Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bill Hennessy Dodges Ensuring Liberty Questions

As has been documented here, several prominent local conservatives, including 97.1 radio host Jamie Allman, author Kevin Jackson, and the Hillbilly Logic radio crew, have raised questions about the transparency of the St. Louis Tea Party's Ensuring Liberty PAC. This is on top of allegations a couple weeks ago from @JanSimpson that the tea party was using their organization to make money from political candidates.

St. Louis Tea Party leader Bill Hennessy wrote a post in the last couple days purporting to explain the operations of the PAC. Here specifically is what he had to say about the monetary aspect:
Ensuring Liberty is a 501(c)4, and its affiliated PAC, the Ensuring Liberty PAC (ELPAC) were formed to address the next step in the growing impact of the conservative movement through issue advocacy, fund raising, candidate recruiting and most importantly, the development of a Congressional Caucus of like-minded representatives that stand for our First Principles.
As we have decided until primary issues have been resolved, the PAC has not yet been established, candidates have not yet been chosen and thus no money has yet been raised or distributed. Transparency for the PAC is required by FEC rules and will be followed to the letter and spirit of the law once established.
Here's what's interesting: Hennessy suggests that they haven't started raising any money for the PAC and thus there is nothing to be transparent about. However, this really dodges the issue, because the reality is that Ensuring Liberty has been raising money for their nonprofilt organization, even if they havn't been raising money for the PAC specifically. From their Ensuring Liberty website, you can see that they have a donations page set up already:
You can also see via their facebook page that they've been raising money for the nonprofit since March 19:

So did Hennessy really address the questions? It sure seems to me that the people asking questions were really interested in transparency for the organization in general, not just for one particular facet of it. Any of the problems you might have from raising money for a PAC would surely be at least as prevalent in raising money for a nonprofit corporation. Does Hennessy really not recognize this, or is he being deliberately opaque?

1 comment:

  1. I believe the form they need to request is a 9-90.If memory serves the request of any citizen must be honored.