Evans challenges NAACP's tax status

GOP official says group's chief violated IRS rule

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  • Interloper
    May 18, 2008 1:05 a.m.

    "Campaigning' against someone does not necessarily mean selecting or financing opposition. It can mean speaking against that person as an individual, which is what Ms. Williams has done. She does not surrender her individual right to freedom of speech because of her role in the NAACP. That said, she should be careful not to provide sound bites that can be used against the NAACP by a quisling like James Evans.

    Predictably, most of the people defending Evans offer thinly veiled, if at all veiled, defenses of racial discrimination.

  • Appalling anti-American conduct
    May 17, 2008 10:56 p.m.

    about time: "If they wish to participate in campaigns, more power to them. However do it within the law and do not defraud American taxpayers who subsidize their operations."

    I'm glad you agree with their right to participate in campaigns so long as they do it within the law since that is exactly what they have done. Now I suggest you "amatuer attorneys" drop the act and this includes the ignoramus James Evans because it is clear that you people are ignorant of the law or you would know that what Williams said and did was within the legal limits of a 501(c)(4) organization,

    I also suspect James Evans and the Salt Lake County Republican Party are so stupid they don't know the difference between a 501(c)(3) and a 501(c)(4) organization when it comes to permissible political campaign activity (i.e., a 501(c)(4) can recruit and take part in the nominations of candidates for public office while opposing others while a 501(c)(3) cannot).

    If this complain is any indication of the level of knowledge and experience your party representatives possess it's no wonder our legislature is full of morons. This attack on the Utah NAACP and its free speech is appalling.

  • It's not the law, moron
    May 17, 2008 10:16 p.m.

    It's the law, folks: "It's quite simple - if you're a charitable organization, you should stay out of campaigns supporting or opposing a candidate or risk losing your tax-free status."

    The Utah NAACP isn't a charitable organization instead it's a social welfare organization and to correct the article it's a 501(c)(4) organization and not a 501(c)(3). It's purpose is to advocate for African Americans and this means that it can take part in permissible political advocacy. 501(c)(4) can participate in political campaigning so long as it is consistent with the organization's mission and and is not the primary activity of the organization. Opposition to a single candidate for public office who has made comments that directly impact the organizations mission is legal for a 501(c)(4) because a) it is consisent with its mission and b) it is not its primary activity.

    You state: "The NAACP, in addition to promoting racism in our community, has now decided to flout the law. It should bear the consequences."

    This isn't true and the actions of the Utah NAACP are consistent with federal law since an 501(c)(4) organization can take part in political campaigning of this nature if it meets the conditions I've outlined.

  • Evans and consitutents are idiot
    May 17, 2008 9:39 p.m.

    MTM, "Looks pretty cut and dried to me - they violated the prohibition so they should lose their status."

    It's not as cut and dry as you or Evan's would like to make it out to be. The Utah NAACP did not donate any money to a political candidate or assist one in any way. Opposition to statements by government or other elected officials isn't a violation of their tax exempt status anymore than other forms of political advocacy on the part of tax-exempt organizations are violations of their status.

    Tax exempt organizations retain a fundamental and constitutional right to take part in political advocacy that directly affect their organization or charity and the NAACP is no different. Tax exempt status doesn't mean that they surrender all their constitutional rights as individuals and as a group of individuals.

    If a state legislator made an anti-Mormon comment and the LDS Church came out and condemned that legislator for their comments it wouldn't be in violation of its tax-exempt status to do so anymore than it's a violation of the NAACP's tax-exempt status to come out and condemn Buttar's comments. It's apparent that both you and Evans don't know the law.

  • Anonymous
    May 17, 2008 7:59 p.m.

    While the Mormon church may have dispensed with being racist towards Blacks, the legislator (mostly Mormons) continue to exhibit racist bigotry, and while fast to give the Mormon church any leeway on tax exempt status it sees fit, organization that are different, secular, or just might challenge the Mormon Church's positions is deemed outside their view of righteousness, and the like, and hence gets the shaft at every turn.

    When is the State of Utah's politics going to get back to being the moderate lot they are so intent to claim themselves to be. And when will the MormonChurch get its own act together and start walking its talk of being the tolerant organization towards others of a different view.

    Hmmm... probably a cold day in hell before it happens.

  • MTM
    May 17, 2008 7:06 p.m.

    Looks pretty cut and dried to me - they violated the prohibition so they should lose their status.

  • re True Capitalism | 3:25 p.m
    May 17, 2008 6:22 p.m.

    There are still people who won't hire minorities they don't like, therefore these laws are necessary. There would be businesses today who wouldn't serve minorities food or rent to them.

    If true capitalism is against these protections, then true capitalism isn't what we need or should want as a country.

  • Fair is Fair?
    May 17, 2008 5:27 p.m.

    Nice try. The LDS church doesn't take political stands and use it's forums to do so. Go find another group to pick on.

  • Doggie
    May 17, 2008 4:02 p.m.

    I love James Evans. He's the only Republican in this state with any nuts. A black guy challenging the status of the NAACP. Gotta love that.

    Second point, I'm glad that this issue is coming out because it will once again remind everyone what a complete embarrassment Buttars is.

    I think people were starting to forget. Thanks, James.

  • The Rock
    May 17, 2008 3:38 p.m.

    The NAACP is a political organization pure and simple. They should lose their tax exempt status.

    Labor Unions are tax exept, nonprofit organizations. They routinely use members dues for political purposes. Their newsletters are filled with political propagands. People who join labor unions are frequently compelled to do so even it they object to labor unions. Union dues are extracted under threat of termination.

    Churchs are also tax exempt organizations. Church members join freely and give freely without any compultion at all.

    If churches were anywhere near as political as unions they would lose their tax exempt status.

    Nonprofit, tax exempt organizations who support Democrats get away with murder. Let a conservative group step one toe out of line and they are history.

  • True Capitalism
    May 17, 2008 3:25 p.m.

    Why does the government feel that it needs to force us to make decisions that is in our best interest?

    What would happen if nobody was forcing us to hire "a mormon", a boy, a girl, and have one employee with a birthday for each month of the year? Efficiency goes down! Why don't we just allow a free market to control who is working where by allocating the best talents to the best jobs?

    Forcing a company to hire diversely is just as racist as any company that would care about race to begin with. It shouldn't matter.

  • Actions speak louder than words
    May 17, 2008 3:16 p.m.

    The question is, Has the NAACP actually followed through on its threat? I think not. Case closed.

  • Evans is a weasel
    May 17, 2008 2:17 p.m.

    He makes his money preying on the poor. They guy owns pay day loan stores across the county. He isn't helping the community in any way, including as a represented lawmaker. I understand the point with the NAACP, but he isn't exactly a model citizen.

  • It's the law, folks
    May 17, 2008 1:19 p.m.

    The law is the law, after all.

    If the LDS church, which falls under the same law, were the target here, most of the defenders of the NAACP here would be clamoring for the very same punishment.

    It's quite simple - if you're a charitable organization, you should stay out of campaigns supporting or opposing a candidate or risk losing your tax-free status. You can support or go against ballot initiatives, etc. all you like under the law, but cannot target actual candidates or parties.

    The NAACP, in addition to promoting racism in our community, has now decided to flout the law. It should bear the consequences.

  • grundle
    May 17, 2008 12:44 p.m.

    Good for Evans! We seem to so blinded by our emotions that reason and rule are left far behind. This is evidenced by the numerous comments that are posted about Buttars, LDS church, Republicans, and other topics.

  • Re:What is the alternative
    May 17, 2008 12:17 p.m.

    Let's look at it this way. For all of you that have serious feelings of animosity towards the LDS church (for whatever reason): How would you feel towards the church if the government told you you had to hire a Mormon (even if he was less qualified) simple because he/she was a minority? Would you like to "Bear this Burden?" How do you think you would feel about Mormons after being FORCED to accept one into your circle of friends or at your workplace? I don't claim to be an expert in psychology or sociology, but my bet is that you may end up RESENTING this Mormon more by being forced by the government to accept him than letting that relationship be cultivated and developed out of love, respect and mutual trust. My point: the government does a poor job of legislating morality. Also...I think if the Mormon plays the role of victim in society, he does not make many friends. Just my two cents. Take what you learn about treating others with respect, dignity and civility and translate that into your daily actions.

  • Mark Towner
    May 17, 2008 11:57 a.m.

    PC, PC, PC What crap. Just look at the hate Mormon, Hate Republicans, Hate Conservatives, being vomited in this comment section. Take away the Tax exempt status of Churches, I'm absolutely positive the LDS Church would continue just fine. I however could not say the same for many so called churches that exist only because of their tax exempt status.

    Remove it for one, remove it for all. In fact why don't we just do away with the tax code in the first place so we level the playing field for everyone, and congress can't trade tax breaks for contributions and votes....

  • "Rolls Eyes..."
    May 17, 2008 11:19 a.m.

    Fair is Fair 8:38 a.m. Johny Fairplay | 9:19 a.m

    You might want to try and hide your double posting a little better next time by picking more variant names.

    Thanks also for providing the predictable and obligatory ignorance to the comments section by dragging the LDS Church into the discussion.

    Are we to tax institutions for participating in political discussion and for lobbying for issues that are important, while NEVER endorsing any candidate or party?

    Get a grip.

  • What is the Alternative
    May 17, 2008 11:04 a.m.

    Several people I know complain about political correctness. I have to remind them that before PC, it was almost perfectly acceptable to call people degigitory names, tell jokes with regard to their race. It happened to minorities starting in elementary school, continuing into adulthood at jobs and everywhere in society.

    PC is an appropriate response to see that this type of thing does not continue or if it does to see to it that those who do it are shamed and corrected.

    If you don't like PC, if you don't like affirmative action, then learn to treat people as you would be treated. If you will endure internal control, then you will have to endure external control.

    The days are past that the full burden of race relations are born by the minorities. Now all people have to bear this burden. PC is part of this, yes it does seem restrictive and burdensome, but what is the alternative?

  • Don't hide, stand up
    May 17, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    Rules are rules?

    There was a time in the US military when orders were orders. There was no exemption for illegal orders, due to the Geneva Convention as there is now.

    In the 1800's an army officer recieved an order to execute Joseph Smith on a trumped up charge. The officer refused. That officer was disobeying the rules and the law. He chould have been put up on charges.

    Using rules are rules is an excuse for doing a nasty thing. True greatness and goodness doesn't hide behind rules are rules. Utah Republicans, Instead of going after the NAACP for doing a job you yourself should be doing, start doing your duty in this regard and stop finding excuses for doing stupid things.

  • Lead follow or get out of the wa
    May 17, 2008 10:45 a.m.

    The NAACP wouldn't have to work against Buttars, if the GOP would do the right thing and have him step down.

    Rules are rules? Instead of going after the NAACP for doing your job, do it yourself.

    Lead, follow or get out of the way.

  • Tax status
    May 17, 2008 10:28 a.m.

    It is hight time to challenge the tax exempt status of the most politically interfering tax exempt group in the state. Guess who that is?

  • Obama as head of NAACP
    May 17, 2008 10:14 a.m.

    Yes, that was right after his stint as the Arch Angel.

    Quite the resume.

  • BobP
    May 17, 2008 10:00 a.m.

    Something in my memory says that Obama was once head of the NAACP

  • Strange and Sad
    May 17, 2008 9:57 a.m.

    What a strange and sad move by James Evans. Is the GOP sure they want this guy at the helm?

  • Johny Fairplay
    May 17, 2008 9:19 a.m.

    If Evans is going to challenge the tax-exempt status of an entity for political meddling, might I suggest he start with the owners of this newspaper.

  • Fair is Fair
    May 17, 2008 8:38 a.m.

    Does this mean that Evans will be contacting the IRS regarding the tax exempt stauts of the LDS church dues to their numerous forays into politics, the most recent being the California Supreme Court ruling?

  • doug
    May 17, 2008 8:27 a.m.

    Only in utah would the gop challenge the NAACP. Only in utah. The safe state.

    what a joke.

  • Grass Roots Repubican
    May 17, 2008 8:12 a.m.

    This is one more reason to be ashamed of my political affiliation.

    I wonder if the party is arrogant enough to believe that this won't hurt Republicans across the county.

  • about time
    May 17, 2008 8:05 a.m.

    NAACP has long functioned as an adjunct to the Democratic Party and flaunted laws governing tax exempt status.
    If they wish to participate in campaigns, more power to them. However do it within the law and do not defraud American taxpayers who subsidize their operations.
    (ps- if the organization really wants to advance the race it will address out-of-wedlock birthrates and fathers who do not provide for their children. Not as glamorous as protests and sit-ins but infinitely more relevant to the well being of the community)

  • Stenar
    May 17, 2008 8:00 a.m.

    Republicans sure do play dirty.

    May 17, 2008 7:36 a.m.

    Today is the anniversary of Brown v Board of Education. The Salt Lake chapter of the NAACP should be leading our community in a celebration and recommitment to those principles of equality in education. Not worried about Buttars or whether a drug store is selling dolls of color etc....Hopefully this complaint will help the Salt Lake chapter of the NAACP focus on its real mission -like Education: they should ensure that that children of color 'have access to an equal and high-quality public education by eliminating all education related racial and ethnic disparities. Through advocacy training, policy development and guidance, building collaborative networks, and direct action'.

  • Jon
    May 17, 2008 7:23 a.m.

    Well duh. James Evans is Senator Buttars' Lap dog. Any body could have guessed he would try to go after the NAACP for Buttars. James, Buttars is a racist man who has you doing his dirty work for him today.