Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How About Some Rhee-lated Information from Tax Documents? | deutsch29

How About Some Rhee-lated Information from Tax Documents? | deutsch29:

How About Some Rhee-lated Information from Tax Documents?

October 23, 2013

I have been reading tax forms. 990s– the form of the nonprofit organization (no 1040s for them).
It might sound boring, but I guess that all depends upon whose tax forms they are.
Two 990s are the subject of this post. The first is the 2011 (August 2011 to July 2012) 990 for Michelle Rhee’s reform lobbying organization, StudentsFirst (SF). The second is the 2011 990 from the lesser-known SF sister organization, StudentsFirst Institute (SFI).  Both forms were signed by Michelle Rhee on June 13, 2013 and filed with the IRS in Ogden UT on June 18, 2013.
The Best of Both Worlds: 501(c)3 and 501(c)4
Both SF and SFI are nonprofits. However, SF is a 501(c)4, and SFI, a 501(c)3. A 501(c)3 is limited in the percent of its budget that it can devote to lobbying. (Violation of this restriction is the reason that Common Cause filed its whistleblower complaint with the IRS against the American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] in April 2012.) However, a 501(c)4 does not have such a restriction. Therefore, SFI needs SF in order to unleash as much lobbying as it likes in statehouses around the country. Here is the 501(c)4 freedom that causes reformer faces to light up:
501(c)(4) organizations can engage in unlimited lobbying so long as it pertains to the organization’s mission. 501(c)(3) organizations are not permitted to engage in political activity, endorse or oppose political candidates, or donate money or time to political campaigns, but 501(c)(4) organizations can do all of the above.[Emphasis added.]
One might wonder why Rhee is operating both 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 organizations.