Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Someone Needs an Intervention...

Oh, the moonbats are all frothy about the Blog Hag's resignation from the Edwards campaign. And as is their wont for someone having the temerity to call out one of their own for what she or he really is, the moonbats have vowed revenge. And as is typical, the blunt instument of choice to give voice to their collective impotent rage is the IRS.

Blog Hag has suggested (TECH SUPPORT: Please fix link. ty) that her brainless drones take up her cause by attacking the nonprofit status of the organization led by Bill Donohue, her most vocal critic - The Catholic League. She even provided a link to the form for which they can file an Information Referral (which works kind of like the old rat out your nazi-sympatizing neighbor policy of the 40's). Since she's not terribly bright, she got the idea from some PhD in Anthropology and, presumably, Self Appointed Tax Law Expert For Today. (Hmm. That link's broken too. Why does that keep happening?)

Have you moonbats filled out your 3949A's yet?

Good. Get ready to choke on them.

The argument goes like this:

Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code provides (emphasis mine):

(c) List of exempt organizations.--The following organizations are [exempt]:

***

(3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office
.

So what does "intervene" mean. The IRS defines it (emphasis mine):

What is Political Campaign Intervention?

Political campaign intervention includes any and all activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention. Distributing statements prepared by others that favor or oppose any candidate for public office will also violate the prohibition. Allowing a candidate to use an organization’s assets or facilities will also violate the prohibition if other candidates are not given an equivalent opportunity. Although section 501(c)(3) organizations may engage in some activities to promote voter registration, encourage voter participation, and provide voter education, they will violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention if they engage in an activity that favors or opposes any candidate for public office. Certain activities will require an evaluation of all the facts and circumstances to determine whether they result in political campaign intervention.

The thrust of the moonbat view is that Donahue's ripping of the Tourette's inflicted blogger hired by Edward's campaign constitutes a "statement of position...in favor of or in opposition to any candidate." To reach this conclusion, you have to 1) ignore the final sentence that refers to the totality of the circumstances; and 2) be a brain dead kool aid drinking moron.

Let's look at the totality of the facts and circumsatnces starting with the Catholic League's perfectly 501(c)(3) compliant mission:

* When slanderous assaults are made against the Catholic Church, the Catholic League hits the newspapers, television, and radio talk shows defending the right of the Church to promote its teachings with as much verve as any other institution in society.

* When Catholics are the victims of a bigoted portrayal by the media, the Catholic League issues news releases bringing the matter to the attention of the public. It may also encourage a boycott of the program’s sponsors.

I don't think that even the most brain damaged moonbat would deny that - whatever else you may think of Donahue and his statements on the Marcotte matter - they were consistent with the CL's 501(c)-complaint mission.

But that still leaves the issue of whether of Donahue's statements qua president of the CL crossed the line into intervention into a political campaign.

They didn't. The press releases are here here here here here and here.

If you read them like a normal human being, and not like some deranged rage addict, you'll find the Donahue was very careful to focus on the statements of the bloggers, what John Edwards ought to do about them, and where it intersects with the CL's mission (exposing anti-Catholic bigotry) than advocating policy positions, or insinuating how people ought to vote in an election that's over a year and a half away (that little factoid also figures into the totality of circumstances calculus, BTW). Some of the quotes that demonstrate this:

* John Edwards is a decent man who has had his campaign tarnished by two anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking bigots. He has no choice but to fire them immediately.

* The purpose of this communication is to ignite a national discussion on the incredible double standard that exists regarding bigotry in American life.

* We either have one shoe that fits all when it comes to fighting bigotry, or we have a phony, politically correct approach to the subject. That is the ultimate issue, not John Edwards.

* [W]e will use the John Edwards matter as a springboard to a national discussion on the duplicity that colors the entire conversation about bigotry in America.

* The Edwards campaign is in total disarray and the meltdown will continue unless McEwan is removed from his staff.

As you can see, Donahue repeatedly states his purpose for making so much noise about two loser bloggers: exposing a double standard regarding anti-Catholic bigotry. In fact, that last one is about as close as you can get to anything resembling campaigning. I suppose expressing concern for a candidate's flailing campaign could be construed as helping it...

Heh.

Notably absent from any of these statements - incendiary and rage-flecked as they were - was any mention on how people should vote. If anyone would like to take the leap from the "bad press" Donahue is trying to lay on Edwards for hiring these freaks to intervening into a political campaign, I still have a nice big stack of "independently produced" left-wing campaign literature foisted on me through the mail last year by some 501(c)(3) organizations whose own tax exempt status would be in peril given that same standard.

Oh, but I'm sure those were somehow different.

I know that it's tough going up against the well-trained and finely-honed legal mind of a Cultural Anthropology PhD with my pitiful little Juris Doctor. If it helps my cred any, I did major in Anthropology as an undergrad, and I went to law school with a bunch of people who eventually became lawyers.

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