BLM Refunds PAC Contributions Following Washington Examiner Report
Black Lives Matter said that he repaid contributions his affiliate political action committee received from a recent email he sent to his supporters following a Washington Examiner report that the post was likely a “clear violation” of IRS charity rules.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the charity that represents the national BLM movement, sent a message to its mailing list on Tuesday containing a donate button for the Black Lives Matter PAC, which is the political organization affiliated with the charity that works to elect Democrats across the country.
The IRS states on its website that a charity risks compromising its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status when it “solicits contributions to or for political candidates or organizations.”
BLM CHARITY STATUS AT RISK AS SEEKS FUNDS TO ELECT DEMOCRATS, SAYS WATCHDOG
The managing partner and CEO of Fireside Campaigns, a liberal communications consultancy that sent the email on behalf of BLM, told the Washington Examiner Friday that the BLM PAC refunded all funds it raised through the charity’s Tuesday email.
“During an email campaign sent on March 22, 2022, with the subject line ‘Nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson,’ Fireside Campaigns inadvertently included a fundraising link for BLM PAC in an email not intended to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation,” said Brad Bauman.
“The email did not include any language or reference to a donation to either entity. There was no permission or prior knowledge from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation to include the donation link at the bottom of the email,” Bauman added. “The $400 raised through this email has been refunded. Fireside Campaigns takes full responsibility for this error.”
Paul Kamenar, a lawyer for the conservative watchdog group at the National Legal and Policy Center, previously told the Washington Examiner that BLM’s use of charitable resources to solicit funds for overtly political activities “appears to be a clear violation of IRS rules prohibiting charities from soliciting contributions to a political action committee.”
The BLM PAC donations page linked in the charity’s email on Tuesday said the funds raised would help the political group prepare “for the most critical midterm elections yet.”
“Every race is an opportunity to build black political power,” the donations page reads. “If you’re ready to continue the electoral fight for Black Lives Matter, join our efforts and start building for the 2022 midterms.”
BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors claimed in a February 2021 report that the $746,000 the BLM PAC spent on Georgia Senate races in 2020 played a central role in the Democratic Sens’ victory. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.
“We won’t stop until we put Black Lives Matter in the mouths of every elected official,” Cullors said in the report. “To be clear, we understand that transforming the world requires both protest and politics. We need to vote and organize. The BLM PAC is an addendum to an already immeasurably strong movement.”
Cullors resigned from BLM in May 2021 amid criticism of his personal property purchases. She appointed two replacement executives to take her place at the charity, but the two replacements quietly announced in September that they had never taken the job due to disagreements with the charity.
BLM voluntarily halted its ability to raise charitable funds on February 2 following a Washington Examiner investigation into its lack of financial transparency which prompted several states to ask the group to cease its fundraising activities.
BLM was also kicked out of Amazon’s charity platform, AmazonSmile, in February over its compliance issues across the country.
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The charity remains non-compliant in Washington, New Jersey, North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia Friday afternoon.