Posted: 4/18/2008 9:12:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/18/2008 9:14:45 AM EDT by California_Kid]
The The San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center held a breakfast forum for District 3 candidates this morning at their headquarters in Hillcrest.
The three out of six qualified candidates they invited happened to all be Democrats. (Surprise!) Paul, who is presently registered as a Libertarian but is running an independent campaign for the non-partisan office, was not invited.
The LGBT Community Center identifies itself as a "community-based, non-profit, 501(c) (3) agency", and as such according to the IRS "may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates." The organizer, Amber Cyphers, said right to our faces that she was not aware that Paul was a candidate. Since his candidacy is in the public record, her statement has no credibility.
See their Press Release here
The local TV news camera crews were there, of course, to cover the first public appearance of candidate John Hartley after his recent run-in with the law. (John pleaded nolo contendere to a lewd conduct charge arising from a report involving public urination and maybe something worse.)
The food was pretty good but the hosting organization discriminated against my candidate, and we are going to be writing a letter to the IRS about it. I don't expect them to do anything about it, but I want it in the record. I'll also be writing an editorial for the Gay and Lesbian Times (whose editor moderated the event) and the San Diego Union-Tribune about this gaffe.
Exemption Requirements for charitable organizations
Fun times in San Diego!
Paul's campaign Web site, soon to be enhanced with a blog
Oh, and this:
Frequently Asked Questions About the Ban on Political Campaign Intervention by 501(c)(3) Organizations: Inviting a Candidate to Speak
Can an organization invite a political candidate to speak at its events without jeopardizing its tax-exempt status?
If a candidate is invited to speak at an organization event in his or her capacity as a political candidate, the event will not be considered prohibited political activity if:
a. The organization provides an equal opportunity to participate to all political candidates seeking the same office;
b. The organization does not indicate any support for or opposition to any candidate (including candidate introductions and in communications concerning any candidate’s attendance); and
c. No political fundraising occurs in conjunction with the speech.
Do they possibly get around it by this:
The April LGBT Community Coalition Breakfast will be a moderated debate and question and answer format
Found the answer to my own question:
Political candidates may be invited to appear before a nonprofit in their capacity as
candidates, so long as equal opportunities are provided for each candidate seeking the same
office, political fundraising does not occur in conjunction with the appearance, and neither
support for nor opposition to any particular candidate is indicated at the event. If a panel is
set-up with each candidate participating, the organization should cover a broad range of
issues in the discussion and questions should be prepared and presented in a nonpartisan
manner. Nonprofits may sponsor candidate debates, but they must be convened in a way
that does not suggest support or opposition to any candidate or party. If there is a debate,
all legally qualified candidates for the same office should be permitted to participate, even if
some candidates have virtually no chance of prevailing in the election. However, if one or
more candidate decline to participate, the organization can still proceed with the event. It is
permissible for the nonprofit to hold sequential sessions when only one individual candidate.........
Thanks 0699TeufelHnd, I had already found that IRS information.
As I said before, it's very unlikely they'll do anything about it but I do have a basis for ranting and raving on the Op-Ed pages and blogs.
Politics is a hoot, even if everybody thinks you don't stand a chance!
Cal Kid why am I not suprised the LGBT organization has excluded other candidates. They want equal opportunity but yet fails to practice what they preach.