California’s Democrat Legislators set their sites recently on non-profit organizations they say participated in the Jan. 6, 2021 “insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol, following a speech by then-President Donald Trump. Lawmakers have passed a bill to allow the California Attorney General to strip non-profits of their tax-exempt status for this participation.
Senate Bill 834 by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) “allows the Attorney General and the Franchise Tax Board to determine that an organization is no longer eligible for tax-exempt status if it has engaged in acts of criminal conspiracy,” bill analysis says.
This is rich given that California’s Attorney Generals for many years have mostly ignored dubious non-profit organizations’ questionable activities. Sen. Wiener appears to be weaponizing the Attorney General to go after political enemies – especially now with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s admission on the Joe Rogan podcast that the FBI pressured Facebook to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story, calling it “misinformation” just prior to the election, and confirming what was once condemned as a conspiracy theory by the mainstream media.
California attorney Harmeet Dhillon spoke with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Thursday evening about Zuckerberg’s admission, and reported: “I joined @tuckercarlsontonight to discuss how our government — through the FBI and other agencies — told social media companies to censor speech regarding election matters before and after the 2020 elections — and @facebook & @twitter cheerfully complied, affecting the election outcome.”
According to Senate Bill analysis, this bill:
Authorizes the AG to make a finding that a tax-exempt organization has actively engaged in, or incited the active engagement in, acts or conspiracies defined as criminal under specified federal law, and likely to produce imminent violation of that federal law under one or more of these sections:
According to Sen. Wiener:
“On January 6, 2021, pro-Trump extremists and insurrectionists – incited by the ‘Big Lie’ (the fraudulent notion that the 2020 election was stolen) and then-President Donald Trump – breached the United States Capitol. Five people were killed and hundreds were injured as a result of this insurrection. A variety of individuals and organizations – including nonprofits participated in the events on January 6th. Nonprofits raised millions of tax-free dollars off the ‘Big Lie’ that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.”
“SB 834 fills an important gap. While the FTB is currently directed to suspend the tax-exemption of a nonprofit supporting international terrorism, there is no clear authority concerning nonprofits that support insurrection. SB 834 will ensure that nonprofit organizations engaged in insurrection-related offenses will be held to the same standard as those that engage in or support international terrorist activity, and also have their exemption revoked.”
This is notable given that in September 2021, Fox News reported:
George Howard, 48, allegedly became involved in a road rage altercation on an Interstate 94 entrance ramp before he shot another driver, according to Minneapolis police – weeks after bailing out on domestic assault charges.
Surveillance video recorded the moments when the driver of a blue BMW confronted Howard, who was driving a white Volvo, according to St. Paul’s KSTP-TV. The victim can be seen punching Howard, then collapsing.”
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 1, 2020
Harris promoted the Minnesota Freedom Fund bail group during the 2020 campaign, urging her Twitter followers to donate to the group in June of that year. We don’t recall Sen. Wiener questioning Harris’ involvement.
“”If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota,” Harris tweeted in June 2020, linking to the group’s donation site on ActBlue, a Democratic PAC.
“Minneapolis-based FOX 9 reported that the fund spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to free an alleged knife murderer and a convicted rapist who was facing charges of sexual assault and kidnapping, among others.”
VP Harris’ support for a questionable non-profit was surprising and brash, but there were no real repercussions.
However, as we have reported for years, California is home to many questionable non-profits. We have reported on and highlighted many seemingly legitimate non-profits involved in what appears to be rent-seeking in California’s ongoing water crisis:
“These non-profit groups have been feeding at the government money trough, doing little or nothing to actually help improve water delivery issues, while the water shortage in California has only gotten worse. The Water Education Foundation, California Waterfowl Association, Natural Heritage Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, Audubon California, Ducks Unlimited, Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the River, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, … all have connections to the Resources Legacy Fund, its related tax-exempt foundation Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, and for-profit legal services firm Resources Law Group, founded by Michael Mantell, President of the Resources Legacy Fund and Resources Law Group. Mantell was Undersecretary for Resources for the State of California, 1991 – 1997. Numerous attorneys from the for-profit Resources Law Group also are staff for the non-profit Resources Legacy Fund.
Resources Legacy Fund also runs the California Water Foundation as an internal project under the direction of former California Natural Resources Secretary Lester Snow (2010 – 2011), with close ties to Gerald Meral, Deputy Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency from 2011 to 2013, who leads the Fund’s grant client, Natural Heritage Institute.
The revolving doors at Resources Legacy Fund and its Foundation show its employees move in and out of the government, knowing that when they are inside, they will grant favors to those outside in exchange for secure positions when they are back out again. All of it is dancing to the tune of Packard Foundation and a few other major players, like Rockefeller Bros. Fund and Tides Center.”
Sen. Wiener’s bill has passed the Senate and Assembly with nearly all Republicans mysteriously abstaining from the vote. Political optics? Assemblyman Randy Voepel (R-Santee) was the only Republican to vote “no” on SB 834. Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Sacramento) was the only Democrat to vote “no.”
We are rooting for Sen. Wiener to put as much verve behind rooting out all dubious California non-profits as he is going after Jan. 6 “insurrectionists.”
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