A Request For A Correction Is Ignored

October 1st, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

By Tracy Dingmann

Yesterday I wrote about the first error in a Sept. 23 “Politics Notebook” item that featured former Center for Civic Policy executive director Eli Il Yong Lee.

The item misidentified Lee’s job – and the resulting correction run by the paper left much to be desired.

Today I’m writing about the second glaring error in the story – the one that still hasn’t been corrected, despite repeated requests to the paper.

That same “Politics Notebook” identified Lee as “a former campaign manager who coordinates a coalition of progressive Democratic nonprofit advocacy groups.”

But – as those at the paper surely know – there is no such thing as a “Democratic” 501c3 nonprofit advocacy group.

Under IRS law, 501c3 nonprofits such as CCP MUST identify and conduct themselves as nonpartisan in order to retain their tax exempt status. There is an entire set of very specific and complicated rules that all nonprofits must follow, including those which bar them from “electioneering,” or endorsing, distributing statements for, or raising funds in favor of any political party or candidate.

You may recall there was some kerfuffle two years ago when New Mexico Secretary of State Mary Herrera and Attorney General Gary King decided that the SouthWest Organizing Project and New Mexico Youth Organized, a project of CCP, had engaged in electioneering and thus needed to register as political action committees.

After a long legal battle capped by a federal appeals court decision in June, the two groups successfully defended their status as nonpartisan nonprofits. King has since said publicly that he will accept the federal court’s ruling and will not appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Throughout the controversy, Journal editors weighed in loudly on the editorial page, labeling the two groups as political action committees and calling on them to register as such.

So, dear readers, please know that the Journal’s decision to call Lee the coordinator of a coalition of progressive “Democratic” nonprofit advocacy groups was not a casual, uninformed slip.

It was a deliberate, unfounded smear that the paper has so far refused to correct.

We’re waiting.

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