By Linda O’Keefe
Orlando Political Press
It is a sad day in America! Average citizens exercising their civic duty are now being intimidated by politicians and government bureaucrats.
Volusia Tea Party Patriots is one of many groups nationwide that have been hosting forums with political candidates so that voters can meet the candidates, express their concerns and opinions, and ask questions of the candidates, one-on-one. These forums have occurred at meeting rooms in public libraries, private rooms at restaurants, and in banquet rooms of hotels. Very few churches have opened up their doors to these patriots and even fewer union halls! Therefore, there is a cost to hosting such events. These Patriots have principles and passion, but money is scarce in this economy.
The Volusia Elections Supervisor, Ann McFall, suggests that these grassroots groups form Political Action Committees. Sounds easy, right? Well, let’s see how simple and cheap that is!
First, you have to decide if you are going to be a state or federal PAC, both are very different. For a federal PAC, you must decide if you want to be connected to a corporation, trade association or labor organization. If not, then you will need to form a non-connected PAC. Here is the Federal Election Commission website where you can download information about the registration, the of reporting receipts and disbursements, and the legal rules of running a PAC: http://www.fec.gov/ans/answers_pac.shtml
After reviewing that, head over to the Division of Elections, where you can read about state political organizations: http://www.fec.gov/ans/answers_pac.shtml .
Of course, you need to know that besides PACs there are also non-profits, and several different kinds, depending on your intent. And, it would be wise to have your volunteer treasurer check out the IRS website here: http://www.irs.gov/charities/political/index.html . This is important because hefty fines and imprisonment are possible if one of your volunteers accidently violates election law.
So, once you get through the thousands and thousands of pages of what the government refers to as “Quick Answers”, you’re probably ready to read the actual election laws and tax codes! When you have questions, you can call the relevant government agency and once you have been transferred between several different departments, you may actually get a person who can answer your question. However, you need to beware because the answer you get can be different or conflicting depending on which government bureaucrat you reach on a given day. At this point, most patriots will hire an attorney or more likely just give up. Once you are exposed to the system, you will get overwhelmed and resign yourself to the fact that you cannot make a difference.
If you do indeed get a PAC up and running, you may still experience road bumps. For instance, United States Congressman Alan Grayson went after a private citizen when she formed a PAC. Grayson filed a five page report with the U.S. Department of Justice demanding that the citizen serve five years in prison. Of course, all it of was dismissed but she had to have lawyers to defend her. Representative Grayson also went after a citizen who didn’t even form PAC but rather displayed a sign of opposition to Grayson’s policies in his workplace.
So, this is where we are in America today! Civically-engaged citizens are being ridiculed and intimidated by the “Ruling Class”. It only shows me one thing: THEY ARE SCARED! This is an exciting time in America! A sleeping giant has truly been awakened! Americans have never put up with tyranny! Remember November!
Volusia Tea Party Patriots run afoul of election law
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