Why Mark Steyn isn’t keeping a list of donors to his legal defense fund

From Mark Steyn’s blog. He explains why he cannot issue receipts for donations, because he refuses to disclose donors to the IRS.

Excerpt:

Six months ago, I fell out with National Review and decided to go it alone in climate fraud Michael E Mann’s defamation suit against us for mocking his “global warming” hockey stick.

[…][E]ver since our suggestion that you might like to help out in this manner, we’ve had a steady stream of emails from readers explaining that this is all well and good but it’s taxable income and what I really need to do is set up a 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 or 501(c)87 or some such as a vehicle for this campaign.

To which the answer is: well, we certainly considered the possibility, and a few years ago I might have entertained the notion. But not anymore. The National Organization for Marriage, which was founded to protect the pre-revisionist definition of marriage, is, in its various arms, both a 501(c)3 and a 501(c)4. As such, its tax returns are publicly available, but not its donor lists. Nevertheless, it is obliged to report its donors on Schedule B to the Internal Revenue Service. Someone at the IRS leaked the donor lists to a man called Matthew Meisel, a gay activist in Boston. Meisel in turn passed it on to the gay group Human Rights Campaign (whose president was a national co-chair of the Obama re-election campaign), and HRC in turn published the list of donors, which was subsequently re-published by The Huffington Post.

There’s no secret about why they’d do such a thing. As we know, if you disagree with progressive orthodoxy, you have no right to host a cable-TV home-decor show or give a commencement address at an American university or be a beauty-queen contestant. But that’s not enough for these groups. If you’re not a public figure, if you’re just a Californian who puts up a yard sign or a bumper sticker on Proposition Eight, your car will be keyed and your house defaced. And likewise, if you slip a check in the mail for a modest sum, it is necessary that you also be made an example of. Brandon Eich, Richard Raddon and Scott Eckern all lost prominent positions as chief executives because of their donations. But Marjorie Christoffersen, a 67-year-old Mormon who works in the El Coyote restaurant in Los Angeles, was forced to quit because she wrote a $100 check in support of Proposition Eight.

So, when it comes to the leaking of donor lists, we’re not dealing with anything “theoretically” or “potentially” “troubling”. These guys act on this information, and act hard, and they are willing to destroy your life for a hundred bucks.

I had a conversation like this with a friend of mine who works for a large, effective non-profit recently. I have a rule that says that I do not donate money to non-profits that will put me on a donor list and then submit that donor list to the IRS. I have had this rule since Obama came into office. The rule is there because of the problems Mark Steyn describes above. I need to not be persecuted by the government in order to do my job as a Christian. Why take chances?

3 thoughts on “Why Mark Steyn isn’t keeping a list of donors to his legal defense fund”

  1. 20th century history shows that the first thing that tyrannical governments do when they get into power is that they close down churches and charities. This was the pattern in Nazi Germany and in Communist eastern Europe. It is very disturbing that this is exactly the approach being taken by the “progressive” lobby to causes of which they disapprove. I`m sure that some of these recent cases have had a massive “chill factor” to charitable donations for more traditional causes.

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