded.

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  15. I like the Nuclear Bomb theory

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  16. Did the subject just get changed?
    D.

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  17. Yeah, it did. Doncha like how when the numbers weren't going their way, they switched it to "climate change" - that way they can still say the sky is falling...

    But back on topic, I guess 11:30 is saying Mark Lovelace has not been actively lobbying to influence public policy and legislation, and that he didn't receive a grant that he then directed towards doing just that. Even though the entity that received the grant was prohibited from doing that. OK. Maybe. Sure looks like you're wrong, but, OK.

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  18. I hope the sky falls and hits Rose on her way out the door

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  19. If you really believe what you are claiming, file a complaint or contact:

    http://www.publicinterestwatch.org/

    Put up or STFU!

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  20. Don't worry, the complaints are in the making.

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  21. Question is, should you hold a press conference announcing you are filing a complaint, or send out a press release for maximum effect ala Lovelace, or just quietly do it?

    He chose to go for maximum damage.

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  22. Both, letters to the editor too.

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  23. News flash...... RS takes a big shit........ ML runs to wipe his ass...... locals can rest assured in another HWC job well done.

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  24. Doing it out in the open lets people know about it and makes the person leveling the charge accountable.

    Making false accusations has a price as well. It's all about credibility.

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  25. But don't fool yourself into thinking other opponents of environmentalists haven't done so and failed. LOL

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  26. Interesting site, 6:46

    IRS Cracks Down on Greenpeace
    After an intensive audit, the Internal Revenue Service found nine deficiencies in the management and practices of Greenpeace USA and warned that "Failure to ensure appropriateness of grant and gift funds could jeopardize the exempt status of {Greenpeace} fund." More

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  27. Funny you didn't see this one at that site, Rose:

    SACRAMENTO � Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is benefiting from millions of dollars raised by a network of tax-exempt groups without revealing that the money comes from major corporations with business before his office.

    The groups are run by Schwarzenegger's closest political allies, who also represent some of California's biggest interest groups. Unlike the governor's many campaign funds, the nonprofits are not required to disclose their contributors and can accept unlimited amounts.

    One group controlled by a powerful corporate consultant pays the $6,000-a-month rent on a Sacramento hotel suite used by the governor, who is a multimillionaire. Others have funded media events and political rallies featuring Schwarzenegger and helped pay for his foreign travel. So far, five tax-exempt groups aiding Schwarzenegger have collected $3 million.

    You can read the rest at the site.

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  28. Our socialist Gov. who takes multi-millions of dollars from the Packard foundation to destroy what's left of commercial fishing in Ca. That Gov who is an enviro radical hiding behind republic cloth? What's your dumb ass point 8:27 ?

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  29. I've only just started looking at the site, between making dinner and real life - and yeah, I'd already read about that in the paper. More power to 'em. Schwarzenegger has been a huge disappointment. Did you miss the one where they went after Buchanan's group - looks like it may actually be a truly non-partisan organization.

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  30. I'm waiting to see how Mark answers this. He can't claim he didn't get or know about the $200,000 because he touts that as a feather in his cap.

    He has bigger problems, though. I think he has violated 501c3 rules.

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  31. News flash........ ML takes are shit on the pages of local newspaper........orally!

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  32. Answers WHAT? The $200,000 wasn't for HWC, it was for the City of Arcata to buy the ranch talked about above. HWC just helped with the grant. You have a bright crew here Rose. You get their hopes up with your silly conspiracy theories and they are too stupid to notice when they don't pan out and disappear. By then you'll have another fantasy for them to drool over. No end in sight.

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  33. News flash...... 911 operators were overwhelmed today by callers reporting a tsunami of puke in the streets..... after people read ML press release..........

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  34. Well, if the check was made out to the City of Arcata, then I guess the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation will be having to file an amended federal filing, won't they?

    The $200,000 question is only part of the equations, however, since it is the 501(c)(3) status of Humboldt Watershed Council that prohibits Mark from trying to influence legislation, which is exactly what he did as Healthy Humboldt, which he calls a "project" of Humboldt Watershed Council.

    IIn no uncertain terms, "Healthy Humboldt" has been ALL about influencing, directing and even proposing plans for the General Plan, the TPZ component of the General Plan, and alot of other things.

    I guess we will see.

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  35. MIssing post on heraldo -

    CAUTION: Mendo Redwood not as green as they seem « The Humboldt Herald
    Humboldt Watershed Council, didn’t Mark Lovelace just call Healthy Humboldt a “project” of Humboldt Watershed Council - what a joke. What a joke. ...
    humboldtherald.wordpress.com/2008/ 03/13/caution-mendo-redwood-not-as-green-as-they-seem/ - 42k - Cached - Similar pages


    Not Found - Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.

    Maybe it is a Wordpress glitch.

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  36. No, it was removed.

    Here is a copy of it:



    CAUTION: Mendo Redwood not as green as they seem

    A letter in this week’s North Coast Journal raises red flags about Mendocino Redwood Company that have gone largely unmentioned since the timber co. proposed its plan of reorganization of Pacific Lumber.

    Karen Pickett of Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters writes:

    Many people are looking favorably at the prospect of Mendocino Redwoods Co. running the show on Pacific Lumber land because they purport to have a “lite logging” plan coming in on the heels of PL/Maxxam’s heavy-handed industrial logging in the streams and hillsides of Humboldt County. But because it is the Fisher family (known best for their sweatshop child labor to supply their GAP, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores), Mendocino Redwood is decidedly not a local timber company. Also known as Sansome Investment Group, their promises to “cut logging down to a sustainable level” deserve a second and third look.

    Brothers John and Robert Fisher inherited their parents wealth and appear at numbers 743 and 843 on the Forbes list of billionaires. And as we’ve seen from the man who tops that list, abundant wealth doesn’t equate to doing the right thing.

    Pickett says “residents of Mendocino are sorely disappointed in the return on original promises from the company” when it bought land from Louisiana-Pacific in 1998.

    Humboldt County residents would be wise to study the image vs. reality of the prospective new timber bosses. Perhaps our neighbors to the South will communicate their experiences with M(e)RC to round out the company’s presentations scheduled for this coming Saturday and Tuesday.

    This entry was posted on March 13, 2008 at 2:48 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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  37. 29 Responses to “CAUTION: Mendo Redwood not as green as they seem”

    1. Not a Native Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Breaking news on the 3rd district Supes race. Check out the man who knows all, Hank Sims
    2. Heraldo Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Hank had great coverage of yesterday’s upset in the 3rd, but there doesn’t appear to be anything new today. Am I missing something?
    3. Not a Native Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    BTW, Is “lite logging” sorta like a “little” pregnant?

    Reminds me of one definition of diplomacy:

    A technique of telling someone to “Go to Hell” in a way leaves them looking forward to the trip.
    4. Not a Native Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Check Sims’ blog “earthquake” !
    5. Not a Native Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Oops, sorry H. It WAS yesterday, Guess I’m the one who’s behind the power curve……..
    6. Anonymous Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Is anyone surprised Ullansey is running? Do you think he stands a chance?
    7. HumboldtBlue Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Ulansey has dropped out of the race, but his HumCPR group is still active. They’ve planned a meeting in Redway for next Wednesday to determine just how evil the panning department is.

    Kirk Girard, evil person? Or the most evil person in the world?

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  38. # Anonymous Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Oh my God. This couldn’t be the bashing of a responsible company by those who are vying with them to buy the assets of the remnants of PL. It mustn’t be Mark Lovelace and Dr. Ken trying to turn public opinion against a legitimate plan to save jobs and help our economy. No way would those ethical stalwarts stoop to such a low level. I am sure that this is a mistake or perhaps Arkley has taken over the computer of Mark and Ken.
    # Heraldo Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    What evidence do you have the Mendocino Redwood is a responsible company with a legitimate plan?
    # Anonymous Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    What evidence do you have that you are not Mark and ken?
    # HumboldtBlue Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Yeah, what evidence do you have that you’re not Ken and Barbie?
    # Jeff Muskrat Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Read more about the MRC and the FSC(I love acronyms:) at

    http://humboldtforestdefense.blogspot.com/

    Karen Pickett has more reasons to worry besides “the Gap” between light logging and industrial logging.
    # OffTheRez Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Mendocino Redwoods Co. has long history of Pesticide spraying on their lands. Bad neighbors if you ask me.
    # Rose Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    My, my, my, Ken Miller’s Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters writes a letter against Mendocino Redwood - why? Because Miller didn’t submit a plan to the bankruptcy court but hopes to sneak in through the back door. Has he got Salzman writing anonymously here? This one should have had a disclaimer following the letter, Hank.

    Humboldt County residents would be wise to figure out how many front groups Miller has and just how desperately he wants his grubby paws on Palco. Has he picked out his wallpaper yet?

    I hear he has also reconstituted Salmon Forever. Pay no attention to the little man behind the curtain…

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  39. # Heraldo Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Unless, of course, you’re obsessed.
    # Heraldo Says:
    March 13, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    And believe your own bullshit.
    # Rose Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Are you saying Ken Miller is not a co-founder of BACH? Funny. Salmon Forever? Funny. Humboldt Watershed Council, didn’t Mark Lovelace just call Healthy Humboldt a “project” of Humboldt Watershed Council - what a joke. What a joke.
    # WatchKen&Mark Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 7:03 am

    Where would Humboldt County’s residents be if not for the vigilance of “rose” in exposing the shenanigans of the enviros and other assorted evil doers.
    # Anonymous Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 7:08 am

    Is there something wrong with organizations to protect the environment? Why does Rose hate the environment? Did Dr. Miller refuse her a 215 card or something?

    We are so fortunate to have a few professionals here with the money and willingness to donate to protect our environment. Why is it that people like Rose can applaud an Arkley for “good work” that he does to gain power with his name painted all over it, but hates men who give quietly to protect and restore what we and all species need to simply live.
    # Anonymous Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Refuse Rose a 215 card. Thats a laugh. For $250 dr. Ken doesn’t refuse anyone a 215 card.
    # Anonymous Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 7:20 am

    And you would know that HOW, 7:15?
    # Rose Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Lots of fake-o groups, 7:08, same little bunch of manipulators using them to make themselves look big, Ken Miller, Mark Lovelace, Larry Evans, Pete Nichols (relative newcomer), and a few others, they all come in concert to speak now - and it is becoming clearer and clearer what a small group they really are.

    Now they’re trying to put out the smear on Mendocino Redwood who they obviously see as a final obstacle in their path - not about saving the environment - it is about money and power and taking over Palco.
    # Anonymous Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 7:58 am

    You have lost it Rose. There are a few leaders of any movement, lots of foot soldiers. Everyone in Humboldt County isn’t stuck in the anti-environmental (Straight Arrow) mindset you are Rose. Most people have noticed the degradation of our rivers and decreasing fish. Of course, you don’t give a “DAM” about the fish. (I haven’t thought about Straight Arrow for years. Another one of those industry driven organizations that died without accomplishing anything, thankfully.)
    # Anonymous Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 8:06 am

    You are projecting your own motives for power and money onto people who don’t value it so much, Rose. Trying to get responsible stewards elected isn’t for power and money but the opposite, preventing the greedy earth exploiters from ruining things for EVERY SPECIES.
    # tad Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Peace be with you Rose

    I have been working in the environmental and social justice movements for a long time and neither Ken Miller nor Mark Lovelace nor Larry Evens nor Peter Nichols have ever been presented as a “leader” of anything to me. They, like many many of us, do what they do and I appreciate it that. If the environmentalists were organized to the extent you claim there would be no republicrate agendas even suggested in this county. The truth however is we only collectively organize around what we individually consider mutually beneficial. Anti-old growth logging and medical marijuana activists abound in this area and all those mentioned above can proudly claim to be one or both of them. Someday when enough of us believe it is in our best interest to save the planet and the people living on it, then you will see how the unorganized organize.

    love eternal
    tad

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  40. # Not A Native Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Sorry Rose, wishing it were so, don’t make it so. My advice: move to Trinity or Del Norte before you fall into the ground from stamping your feet.

    If there are so few folks sympathetic to environmental concerns how did Pat Higgins sweep the 5th and Curless get less than 50%? Soon, Rodoni will be history and Smith has a real contest.

    And BTW, ya’ think Woolley’s resignation and Geist’s anxious repositioning has anything to do with their assessments of how the voting majority feels about resource extraction policy?
    # Larry Evans Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Rose,

    I am honored to be counted among people like Mr.’s Lovelace and Nichols and Dr. Miller. Thank you for that exalted compliment. But don’t forget Ms. Lanman, Dulas, Elkins, Romeo, Kalt, Clary, Wrigley and so many other women who have been providing leadership by their clear vision, their personal example and endless hard work in the struggle of free people trying to defend all of our birthrights to a healthy environment with clean water and air, and to pass on a world to our kids with all the wondrous natural diversity of species here on earth as when we were born so few years ago.

    By the way, I must have missed the meeting where they handed out all the wealth & power. I know my family wouldn’t mind some more income and a little less volunteering of my time & efforts.

    Signed– larry “low-tax-bracket” evans
    # anonymous Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Sounds like the Watermelons are already gearing up for MRC. No wonder people view the environmental movement in Humboldt with skepticism. Oh yeah, they just want “sustainable” harvesting. Don’t shut down the mills and put people out of work!! RRIIIIGHT. When the watermelon’s lips move, you can tell they are lying.
    # Homer Says:
    March 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    MMMMMM, watermelons!

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  41. Heraldo, rewriting history.

    Why I never!

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  42. OOPS LOL

    IRS Reg Sec. 1.501(c)(3)-1(d). says: "The fact that an organization, in carrying out its primary purpose, advocates social or civic changes or presents opinion on controversial issues with the intention of molding public opinion or creating public sentiment to an acceptance of its views does not preclude such organization from qualifying under section 501(c)(3)"

    "Advocacy includes legislative lobbying, litigation, regulatory proceedings, rulemaking, action before administrative agencies, public education, organizing and direct action."

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  43. OOPS - you need to look at the tax return. According to Mr. Lovelace, he wasn't doing lobbying.

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  44. If you are going to quote, quote the rest: "from qualifying under section
    501(c)(3 so long as it is not an action organization of any one of the types described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section."

    "(ii) An organization is an action organization
    if a substantial part of its activities
    is attempting to influence legislation
    by propaganda or otherwise.
    For this purpose, an organization will be regarded as attempting to influence
    legislation if the organization:
    (a) Contacts, or urges the public to
    contact, members of a legislative body
    for the purpose of proposing, supporting,
    or opposing legislation; or
    (b) Advocates the adoption or rejection
    of legislation.
    The term legislation, as used in this
    subdivision, includes action by the
    Congress, by any State legislature, by
    any local council or similar governing
    body, or by the public in a referendum,
    initiative, constitutional amendment,
    or similar procedure. An organization
    will not fail to meet the operational
    test merely because it advocates, as an
    insubstantial part of its activities, the
    adoption or rejection of legislation. An
    organization for which the expenditure
    test election of section 501(h) is in effect
    for a taxable year will not be considered
    an action organization by reason
    of this paragraph (c)(3)(ii) for that
    year if it is not denied exemption from
    taxation under section 501(a) by reason
    of section 501(h)."

    Also, I think the part you cited only applies to "social welfare corporations" Do you work at the planning department?

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  45. Of course.

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  46. again, he checked the box "n/a" under lobbying so there is no way to determine if his lobbying activities were an insubstantial part of the group's activities. Since anybody can get the minutes of the meetings from all the city council meetings over the last 3 years where HWC has presented testimony in against TPZ and in favor of Sketch Plan "A", plus the numerous emails and "action alerts" telling people to go to the planning commission meetings and tell them to vote for "A", it will be interesting to see what other activities he could be working on to make this large volume of comments and public appearances "insubstantial"...timber yes, tax fraud, no!

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  47. Read the definition of advocacy. You people are grasping at straws in your desperation. It is very amusing even before I have had my coffee.

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  48. It applies to civic or social changes. That would, of course, include a general plan update. Their primary focus is protecting the environment so educating and speaking before the BOS and Planning Commission about the general plan up date is entirely within their stated focus.

    But by all means, file your petty little complaint so everyone can laugh, not just the couple of people who read this blog.

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  49. go read "action organization"

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  50. still checked the wrong box, he didn't lobby, right? oh wait, you are saying he did lobby - is that what you are saying? he did lobby, but said he didn't on his tax returns. right, that is ok.

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  51. Surely he declared the lobbying on the Healthy filings, is it a 501c3 2? Where do we find those?

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  52. It seems pretty innocuous, why do you think "heraldo" pulled that post down?

    Anti-Mendocino Redwood, written by BACH's Karen Pickett, what is it?

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  53. It has to be something in the comments.

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  54. Speaking before the BOS and Planning Commission is not lobbying.

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  55. I suppose submitting the "Healthy Humboldt" Plan is not lobbying either. I have to admit you have me laughing at this one.

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  56. Fools spend most of their time laughing.

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  57. It would also seem the fools spend time on the blogs. At least in your case 10:56

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