Connect with us

Politics

Exclusive: Castle America: N.Y. Can Subpoena VDARE's Records Related to Alleged Financial Self-Dealing by Nonprofit Directors – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

San Jose Unified School District Discriminated Against Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Based on …

#Castle #America #Subpoena #VDARE039s #Records #Related #Alleged #Financial #SelfDealing #Nonprofit #Directors

From People v. VDARE Foundation, Inc., decided yesterday by New York trial court judge Sabrina Kraus:

Respondent [VDARE] is a New York charitable not-for-profit [and tax-exempt] corporation that incorporated in New York in 1999….

In its application for federal tax-exempt status, Respondent stated its plan to operate from offices in New York and listed two of its four directors at addresses in New York City. Respondent described its primary purpose as creating a publication web page and magazine, with editorial content focusing on foreign and domestic policy issues.

In 2019, Respondent reported a six-fold increase in revenue, from $700,000 in 2018 to approximately $4.3 million in 2019 and including a $1.5 million lump donation from a donor-advised fund. In early 2020, Respondent spent $1.4 million of these newly received funds on the purchase of the Berkeley Springs Castle, a medieval-style castle located in West Virginia.

Public postings by Respondent Chairman Peter Brimelow and others indicate that he and his family have used the castle as their primary residence since at least March 2020. During this same period, Respondent also substantially increased payments to Brimelow and to third-party, for-profit companies he controls. In 2019, Brimelow’s reported salary more than doubled and comprised roughly one third of Respondent’s operating expenditures. Respondent separately reported spending tens of thousands of dollars on office expenses in 2019, as well as paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to a third-party LLC controlled by Brimelow that was based at Brimelow’s residential home address.

In December 2020, Respondent conveyed the entirety of the Berkeley Springs Castle property to two West Virginia corporations incorporated by Lydia Brimelow, Peter’s wife and a Respondent director, five months earlier. Respondent conveyed the castle itself and the land that it sits on to the Berkeley Castle Foundation (BCF), a non-profit corporation. Respondent conveyed the remaining land, consisting of eight parcels, to BBB, LLC, a for-profit corporation.

Based on the information it had obtained, the Attorney General began an investigation of Respondent and its leadership for potential violations of the New York law applicable to charities. The Subpoena seeks: documents concerning Respondent’s organizational structure; compliance conflict-of-interest policy requirements under New York law, and financial operations; its purchase and conveyance of the Berkeley Springs Castle; and transactions between Respondent and entities controlled by the Brimelows….

[VDARE partly complied with the subpoena, but later sued] in United States District Court for the Northern District of New York … [VDARE Foundation, Inc. v. James, 1:22-cv-01337 (FJS)], alleging, among other things, that Petitioner’s demands for certain disclosures threaten Respondent’s ability to conduct business; and that Petitioner’s subpoena is a retaliatory pretext aimed at interfering with Respondent’s rights to freedom of speech and association. The federal complaint seeks a declaration that Subpoena violates Respondent’s first amendment rights, an injunction preventing Petitioner’s enforcement of the Subpoena and damages. [The New York government then sought] an order compelling Respondent to comply with the investigative Subpoena ….

The requirements for the issuance of an investigatory subpoena duces tecum are “(1) that the issuing agency has authority to engage in the investigation and issue the subpoena, (2) that there is an authentic factual basis to warrant the investigation, and (3) that the evidence sought is reasonably related to the subject of the inquiry.”

Advertisement

The Attorney General has broad and well-established authority to issue subpoenas in connection with a civil investigation of a non-profit’s conduct to determine whether to bring an enforcement proceeding. “Moreover, in evaluating the Attorney General’s justification for the issuance of a subpoena, there is a presumption that (s)he is acting in good faith.” The party challenging a subpoena issued by the Attorney General bears the burden of establishing the subpoena’s invalidity….

Petitioner’s subpoena request must demonstrate a “reasonable relationship to the subject matter under investigation and the public interest to be served.” A party must respond to an investigative subpoena unless the information sought is “utterly irrelevant to any proper inquiry.”

New York State has a public policy interest in ensuring the robust regulation of tax-exempt charitable entities like Respondent and Petitioner has authority to supervise and investigate such entities when misconduct is suspected.

Petitioner’s Subpoena is focused on subject matter areas which fall within the statutory provisions that govern not-for-profit corporations. The Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, for example, provides that entities like Respondent may be formed only for charitable purposes, and that charitable assets may not be distributed to members, directors or officers. Charitable entities are also subject to express requirements under the N-PCL for lawful operation, including requirements for a process by which compensation is set; processes for acquisition and “sale or other disposition” of property; creating and presenting complete and accurate financial reports; a process for considering related party transactions; and a process for managing conflicts of interest.

The Subpoena’s requests demand the type of material that will permit Petitioner to determine whether Respondent has complied with these requirements, including complete copies of Respondent’s annual regulatory filings, financial transaction records, compensation records, and records of Board meetings and review. The documents called for will permit Petitioner to determine whether there has been any diversion of charitable assets—for example through unlawful payments to for-profit corporations held by the Brimelows or other VDARE fiduciaries. Article 7-A of the Executive Law authorizes the Attorney General to supervise charitable organizations that solicit in New York, and Article 7-A requires the Attorney General to monitor such organizations to ensure that, inter alia, a charity does not solicit contributions under false pretenses or use the contributions it receives in a manner that is not “substantially consistent” with the charity’s stated purposes.

Respondent has raised constitutional objections related to the First Amendment and therefore had the initial threshold burden to make a showing that production of the information sought would impair its First Amendment rights. However, Respondent makes this argument on behalf of its donors and Petitioner has agreed, initially to redact donors’ and volunteers’ identities. Respondent has not established that the Subpoena would impair Respondent’s own First Amendment rights.

Additionally, Respondent’s filings themselves underscore the reasonableness of the Subpoena. Respondent admits the critical facts that first triggered Petitioner’s scrutiny—Peter Brimelow, Respondent’s founder and director, and his wife, Lydia Brimelow, also a director, used and continue to use a $1.4 million charitable asset as their personal residence.

Respondent argues that the Brimelows paid rent to live in the cottage beginning in April 2021, however the lease is between Lydia Brimelow and BBB, LLC, a West-Virginia for-profit corporation she manages, and Lydia Brimelow signed the document as both landlord and tenant.

Respondent’s motion and accompanying papers fail to meet its burden of establishing the Subpoena’s invalidity. Respondent, which has partially complied with the subpoena for months, has not established why providing a redaction log for its already-produced documents raises any First Amendment concerns or why continuing production would pose a threat to its existence.

Although Respondent argues that redactions are required to protect the identities of contractors—including writers who contribute to the website—these are precisely the records the Petitioner seeks to examine in its investigation of Respondent’s alleged organizational misconduct. To the extent anonymity is used to mask violations of the law, “it is unprotected by the First Amendment.”

For example, the only board member among four who is not a Brimelow family member is a known contributor. The Attorney General may probe this contributor’s compensation as part of its investigation of conflicts of interest and board independence. And the Attorney General may seek the identities of other contributors to determine whether further conflicts of interest may exist.

Advertisement

Respondent’s reliance on Americans for Prosperity v. Bonta (2021), is equally unavailing. That decision concerned only donor disclosures in statewide annual filing requirements, while expressly permitting subpoenas seeking the same information as part of a targeted investigation. Moreover, Petitioner has indicated a willingness to enter into a stipulation/order of confidentiality to further address any of Respondent’s concerns….

Politics

Exclusive: Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832 – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832

#Today #Supreme #Court #History #January

1/26/1832: Justice George Shiras Jr.’s birthday.

Justice George Shiras Jr.

The post Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832 appeared first on Reason.com.

Continue Reading

Politics

Exclusive: Liberals Are Mad That McCarthy Named MAGA Republicans to Subcommittees on COVID and Government Weaponization – Good – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

Liberals Are Mad That McCarthy Named MAGA Republicans to Subcommittees on COVID and Government Weaponization – Good

#Liberals #Mad #McCarthy #Named #MAGA #Republicans #Subcommittees #COVID #Government #Weaponization #Good

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced members named to two select subcommittees – one investigating the origins of COVID and another looking into the weaponization of the federal government – and Democrats are livid over the addition of certain MAGA lawmakers.

“The government has a responsibility to serve the American people, not go after them,” McCarthy said in a statement.

“The Members selected to serve on these subcommittees will work to stop the weaponization of the federal government and will also finally get answers to the Covid origins and the federal government’s gain of function research that contributed to the pandemic,” he added.

McCarthy notes that the weaponization subcommittee is necessary because congressional Democrats and the Biden administration engaged in a “dangerous pattern of the government being used to target political opponents while they neglected their most basic responsibilities.”

RELATED: Conservative Victory: Dan Crenshaw Loses Race To Chair Homeland Security Committee to Freedom Caucus Member Green

MAGA Members Named to House Select Subcommittees

A couple of names that showed up on the House select subcommittees raised the ire of Democrats, particularly those associated with the MAGA movement.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) continued reaping the fruits of a kinship with McCarthy that would make Frank Luntz blush, being named to the COVID-19 subcommittee.

Greene celebrated the appointment, stating her intention to investigate the role of gain-of-function research, the Democrat “authoritarian” lockdowns, the ineffective vaccines forced on the American people, and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s role.

Greene will also be sitting on the House Homeland Security and Oversight Committees.

Also named to the COVID subcommittee is former White House physician Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who has consistently challenged President Biden to undergo a mental fitness evaluation.

Jim Jordan (R-OH) will chair the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government after being rejected by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on the January 6th panel.

RELATED: White House Terrified of MAGA Republicans Being Named to Committees Investigating Biden Administration

Liberals Aren’t Happy

Liberals on social media responded with outrage over MAGA Republicans representing their constituents on the select subcommittees.

Because see, it would be better to have completely partisan sham committees like the January 6th debacle.

Advertisement

Democratic Congressman Don Beyer dismissed both panels as “devoted to conspiracy theories.”

This is fine by us, since these days “conspiracy theories” mostly just means “the media hasn’t admitted it yet.”

House Judiciary Democrats lambasted McCarthy for having “sold out our democracy to empower MAGA extremists.”

Richard Stengel, a former Obama administration official, also took the dismissive ‘conspiracy theory’ path.

The ‘Weaponization’ subcommittee, Stengel claims, is “a body that creates rather than investigates conspiracy theories and which will eventually undermine itself.”

We literally just watched the January 6th sham create highly directed and produced filmography rather than evidence, doctored actual evidence, created conspiracy theories, and admitted they wanted to tell people what they should believe.

If Democrats are mad about MAGA Republicans serving on committees to provide a counterpoint to Democrat and media lies, then McCarthy is most definitely doing the right thing.

Advertisement

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #3 on Feedspot’s “100 Best Political Blogs and Websites.”


Continue Reading

Politics

Exclusive: Why older mass shooters like the California gunmen are so rare – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

Why older mass shooters like the California gunmen are so rare

#older #mass #shooters #California #gunmen #rare

The gunmen in both of the recent shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California, had an unusual profile compared to most perpetrators of violent crime: They were both senior citizens.

The Monterey Park gunman, who killed 11 and injured nine before fatally shooting himself, was 72. The Half Moon Bay gunman, who killed seven people before he was arrested in what police have characterized as an act of workplace violence, is 66.

Mass shooters of that age are rare, especially those with no prior criminal record, as was the case with the Half Moon Bay gunman. (The Monterey Park gunman had one arrest in 1990 for illegal possession of a firearm.) According to data from the National Institute of Justice, mass shooters between 1966 and 2021 were on average 34 years old, and those over the age of 60 accounted for a little over 3 percent of all mass shootings, which are defined as shootings in which four or more people are killed.

The notion that people “age out of crime” is one of the most well-documented phenomena in the field of criminology. The California shootings should be seen as exceptions to that principle, not as nullifying examples, according to Ashley Nellis, co-director of research for the Sentencing Project, which advocates for criminal justice reform.

“The predictability of age is probably the most reliable point of data that we have about people who commit violent crime. Young people are just substantially more likely, and by extension, older people are substantially unlikely, to commit crime,” Nellis said. “It’s certainly a cautionary note to anybody who would be jumping to make policy based on these two events.”

Research has repeatedly shown that criminal activity increases throughout teen years, reaches its highest point at age 17, the oldest that someone can be charged with a juvenile crime, and subsides thereafter throughout life. Property crime peaks at a slightly younger age than violent crime. But even chronic offenders would be statistically likely to stop committing crime by around the age of 40, Nellis said.

There are a lot of theories as to why that might be. Typical milestones associated with getting older, like graduating or getting married, may put people on a trajectory that veers away from criminality. Brain development isn’t complete until the mid-20s, hindering decision-making that might lead to crime and risky behavior. Young people have less financial security, and people in poverty are more likely to commit crimes. Some crimes might be physically demanding, and older people just might not have the strength to carry them out.

But both gunmen in the California shootings buck the archetype of a violent criminal, and their motives still aren’t entirely clear. Investigators have said that the Monterey Park shooter frequented the dance studio where he killed his victims and that the Half Moon Bay gunman, who lived and worked as a forklift driver at a mushroom farm, was angry at the coworkers he shot. Previously, there have been mass shooters as old as 70, including a gunman who opened fire at a church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, and killed three people last June.

Though age can sometimes factor into the decision to impose a less harsh sentence on young offenders, the Half Moon Bay shooter’s advanced age won’t have any bearing on the length of his sentence, as is standard practice in the US.

Advertisement

He will be charged with seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murder and sentencing enhancements for each count because of his use of a firearm, the San Mateo County district attorney announced Wednesday. If convicted on those charges, he could be facing up to life in prison without the possibility of parole. (He won’t face the death penalty, given that California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, placed a moratorium on executions in the state in 2019.)

Life sentences without parole have become increasingly common in the US over the last few decades. But Nellis argues the age of older offenders like the Half Moon Bay shooter should be considered a mitigating factor when making sentencing decisions — especially given that the use of executive clemency to release them early has become nonexistent, as she writes in a 2022 report.

“Regardless of age, somebody who does commit an act of violence like this is likely to be rehabilitated, be reformed, be ready to return to society within 10 years,” she said.

Recidivism is unlikely among older people, according to data from the US Sentencing Commission, and keeping them in prison comes at a high taxpayer cost, which includes health care bills that balloon at the end of life. It’s difficult to say how much those who’ll decide the fate of the Half Moon Bay suspect will take that data into account; his initial arraignment is Wednesday.

Continue Reading

Exclusive

Copyright © 2022 Talk Of News.