Friday, July 27, 2007

Lobbying with federal grant money, etc.

So while researching the four voucher lobbying groups whose common origin is 1620 Gervais St., Suite B (South Carolinians for Responsible Government, Clergy for Educational Options, the Center for Grassroots and Community Alternatives, and the Southern Association of Black Independent Schools) Gervais came across an awesome website that gives tax information for various non-profits.

I could probably devote many posts to all the good stuff I've found on this site, and knowing me I might, but here's the best stuff so far:

1. Lobbying for vouchers with your tax money: 97% of CEO's 2005 revenues ($77,525 out of $80,134) came from government contributions (grants). Click on the picture at left for a larger view.

2. Dial "M" for Millionaire Libertarian: At first I thought there was a misprint on SCRG's 2004 tax filing, where the group's phone number is listed with an "847" area code. That's not a South Carolina number! But after a little more poking around, I realized that it was pretty accurate: it's the number for Howard Rich's U.S. Term Limits organization. Oops!

3. One guess where it came from: The SC Center for Grassroots and Community Alternatives received $489,000 in funding in 2005, the same year SCCGCA created the other two African-American pro-voucher groups. Source (.pdf)

4. Must be nice: $1,079,192. That's how much money was poured into SCRG in 2005. God knows how much it got last year, during the elections. SCRG President Randy Page is the only paid employee listed on SCRG's 2005 tax return. His compensation: $70,000, for 20 hours a week. Source (.pdf)

5. How he can afford to pay people $70,000 for 20 hours a week: To get an idea of just how much voucher cash Howard Rich has at his disposal, here are a few of his other organizations and their worth: Legislative Education Action Drive (total assets: $1,132,366), Parents in Charge Foundation (total assets: $6,472,622), Americans for Limited Government Foundation (total assets: $4,540,703). Source.

That's all for now. Have a great weekend!


Vouchers Are A Scam said...

That's why it's called a "scam."

Gervais, we still owe you a case of Maurice's sauce, a double order of skins and a whole BBQ'ed hog.

And, because of your last posts we're throwin in a couple of slabs of ribs!

"Sunshine is the best....

...awe, never mind. You get the idea! :)

Great job. Keep it up!!

Deacon Tim said...

When I got to Columbia, one of the first people who called me was Stephen Gilchrist, who, once upon a time, worked for our outfit and also worked for the Hodges administration. I found him likable, intelligent and thoroughly "liberal," except on one "minor" issue. He asked me for my support on vouchers, which I couldn't give. I never heard from him after that.

But since I make a good deal of my living from knowing how to read IRS Form 990, I can tell you this: his organization would never qualify to carry our stamp of approval, much less receive funding from us. A Board of only three people, salaries apparently stuffed into the "contractual services" line, nothing listed under "accounting fees" (who does their books for free?), nothing under "occupancy", but $53,000 under "office expenses." The IRS, unfortunately, rarely even reads 990's and even more rarely takes issue with them.

This is a political lobbying group hiding behind a nonprofit front. It's why Sen. Grassley and the Senate Finance Committee have been coming down so hard on the nonprofit world-it's filled with crap like this.

Thanks for shining a little light on it.