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Old 05-18-2011, 01:55 PM   #1
Nirvana
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HSUS Draws Congressional Investigation

HSUS Draws Congressional Investigation into Activities
Posted on May 15, 2011 by Glen Wunderlich

By Glen Wunderlich

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) – a national, tax-exempt organization not affiliated with local animal shelters and the most powerful anti-hunting group in the nation – has drawn fire from a group of lawmakers that questions its status as a qualified 501 (c)(3) organization. HSUS supported a ballot initiative in Missouri (Proposition B) by pouring in some $1.85 million (plus another $300,000 in non-cash contributions) into its Missouri front group’s bank account. The measure passed by a slim 3-point margin and sets regulations for the state’s dog breeders including how many dogs are allowed per facility.

At the root of the issue is whether HSUS has attempted to influence legislation as a “substantial part” of its activities.

In a letter to Eric Thorson, Inspector General in Washington, D.C. six U.S. members of congress from Missouri and Alaska have requested a federal investigation as to the level of funding and participation of HSUS in Missouri’s affairs. The letter follows up previous letters to IRS Commissioner Shulman and Ms. Lois Lerner, Director of Exempt Organizations that have resulted in no remedial action. The members of congress state the case this way: “We believe that HSUS’s own public documents show beyond question that lobbying is a “substantial part” of its activities, and feel that IRS’s failure to act is attributable to the politically sensitive nature of HSUS’s activities.” They go on to state, “We certainly understand that 501 (c)(3) organizations are allowed to participate in lobbying activities. However, lobbying not only is a substantial part of HSUS’s overall activities; it often appears to be the only reason for HSUS’s existence.”

By its own admission, HSUS spends more than twice as much on “Advocacy and public policy” than any other category of expenses. The Proposition B ballot initiative was heavily financed by HSUS. Campaign disclosure forms show that HSUS donated over $2.1 million of the $4.8 million raised by proponents of the measure.
The lawmakers also cite other efforts in numerous examples of HSUS to influence legislation by having its employees urging the public to contact members of legislative bodies for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation.

As part of the investigation, the legislators are requesting the IRS to apply what it calls the “Substantial Part Test” to determine whether an organization has run afoul of conditions of its tax-exempt status. According to IRS.gov, the test is conducted as follows: “Whether an organization’s attempts to influence legislation, i.e., lobbying 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.

In closing the legislators write, “No group should be allowed to maintain tax-exempt status solely dues to its political leanings or power. If HSUS is not complying with the law, it should be investigated and disciplined just like any other organization, as taxpayers would be effectively subsidizing a political organization.”


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Old 05-18-2011, 02:47 PM   #2
tw
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Now that the Supreme Court is full of conservative and therefore activist judges, it is legal to buy any politician.
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At the root of the issue is whether HSUS has attempted to influence legislation as a “substantial part” of its activities.
Why is this illegal. Oh. Only the richest Americans and for-profit corporations are allowed to buy politicians?

Thank god we have the tea party to tell us it is good. Even god can now buy any politician he wants. The Supremes said so.

I guess god will buy enough politicians to made pedophilia legal. Then too many nuisance law suites will also be eliminated. Amazing how many problems disappear once buying a politician is made legal.
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:54 PM   #3
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TW, what is the connection between the HSUS and wacko conservatives?
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
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At the root of the issue is whether HSUS has attempted to influence legislation as a “substantial part” of its activities.
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Originally Posted by tw View Post
Why is this illegal.
This is not illegal unless one is doing it as a not for profit organization. You wanna buy a politician? Well you darn better be payin' your taxes on that purchase!
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:45 PM   #5
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You wanna buy a politician? Well you darn better be payin' your taxes on that purchase!
Normally a sales tax is collected on all politician purchases. But wacko extremist want tax cuts only for the rich. So buying a politician is tax exempt.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:14 PM   #6
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Typical political BS....
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