Saturday, April 25, 2009
The IRS and Georgetown University will be holding a conference on nonprofit governance on June 23, 2009. Topics include investment strategies, financial management and oversight and executive compensation. Brochure available here.
IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman has selected Sarah Hall Ingram to succeed Steven T. Miller (who will become Commissioner, LMSB, which oversees tax administrations for the largest corporations and partnerships in the U.S.) as the commissioner of the Tax Exempt/Government Entities Division of the IRS. According to the IRS news release, Ingram
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I am pleased to announce that my friend, co-author, co-blogger, classmate and colleague, Professor Darryll Keith Jones of Stetson University College of Law will be joining the faculty of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) College of Law next academic year as Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty Development. As many of you know, Darryll is a prolific scholar, dedicated teacher and a fountain of knowledge. I know that Darryll and his wife, Karla, are very excited by this move and I encourage you to join me in congratulating him on this magnificent accomplishment. FAMU will be lucky to have Darryll given his prior experience as Academic Dean at Pittsburgh and his stellar scholarly record in the areas of tax law and nonprofit law. Go Darryll!!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Coalition of nonprofit groups takes issue with "revolving door" ban on lobbyists entering government service; seeks exemption for charities and social welfare organizations' lobbyists
Though intended to protect the public interest, President Obama's exclusion of former lobbyists from certain government posts is screening out some registered lobbyists who share the Administration's vision of the public interest, as reported in Tuesday's The New York Times.
The "revolving door" ban on lobbyists entering government" (section 1(1) of Executive Order Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel) precludes anyone who was a registered lobbyist from working for any executive agency they had lobbied in the past two years. The ban is designed to screen out those who go through “the revolving door between government service and the private sector in order to achieve personal gain at the expense of the public interest." (Think of characters like Nick Naylor, the chief spokesman for Big Tobacco's chief spokesman and a "mass murderer/profiteer/bloodsucker/pimp" in the satirical novel and movie Thank You for Smoking.) But the ban also screens out some people who don't fit that profile. People like registered lobbyist Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.
The article reports that a coalition of nonprofit groups, including the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest, has started a campaign to lift the ban for lobbyists for charities and social welfare organizations that (in the Center's words) "lobby for a public purpose rather than for a financial bottom line." According to this coalition, the ban on registered lobbyists is a crude proxy for the real culprit, lobbying by profit-maximizing people on behalf of profit-maximizing interests.
David Axelrod, President Obama's senior adviser, says this distinction is too subtle and the need to increase public trust in government is too great. The Times quotes him saying that “you can’t have carve-outs for lobbyists you like and exclude those that you don’t. It would be very hard for people to understand that distinction. This is one of those cases where we’ve had to sacrifice the help of a lot of very valuable people.”
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Since 1973 two Pennsylvania charities - the College Settlement Camp in Horsham (a camp for poor children who would not otherwise go to summer camp) and the Church of the Savior in West Philadelphia (now the Episcopal Cathedral) - have benefited from a trust created under the will of Elizabeth R. England. As recently as last year, the trust distributed $450,000 to each charity, an amount that covered one-third of the camp's budget and over one-half of the cathedral's budget. This year each distribution is expected to be $100,000 less and both charities have had to cut programs.