WAR ON TEA PARTY CONTINUES
WAR ON TEA PARTY CONTINUES
-OBAMA’S IRS DOUBLES DOWN ON TEA PARTY HARASSMENT
-KASICH STRIVES TO EXCLUDE TEA PARTY IN OHIO
CRITICAL INFORMATION FOR ALL CONSERVATIVE GROUPS!
Ohio Citizens PAC
P.O. Box 6211, Akron, OH 44312
I am writing with information of the upmost importance to all Liberty/Conservative Leaders in Ohio and their group members. Below you will find an excellent letter written by Jack Painter, an OLC Board Member and Liberty Leader, with help and input from several other attorney's, that you MUST READ and distribute to ALL OF OUR MEMBERS. Now, I just had an email exchange with a liberty leader a few days ago, where I said that I do not have the power to tell anyone what to do because we are all volunteers! However, this is critical information and a real danger for our movement and that is why I am using the word MUST.
Jack does an excellent job of writting out an explicit policy concerning activity that the Ohio Liberty Coalition, which is a tax-exempt 501(c) 4, will or will not do in regards to "political" activity based on the currrent legal environment. I implore all of our groups to take his email and adopt it as the official policy of your group. Have it approved as an official policy by your board and put it in an email to all of your members so they know not only what your group can and will do, but also what they can do. It does not matter if you are a 501(c)4 or not, the laws we are currrently under say that even if two citizens get together and create a Facebook page to, for instance, "Support Nino Vitale for Ohio House", you have to file to be a state PAC and tell the government everything you do! We are not kidding. This is only in Ohio.
By Jack putting this policy in writting, and the OLC following it, its give the OLC a tremendous amount of legal protection from political enemies who would try to damage the organization by claiming their actions are in voilation of Ohio or Federal Election laws. You, unfortunately need this same protection and clear understanding of what you can or can not do.
Now, while this is appropriate action for us all to take, don't get me wrong this is HORRIBLE. What has in fact happened because of legal losses, like the Corsi Case in Geauga County and the Licking County ruling by the Ohio Elections Board, is that all of us in Ohio are having our 1st Amendment Rights of Free Speach unconstitutionally taken away from us. In fact, only in Ohio do we NOT have the rights granted by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United ruling to, as a group, support the candidates we choose without having to report everything we do to the government. Until we can raise the $25,000 plus that it will take to appeal this to the Supreme Court, where we will win, we can not do anything as groups to support candidates like we did in 2012. Which Jack spells out clearly in his letter. Now again, when I say groups, I am not just talking about your liberty group, but any group of people who wants to put a $100 together to print a tri-fold to support their friend who is running for city council and hand them out. They need to become a PAC!!! You can not support a candidate on your website or send out an email opposing any candidate using an email address that is anything but a personal email address!!! Yes, it is that bad.
Then Attorney Bill Todd told us yesterday at our state meeeting, that the changes proposed by the Treasury Department to IRS Rules about allowable campaing activity by 501(c)4's will make it illegal for 501(c) 4 to do anything political at all by March. Basically, what the Obama Administration is doing is trying to make it nearly impossible for us, TEA Party/Conservatives, to win the Senate and protect the House in 2014 by stopping our ability to organize and act as a unit for what we believe in. They do not want another 2010 or worse, so they are just institutionalizing the targeting that they did to our groups in 2011 and 2012 through the IRS.
The only way around this is to go to the expense and trouble of being a state or federal or Super PAC. Which is why this email is coming from the Ohio Citizen's PAC which is a State PAC. We have the Portage County TEA Party PAC and a few other groups around the state also have state PAC's but not many. Those PAC's will still be able to send out emails saying that we support a candidate or asking people to vote for or against a certain candidate. However, even these State PAC's can not do the same for Federal races. To do that you must have a Federal PAC or better yet a Super PAC which allows you to do both State and Federal campaign activity. However, these are expensive and costly to opperate.
Glenn Newman and Jack Painter have been exploring the possibility of forming an OLC Super PAC but the cost to set it up are high and the cost to operate it are even higher. The bottom line is, that they are taking away our right to participate in the electoral process through legal, and economic means. The only way available to reclaim our Constitutional Rights is to fight for them in court. That costs money. So we are going to have to raise it. We will figure out how to do that in the coming weeks, but until then, PLEASE put these policies in place, and follow them, to protect your group, your members and yourselves.
1-800-846-4632 Ext 104
From: Jack Painter
Subject: [OLC Members] Message on campaign finance law compliance
Date: January 24, 2014 10:59:49 PM EST
January 24, 2014
Dear OLC group leader:
I’m writing to clarify the approach the Ohio Liberty Coalition takes to ensure it complies with state and federal campaign finance laws.
You might find this helpful in making sure your group complies as well.
Here is our basic approach to communications:
We don’t make statements about whether to vote for or against a candidate, either in blast emails or on our Web site.
We expect members to avoid those types of statements when using our listserv email address to communicate with other members.
Any statements of express advocacy (vote for or against; support so and so) or endorsement are made only by individuals on their own through their own Web sites or email systems.
When it comes to spending money, we follow similar rules.
We don’t pay for flyers, ads, or other things that advocate voting for or against a candidate.
We also don’t contribute to candidates or parties, either or in cash or in kind.
These rules don’t restrict us from doing the following through the OLC:
Posting Web site content and sending emails that comment on issues of the day and urge people to influence elected officials on those issues. For example, we might point out that we believe Medicaid expansion is a terrible idea and that we think John Kasich is wrong on the issue, and we might urge people to contact John Kasich to urge him to oppose Medicaid expansion. This is issue advocacy and is permitted.
Providing information that informs our members about how they can contact specific people or groups, including campaigns, to help with voter registration, phone banks, literature distribution or get-out-the-vote efforts.
Urging members of OLC groups as individuals to contribute to a specific PAC to support its efforts.
Our approach depends on the willingness of people to act on their own as individuals to (a) engage in express advocacy for and against candidates or spend money on express advocacy, or (b) make campaign contributions.
One way for a person to engage in express advocacy as an individual is to set up your own Constant Contact or Mail Chimp account (separate from your group) or your own personal Web site and avoid giving the false impression that your communications and Web site are from your liberty group or are endorsed by it.
If you need help setting up an email account or a Web site in your own name, please contact John Stevenot at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-535-0913.
Board member, Ohio Liberty Coalition