Friday, October 23, 2009

NYS AG Cuomo Raps Nonprofits For Political Contributions

This is yet another reason to keep Andrew Cuomo around in New York as Attorney General; he's now going after nonprofit entities in New York that were making political contributions that violate their nonprofit status.
Cuomo has begun notifying individual charities by letter that he's on to their wrongdoing. His office has uncovered improper campaign donations to state and city lawmakers that have been made by dozens of nonprofits, despite laws that bar them from such political activity.

"The issue of charities or not-for-profits giving political contributions is a matter we are currently investigating. It is not appropriate, and it is not legal, and we want to make sure it doesn't happen anymore," a spokesman for Cuomo told The Post.

The spokesman said the continuing probe has found the problem to be "widespread."

A source said "dozens" of charities are part of Cuomo's investigation, which involves political contributions at various levels of government, including the state Legislature and the City Council.

Federal and state laws bar non-profits from making donations to candidates or officeholders, as well as participating in their campaigns.
Nonprofit entities that broke the law shouldn't just get letters. They should have their nonprofit status revoked, since they were pursuing a political agenda with their contributions to various candidates around the state.

This particular investigation began as a look into the pay-for-play nature of member items in the Legislature. It includes a Brooklyn hospital and a Brooklyn soccer organization.

I'd be curious to see which other nonprofits were sent letters, and I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the offending groups is none other than ACORN. This isn't verified from the Post report or the Attorney General's office, but given the ties between ACORN and the WFP and the inability of the WFP to account for its books and records accurately, along with ACORN's record of playing fast and loose with the law and the moral and ethical flexibility exhibited by its employees, there is a good chance that they were among those groups contacted.

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