Tuesday, January 1, 2019

PELTIER: A PUBLIC CHARITY? PART 1

Dear Supporters:

First, best to all for what was hopefully a great holiday season and for a healthy, happy and productive New Year.

Yes, as disturbing as it may sound, it is true that Leonard Peltier and his International Leonard Pletier Defense Committee (ILPDC) has been granted 501(c)3 status making donations—for the first time ever—legitimately tax deductible. 

No, that wasn’t a typo. Peltier’s August 22, 2018 letter from the IRS under Employer Identification Number 81-5117989 is listed as Leonard Pletier. Oops!

In a public release on August 31, 2018 the ILPDC excitedly announced they had some “good news on the tax front” and had received notice from the I.R.S. granting 501(c)3 status.

Upon hearing such great news one has to wonder how a convicted felon, someone serving consecutive life sentences for two brutal murders can become a public charity. (Omitted is a big  “?” at the end of that sentence.)

There should be no misunderstanding that over the years Leonard Peltier has made it abundantly clear that the actions, publications and press releases of the ILPDC (the LPDOC and the previous LPDC) are not taken without his approval. Peltier and previous “committees” have criticized other websites that gave the appearance of speaking or fundraising on his behalf. Leonard Peltier is and owns the actions of the ILPDC.

To clarify that point, in July 2016 the ILPDC published this:

“There is only one Committee. The ILPDC is planning/managing the only official freedom campaign for Leonard Peltier (in concert with Leonard Peltier and his attorneys). You may see public or Internet-based fundraising efforts not endorsed or managed by the ILPDC. Beware. These are not approved actions and the fundraising isn’t being done on behalf of the Committee. Only credentialed chapters of the ILPDC and selected partners are authorized to raise funds in Leonard’s name. Therefore, we encourage donors to always ask for a fundraiser’s credentials and/or check with the ILPDC as to the legitimacy of any fundraising effort conducted by an individual or organization other than the ILPDC.
Thank You.”(Emphasis added)

On October 31st, searching for an answer to the 501(c)3 question, the email below was sent to contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info. The Halloween request was no joke or prank and was well within the bounds of the law and I.R.S. regulations and certainly not libelous to ask a straightforward legitimate and legal question. (Footnote 1) 

That evening a polite response was received from ILPDC Co-Director, Ms. Paulette Dauteuil who advised that she was travelling and would provide the requested application by the end of the following week (November 9th). 

On November 8thanother polite email was received advising that the IRS Form 1023 was copied and would be placed in the mail that afternoon. However, Ms. Dauteuil requested a mailing address. One was provided along with a suggestion that an emailed scanned document would be acceptable.

Nothing arrived and during a November 16thphone call to the ILPDC Ms. Dauteuil, who was polite and courteous, said she had sent the form by certified mail and provided a USPO tracking number. However, a check of the tracking number indicated that the letter was sent but returned as “addressee unknown” and “return to sender.” 

This was a bit odd and after another email request was made to scan and email the document, on November 19tha copy of the ILPDC’s Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption was received.  The application was reviewed and found to be missing pertinent details. A follow-up email was sent requesting additional documentation that is part of the application process but was not included with the form itself. (Fn. 2)

On November 26thMs. Dauteuil politely advised via email that she was working on “getting all the papers together and will get them to you as soon as possible.” Politeness aside for the moment considering that we are on diametrically opposite sides of the Peltier matter, these are now public records and the ILPDC is required by I.R.S. policy and regulation to respond to a records request.  

The “papers” didn’t arrive but instead an email on December 4thfrom Paulette advising that she “…sent a request to our attorney and they will send you the supplemental documents you requested.” 

Curious perhaps, but this isn’t a matter that requires an attorney, only the I.R.S. requirements for 501(c)3 organizations to provide publicly available documents within the required timeframe.

The Florida attorney, David A. Frankel responded cordially and by December 20thall the requested documents were received. 

In the meantime, it would appear that Leonard Peltier, convicted for the brutal murders of two already wounded human beings, and serving consecutive life sentences for those heinous crimes, has in fact received 501(c)3 status from the Internal Revenue Service.

To be continued.

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods

Footnotes:
1) From:Ed Woods
Subject: ILPDC 501(c)3 Document Request
Date: October 31, 2018 at 9:16:30 AM EDT
To: clark peter ILPDC

Dear ILPDC & Leonard Peltier:

IRS regulations require disclosure of 501(c)3 documentation as excerpted below from IRS.gov.

Please provide a .pdf copy of the ILPDC’s application (IRS form 1023) for the ILPDC’s 501(c)3 status.

Thank you in advance for providing a publicly available and required document.

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods

What does the disclosure law require a tax-exempt organization to do?
An exempt organization must providea copy of covered tax documents to an individual who makes a written or in person request at the organization’s principal office. If the organization regularly maintains any regional or district offices having three or more employees, it must also respond to request submitted to any such office. Covered tax documents include, in general, the organization’s application for tax-exempt statusand its annual returns for a period of three years beginning on the date the return is required to be filed. If the request is made in person, it must generally be honored on the day of the request; if it is written, then the organization generally has 30 days to respond.(November 30, 2018) (A request that is faxed, e-mailed or sent by private courier is considered a written request.) (Emphasis and date added)

The organization may want to charge reasonable copying costs and the actual cost of postage before providing the copies. The law permits this.  But the organization must provide timely notice of the approximate cost and acceptable form of payment within seven days of receipt of the request(November 7, 2018)Acceptable forms of payment must include cash and money order (for an in-person request) and certified check, money order and personal check or credit card, for a written request. (Emphasis and date added)

What does the IRS consider to be a reasonable charge for copying costs, which an exempt organization may charge for copies of tax documents covered by public disclosure requirements?
A tax-exempt organization may charge a reasonable fee for providing copies, which is generally defined as the amount charged by the IRS for providing copies. Under regulations, the IRS may not charge more for copies than the fees listed in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) fee schedule.  Although the FOIA fee schedule directs the IRS to provide the first 100 pages free to non-commercial users, the regulations allow the exempt organization to charge a fee for all copies. The FOIA schedule currently provides a charge of $.20 per page. (Emphasis added)
An organization may require payment before it provides copies, but must advise requesters of the total cost of the copies requested if adequate payment is not included with the request. The organization may also charge the actual postage costsit incurred to mail copies to the requester. (Emphasis added)

2) Email, November 22, 2018:

Paulette:  

I will not wish you a Happy Thanksgiving because I understand and appreciate that this is not a day for celebration by Native Americans. 

Thank you for the 1023 Application Form, however there are more documents and information associated with the 501(c)3 application that are part of the public records and request process for tax exempt organizations. Several sections that are marked “yes” require further details and explanations and are an integral element of the 501(c)3 application and are required for public inspection. 

Please provide copies (scanned and emailed would be acceptable and preferred) for the following application references:

1) Part II, 5: A copy of the Florida filed corporate by-laws.

2) Part III, 1: Location and purpose clause; "Article II Purpose." (Assuming this may be satisfied with the copy of the By-Laws, above.)

3) Part IV: Narrative Description of Your Activities: From form 1023; “…Using an attachment….it will be open for public inspection. Therefore, your narrative description of activities should be thorough and accurate.”      Please provide this narrative as provided with the 1023 application.

4) Part V, 2b: This question was answered “Yes.” According to the Form, “If ‘Yes’ identify the individuals and describe the business relationship with each of your officers, directors, or trustees.” Please provide the answer to this question as provided with the 1023 Form.

5) Part VI, 1a: This question was answered “yes.” Please provide details related to “past, present, and planned activities,” and, “describe each program that provides goods, services, or funds to individuals” as provided with the 1023 application. 

6) Part VIII, 10: The answer to this question was “yes.” “If ‘Yes', explain. Describe who owns or will own any copyrights, patents, or trademarks, whether fees are or will be charged, how the fees are determined, and how any items are or will be produced, distributed, and marketed.” 
Please provide the answer to this question as provided with the 1023 Form.

7) Part VIII, 11: The answer to this question was “yes” and the form stated, “If ‘Yes,’ describe each type of contribution, any conditions imposed by the donor on the contribution, and any agreements with the donor regarding the contribution.” Please provide the answer to this question as provided with the 1023 Form. 

8) Part VIII, 22: The answer to this question was “yes,” and “If 'Yes,' complete Schedule H.” Please provide a copy of the Schedule H details provided with this 1023 application form.

9) Schedule G, 2a: The answer to this question was “yes.” Schedule G states, “If ‘yes’ explain the relationship with the other organization that resulted in your creation.” Please provide the answer to this question as provided on the 1023 Form. 

10) Paulette, you signed the application as the Co-Executive Directoryet are not listed in Part V of Officers, Directors or Trustees. Was this missed while scanning the document?

Thank you.

Regards,
“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed