Alliance non-profit status threatened, Koch's lobbying questioned
Why isn't the local media covering this investigation?
By Walter Brooks
"We respectfully request that you undertake an investigation of the Alliance’s activities, contributions & expenditures."
- Greenpeace to IRS.
A formal complaint with the Internal Revenue Service has been filed by Greenpeace asking the federal agency to investigate whether the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound violated federal tax law by airing a radio ad critical of Deval Patrick's support for an offshore wind farm during the final days of the governor's race.
The exclusive story is on the top of page 3 in the Metro Section of the Boston Globe today. It is the second time in less than a week that this Boston daily has exclusively covered this same issue which is of great importance to Cape Cod. Local media other than this one has apparently stonewalled any mention of the Alliance's problems until forcd to cover it because of The Globe reports.
Today's report states that Greenpeace, the worldwide environmental organization, is urging the IRS to investigate whether the Alliance breached the requirements for nonprofit charities and educational groups, known as 501(c)(3)s, by exceeding spending limits on lobbying, and by engaging in activities that benefit the private interests of donors and board members.
The newspaper quotes a Boston lawyer, Cheryl Cronin, who is a former general counsel of the state campaign finance agency, saying, “The Alliance’s conduct goes well beyond what is considered acceptable conduct for a 501(c)(3). This appears to be a deliberate and consistent effort to participate in a campaign in both a direct and indirect way.’’
Bill Koch business involved,
lobbying expenses questioned
The newspaper goes on to say that Greenpeace also challenged the Alliance’s nonprofit status by questioning whether its lobbying expenses exceeded IRS limits.
Greenpeace's charge says the Alliance’s opposition to a wind energy proposal may be serving the private business interests of one of its co-chairmen, William I. Koch who has a summer home here. Mr. Koch is the founder and owner of the Oxbow Group, a $4 billion fossil fuel company. In October, the Globe reported that Oxbow paid $1 million to a lobbying firm that worked against Cape Wind from 2005 to 2007.
Environmentalists on Cape Cod have questioned repeatedly why the local media, newspapers and radio, have not touched this story which Cape Codders must rely on the Boston media to report.
Read the Boston Globe story here.
Read the previous story on the same subject here.