Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Is Convicted Terrorist Brett Kimberlin Abusing Tax-Exempt Status? Calling for Congressional Hearings on Continuation of Section 501(c)(3) Benefits

I visited the district office of my congressman this morning, Representative John Campbell of California's 48th Congressional District. He's on Twitter here.

Rep. Campbell, a Republican, sits on the House Financial Services Committe. The committee's jurisdiction extends to "all issues pertaining to the economy" and includes "efforts to combat terrorist financing." And the committee oversees the Treasury Department, the cabinet-level agency which includes the Internal Revenue Service within its organizational authority.

I spoke briefly with District Director Lou Penrose. I delivered to him a number of documents.

These included:

* Brett Kimberlin's 2010 tax return for Justice Through Music, which provides information to the IRS on tax-exempt criteria and qualifications.

* David Hogberg's first-hand report from Aaron Worthing's "peace order" hearing, "IBD at Kimberlin Hearing: Walker Handcuffed, 1st Amendment Muzzled."

* Glenn Beck's report from his May 25th broadcast, "Glenn talks to bloggers about Brett Kimberlin Terrorism."

* Hans Bader's essay at Open Markets, "Injunction Imposed Over Blog Posts That Criticized Convicted Terrorist-Turned-Left-Wing Activist."

* Matthew Vadum's report at Capital Research, "Nonprofit of terrorist bomber received Tides Foundation funding."

* Vadum's article at FrontPage Magazine, "Brett Kimberlin and the Hall of Fame of Leftist Terrorists."


The Senate Finance Committee issued a press release last week announcing the investigation of a disabled veterans 501(c)(3) organization. See: "Baucus, Burr Investigate Nonprofit for Exploiting Veterans, Taxpayers, Abusing Tax-Exempt Status — Senators Demand Answers from Disabled Veterans National Foundation About Potential Charity Abuses, Failure to Provide Services to Disabled Veterans."

That's a good model for what I'd like to see. Checking the link shows that the committee requested a bill of particulars that would show "whether DVNF meets the standards for a 501(c)(3) organization." And while Brett Kimberlin's organization is much smaller than DVNF, according to Robert Stacy McCain:
Federal tax forms filed by convicted terrorist Brett Kimberlin’s tax-exempt non-profit Justice Through Music Project (JTMP) show that the 501(c)3 group collected $1.8 million in gifts, grants and other contributions during its first six years of operation. An analysis using database research indicates that more than $300,000 of that sum came in the form of grants from tax-exempt foundations, including the George Soros-connected Tides Foundation, the Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund, the Barbara Streisand Foundation, and the Heinz Family Foundation, connected to Democrat Sen. John Kerry’s wife.
That's a lot of money. A congressional investigation could determine whether Kimberlin's organization is in violation of any of six rules for non-profit organizations:
Private benefit/inurement
Political campaign activity
Unrelated business income (UBI)
Annual reporting obligation
Operation in accord with stated exempt purpose(s)
The first rule on the use of tax-exempt funding for personal use seems particularly problematic in Kimberlin's case. As Ed Barnes reported at Fox News in 2010:
A review of tax filings for Kimberlin’s blogs, “Velvet Revolution” and “Justice Through Music,” raises troubling questions about whether his “nonprofit” operations are dedicated to public activism — or are just a new facade for a longtime con artist.
And Kimberlin is likely in non-compliance with rule 3 prohibiting direct or indirect political activity, given his long campaign to silence conservatives daring to speak out on his political affiliations.

So, there you go.

It's perhaps a stretch to hope for some kind of congressional hearing on the Kimberlin affair, but you never know until you try. I've heard back from District Director Penrose. He indicated that he's forwarding all of the above information to the Rep. Campbell's D.C. office and he requested that I follow up on the status of my request.

I will be doing that and more, since this case is a turning point in the left's war on free speech.

See also Ace of Spades HQ, "What Can You Do?"

And especially Michelle Malkin, "A post-Brett Kimberlin blogburst to-do list; Updated."

The key is to not let up on this. Megyn Kelly had a brief report today on Fox News, so we know the story is filtering up the media chain: "Conservative blogger targeted by new 'swatting' tactic."

I'll be updating with more ideas and action.

Meanwhile, see Lee Stranahan, "Brett Kimberlin, Meatball Justice & Legal Crowdsourcing."

UPDATE! Linkmaster Smith links: "Donald Douglas Doubles Down; Brett Kimblerlin, Perhaps, Will Frown." Thanks!

Also at That Mr. G Guy and Paco Enterprises. Right on!

Glenn Reynolds links. Thanks!

The Lonely Conservative links, "Something We Can All Do About Brett Kimberlin." Thanks!

And more, from Daley Gator, "Donald Douglas going in after the rails of Brett Kimberlin’s Tax-Exempt Crazy Train." Thanks!