Editor’s note: After some rigorous reporting on Sierra Foothills Report, CABPRO dropped a mention of “nonprofit” from its membership letter. In addition, the tea party’s nonprofit status has been called into question in investigative reports. Yet a “true patriot” in the CABPRO newsletter chooses to bash Claim GV in a similar light, without shining a light on its own practices.
From (ironically enough) “Activist groups masquerading as nonprofit organizations”:
“Nonprofit, or 510 (c) (3) organizations, according to the IRS, are supposed to be exempt from paying taxes if they are set up for charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. Also, according to the IRS, the term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief to the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged, advancement of religion, advancement of education or science, erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works, lessening the burdens of government, lessening neighborhood tensions, eliminating prejudice and discrimination, defending human and civil rights secured by law, and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.
“Here is a local example. I read that representatives from Claim-GV, APPLE, Wolf Creek Alliance, Sierra Fund, and the Green Party are having a panel discussion on the Idaho-Maryland Mine and showing a documentary called, “The Last Mountain,” a movie about mountaintop coal mining in West Virginia. Again, while I respect these groups’ right to free speech, would it not be appropriate to have a mine representative participate in the panel, or some other neutral or pro-mining groups to balance things so the public can get some objectivity? And the idea of showing mountaintop coal mining and trying to compare that to the proposed Idaho-Maryland Project is ridiculous.
“Claim-GV gets little or no credibility with the public in Grass Valley, other than from those who drink their Kool-aid. They continually misrepresent the project to the public, using scare tactics. For example, their picture of the proposed ceramics plant belching smoke thousands of feet in the air is a “Photo-shopped” picture with no scientific calculation to back it up. Claim-GV representatives even admit this when questioned at their booth at Thursday Night Markets. So, we, the taxpayer, are subsidizing an activist group with no ethics or morals, who have the sole goal of stopping a project that they do not like and they will say anything to do it (the ends justifies the means). This is regardless of the jobs, tax revenue, and environmental benefits (clean up of a legacy mine site) it will bring the community. Where is the accountability for the use of our taxpayer’s dollars in this? I do not want my tax dollars subsidizing groups like this.
“What is even more of a shame is that groups like APPLE, Wolf Creek Alliance and the Sierra Fund, that are potentially responsible community groups, get sucked into the vortex of Claim-GV’s irresponsible actions. If the members of these organizations want to be dragged down and associated with the lack of ethics and morals represented by Claim-GV and their representatives, it is truly sad. Perhaps it is time for you to reconsider your association with Claim-GV and instead work proactively with the city and the mine to create the best project possible, and support our community?
“We can expect over the next few years that tax reform will come. It is hoped that our politicians will look into the abuse of 501 (c) (3) organizations and revamp the tax regulations to better determine who should qualify for tax-exempt status. In the meantime, special interest groups need to realize that taxpayers are fed up with subsidizing them as charities when they are clearly not. It is time for them to take action to transform themselves into responsible and representative organizations.
Robert Wilder is a resident of Nevada County and a true Patriot.”
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