California’s message is clear. You will lose your non-profit status if you resist the law.
Scott Wiener, State Senator (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Image for Lambda Legal).
The January 6 Committee isn’t the only government body trying to penalize critics of this regime for insurrection. California lawmakers are following the lead and using their power over not-for profit sector to punish critics.
The “No tax exemption for insurrection act ,”, which was introduced by Scott Wiener (California legislator), is currently passing through bureaucratic committees and making its way towards Governor Gavin Newsom. If signed, Senate Bill 834 would rescind the tax-exempt status of any nonprofit involved in or inciting efforts to “overthrow the United States Government or any state government.” Wiener stated that the bill would also prevent nonprofits based outside of California that engage in activity deemed treasonous from fundraising in the Golden State.
This latest step by policymakers is to convey a clear message to non-governmental organizations: Participation in any direct or indirect event of January 6, which was incorrectly characterized as treasonous by media and J6 committee, will result in your organization losing its nonprofit status.
To be sure, organizations that engage in criminal activity, such as destroying government property, should have their tax-exempt status revoked. The bill’s open-ended language makes it possible to penalize organizations that incite violence. However, this interpretation is at the sole discretion of the attorney General.
There is a legal requirement that an individual must meet to be considered for inciting violence. But as the left moves further in the direction of classifying speech it doesn’t like as “violence,” First Amendment protections go out the window. The proposed bill would give state authorities the power they need to combat the effectiveness of conservative-minded organizations that challenged the authority of the ruling class in 2020.
It is true, there are some restrictions to freedom of speech for non-profits. This is most evident in the case of political activity. The Internal Revenue Code holds that “all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” But SB-834 goes further, restricting the actions of organizations that think the 2020 election was nefariously conducted and were labeled “insurrectionists” by the media regime.
Authoritarian and anti-democratic organizations have increasingly used the “Big Lie” to fundraise, and this narrative has driven millions of dollars in tax-exempt donations. Many new organisations have appeared in recent years, looking to cash in on the rising insurrection. This includes California non-profits as well as nonprofits that are registered in California and fundraise in California. This is a fundamentally undemocratic organization that cheers for the end of American democracy.
Lamenting the donations that have been made to groups skeptical of the legitimacy of the 2020 election, Wiener is retaliating with the strength of the state government to destroy nonprofits, as well as the tax write-offs of donors, who do not align with his political agenda.
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You can be sure that the rioters who engaged in actual insurrection or the destruction of government property under the organizational instruction of Black Lives Matter will not be the targets of Senate Bill 834. Many California lawmakers refused to condemn the “mostly peaceful” protests of 2020, which had their fair share of insurrectionist activity.
It is clear that conservative groups are not welcomed by the bureaucratic officials who determine tax-exemption rules. Recall the Obama-era IRS scandal, during which countless nonprofits, many involved with the Tea Party, were targeted. SB-834 is a brazen partisan measure akin to the procedures of the conservative-censuring IRS, and it is a clear warning to patriotic nonprofits to stop questioning the legitimacy of the Biden regime.
This odious tactic poses a bigger question to conservative and right-of center nonprofits. Is the nonprofit model still feasible for those organizations who speak out against the regime as American political and ideological divides grow? These organizations might be able to prepare donors for an era of non-tax-deductible giving. Perhaps it is time for donors to see contributions not as tax-deductible but instead as an investment in causes.