Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shouldn't Law-Maker Candidates Obey the Law Themselves?

by Mark Baker

Something unique happened yesterday in that I received an anonymous letter in the mail that had no return address, or sender information. Inside I found a five-page document that was titled: "Current Law-Maker Supporting Possible Law-Breaker?" The info in question deals with Cheryl Krapf-Haddock, one of the Republican candidates for Michigan's 71st State House Seat along with Laurie Raines, Deb Shaugnessy and Brett Slocum.

The crux of the information sent to me states that Ms. Haddock, as Executive Director of the 'Child Abuse Prevention Council of Eaton County,' appears to be in violation of the US Code, Tax Laws and the 'Hatch Act,' regarding section 501(c) 3, tax-exempt, non-profit agencies such as the one she runs. Following is the contents of the letter I received:

"Current Law-Maker Supporting Possible Law-Breaker?"

Is Cheryl Krapf-Haddock breaking the law? Is State Representative Rick Jones' reputation at stake by supporting her? Cheryl Krapf-Haddock has repeatedly used her charitable, tax-exempt, 501(c)3 organization's position as "Executive Director" to promote herself for a partisan political campaign, which appears to violate current laws.

According to the US Code, Tax Laws AND The Hatch Act, 501(c)3, tax-exempt, non-profit community action agencies like the 'The Child Abuse Prevention Council of Eaton County,' which Krapf-Haddock heads up are STRICTLY PROHIBITED from supporting, engaging-in, or allowing staff to participate-in PARTISAN political elections. Violations for breaking these laws can be quite serious. Non-Profit, tax-exempt, organization's staff and members, particularly 'Executive Directors, CAN NOT use their position or title to affect the outcome of any partisan election or raise money for a partisan candidate's campaign.

Cheryl Krapf-Haddock identifies herself to media sources, in local newspapers and in her political campaign materials as "The Executive Director for the 'Child Abuse Prevention Council'" a non-profit 501(c)3. Krapf-Haddock has made it very clear to the general public that she is running as a "Republican" for a partisan office while actively employed and paid by this publicly-funded, tax-exempt, community action agency. According to the law, that may very well be a violation:

United States Code, Title 42, Chapter 66, Sub-chapter IV, Section 5043:
"...(b) Prohibition on program identification. (1) Programs assisted under this chapter shall not be carried-on in a manner involving the use of funds, the provision of services, or the employment or assignment of personnel in a manner supporting or resulting-in the identification of such programs with-
(A) any partisan or non-partisan political activity associated with a candidate, or a contending faction or group, in an election for public or party office:..."

Also, under the IRS Tax Code, it is clear that 501(c)3's cannot engage-in or support partisan politicians or be used to influence the outcome of an election, as appears to be going on with this candidate flagrantly using their job title and the organization's name throughout her campaign. IRS Penalties may include "revocation of tax-exempt status" and possible criminal penalties for the organization and/or those involved.

According to Anita Lichtblau, Esq., CAPLAW's Update, "For those of you new to the world of Community Action and 501(c)3 tax-exempt organizations, as well as those with many years in the field, keeping track of the rules relating to election and campaign activity is never easy. But understanding them is nonetheless is critical... Here's a list of Do's and Don'ts to steer you through the rules: Don't run for office in a partisan election if you are an Executive Director of a CAA taking a leave of absence doesn't solve the problem; the candidate must resign from his or her position... Do not speak on behalf of the CAA, or use the name of the CAA when supporting or opposing any candidate..." Krapf-Haddock HAS NOT resigned from her Executive Director position, continues to use her non-profit title and cites her active involvement in this organization, repeatedly for partisan campaign purposes to promote herself. Krapf-Haddock has actively sought and received the support of a current law-maker in the midst of this situation, both ignoring te law.

The 'Hatch Act' does cover 501(c)3 public non-profits. In such cases, according to Eleanor A Evans, Esq., found at: "What does the Hatch Act Prohibit? Being a candidate for public office in a partisan election; Using official authority or influence to interfere with, or affect results of an election or nomination for office. If the offense/s are serious enough to warrant dismissal from employment, employer must either: Dismiss employee; or forfeit its federal funding in an amount equal to two years of the employees salary.

The Hatch Act has been enforced against two such organizations in recent years, in one case a county outreach coordinator ran for county legislator and despite warnings, continued their candidacy and faced the consequences. 501(c)3's are already prohibited by tax code from engaging in political activity in support-of or in opposition-to a candidate for office, 26 U.S.C. 501(c)3...Federal and State Election Laws impose additional rules on campaign activities of individuals..."

According to IRS Regulations: "To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)3. In addition, it may not be an action organization; may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates."

In another section of the IRS Code under "Political Activity": If any of the activities (whether or not substantial) of your organization consist of participating-in, or intervening-in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition-to) any candidate for public office, your organization will not qualify for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)3. Such participation or intervention includes the publishing or distribution-of statements. Whether your organization is participating or intervening, directly, or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition-to) any candidate for public office depends upon all the facts and circumstances of each case.

The law is clear, Haddock's campaign materials are clear and so is her support by a current lawmaker. Who's breaking the law and jeopardizing this community organization's future to run as a 'Law-Maker?'

Having served as an officer of two area non-profit organizations myself, I am well aware of the very tight line they must adhere to regarding non-partisanship and political campaigns. We always insured that we were beyond reproach in these areas. I am not an attorney, and do not claim to have any expertise in this area, but given the apparent clear-cut nature of the documentation I was sent, I would hope that this could be looked at by a legal expert to determine if violations have indeed occurred within the Krapf-Haddock Camp.

Many Eaton County Republicans, especially those who have been active in the County Republican Party, have been collectively scratching their heads as to why Rick was so eager to back Haddock early-on, appearing prominently in her mailers, and placing her signs with his? Of course, when questioned Rick was always quick to state that he 'wasn't going to make ANY candidate endorsements for the 71st House Seat before the Primary. Well, that statement proved to be as trustworthy as a promissory note from a crack-dealer as Rick last week formally endorsed: DRUM ROLL.... Cheryl Krapf Haddock! That was about as big a shocker as learning that 'Bears actually do crap in the woods.'

Who knows why Rick Jones championed Cheryl Haddock's campaign, my thoughts, for what they're worth, are that Rick wished to have a 'rubber-stamp' in his old seat as he goes to the Senate, but I could be wrong; maybe he just simply wanted to irritate and confound the Eaton County GOP, as well as thousands of Eaton County Republican Constituents (you know, the people he's supposed to be working for instead of Special Interests)? Why else would this man turn his back on a women who had dedicated many years of her professional life to him, both when he was with the Eaton County Sheriff's Department, as well as the last few years as his Constituent Services Aide? A women who dug-in like an Alabama Tic on issues and concerns of the constituents of the 71st District; a women who he knows full WILL NOT compromise on ethical issues, nor 'play along' with the numerous games that are played behind closed doors in Lansing; a women who as the 'Homeland Security Grant Coordinator within the Michigan State Police, uncovered numerous funding violations and gross misappropriation of Federal Monies, and refused to knuckle-under to threats by those who were behind these acts.

This women is Laurie Raines, a dedicated mother of three and wife of Eaton County Sheriff Mike Raines, and a lady I've known since High School. Laurie is a true Constitutionalist Conservative who is a REAL 2nd Amendment Advocate, whose had a concealed-carry permit for over 20 years (and can outshoot many men), been an ACTIVE GOP member and officer and isn't ashamed to proudly state she's behind the TEA Party Movement to take-back our government and restore our Constitutional Republic. Rick Jones knows full well that Laurie Raines is by far, the most qualified, dedicated, uncompromising and educated candidate who has absolutely established beyond any doubt that she will not 'go along to get along' with the Lansing 'Play-Makers.' And I believe that it's for these reasons, Rick Jones fears Laurie Raines taking his old House Seat, because she knows him better than anybody else and he knows she will not partake in 'Business-As-Usual.'

Given the fact that Rick Jones has publicly endorsed Haddock and is a 'Lawmaker' himself, perhaps he should take the lead in looking into this and act accordingly. As our parents used to teach us: "It's NEVER too late to do the right thing." Cheryl Haddock should immediately withdraw from the race and take the steps necessary to save her 501(c)3 organization, and Rick Jones should endorse the candidate he knows full well is the best qualified to represent the people of the
71st District: Laurie Raines.

'We the People' are watching Mr. Jones...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Michigan's 71st District House Race: A Study in How Games Are Played & What We Must STOP.

by Mark Baker

This post shall serve as the final summation for the series I've ran on the Republican Candidates for Michigan's 71st State House Seat being vacated by Battle Creek native Rick Jones, who's leaving same due to term-limits. For those of you who have been following this series, I will reiterate for those who are just now reading the series, that I offered three of the four Republican Candidates the opportunity to share their thoughts on why they chose to enter this race and where they're coming from on the issues and what they hope to accomplish if elected to the seat.

As I mention in the lead-in for each candidates article, I did NOT offer Deb Shaugnessy an opportunity to post an article due to the fact that based upon her demonstrated history of words, behavior and actions, as legislative aide, and Charlotte Mayor, clearly establishes her as the quintessential archetype of what we DON'T NEED as a paid Representative. That said, I will now offer my thoughts and observations (for what they're worth) this race, and how it serves as a microcosm of what's wrong with the system and the games that are played behind closed doors by those in power to hold that power at all costs. I will also offer a case study in how some who enter political office often morph into someone far different than we thought they were after years in office. This metamorphosis is by no means universal, but is exceedingly common to those who lack integrity and a basic ethical foundation.

The four 71st House Seat Candidates again are: Cheryl Haddock, Laurie Raines, Deb Shaugnessy, and Britt Slocum. You can find articles from Raines, Slocum and Haddock below this one in the Blog-Scroll.

The ascension of Barrack Obama to POTUS, and his subsequent unprecedented assault on our Constitution, insane spending leading to an exponential expansion of America's deficit through another round of unbridled Keynesian 'Stimulus' economics, has caused Americans to awaken and rise-up like no other time in the last 150 years. Social Media tools have allowed us to 'find' each other and realize that we were never alone, and that 'We the People' indeed remain the vast majority of America. In short, we are Awake, Aware and Activated to halt the decline-of and assault-upon our Constitutional Republic.

The entrenched power elite, ignored us at first, then as our numbers grew, they still dismissed us yet another passing anomaly that they said would "burn-out." Then as our traction grew and our efforts exposed democrat socialists and RINO's in the GOP who began to either lose races they had become comfortable to winning, or deciding perhaps it was time to 'retire' than face the ugly music that awaited them around the corner, we are seeing that they are now taking one of two general courses to counter us: pathetically attack us as "racists" (which they're making fools of themselves with as 'We the People' are made-up of all races, colors and creeds, or attempt to co-opt us with faux outreach attempts that aren't effective in fooling hardly any of us. Try as they will to paint us at best as a 'passing fad' or at worst, 'dangerous armed racists,' they are beginning to sweat as we continue to grow in size and effectiveness at exposing them and their games. This is not just taking place here in our Michigan, but all across these United States and it will continue for the rest of our lives and be carried-on by our children, who will not surrender their Constitutional Citizenship for Socialist Serfdom.

MIRS (Michigan Information & Research Service) released the following article this week:

'Top Ten Open Primaries to Watch (except from

3. 71st House District, Republican - Only a couple weeks after all four candidates signed a "clean campaign" pledge, an e-mail popped up that linked two of the candidates to a pair of bankruptcies and all of the candidates are complaining about disappearing signs. Former Rep. Rick JONES staffer Laurie Raines (the wife of the local sheriff) is in the race, but Jones isn't supporting her or the "establishment" Republican candidate and outgoing Charlotte Mayor Deb SHAUGNASSEY, who staffed former Rep. Susan TABOR when she was in the House. Jones likes Cheryl Krapf HADDOCK, the executive director of the Child Abuse Prevention Council, but some observers see Britt SLOCUM, a local school board member and owner of three Jersey Giant restaurants as the strongest Republican. The winner will face a comparatively competitive general.'

Interesting that the Michigan Information & Research Service (MIRS) IS part of the Michigan (Lansing Insider) GOP Establishment and they're admitting herein that they view Deb Shaugnessy as their "Establishment" Republican candidate? Hmmm? That helps make my work of pealing-back the layers of this onion to expose the stink a few layers below easier because by that they're admitting that they are RINO's (Republican In Name Only) also because this this the same gal who as Charlotte Mayor, tried to use 'Eminent Domain' to snatch-away Family Farms in order to expand the Charlotte Airport which there was/is no need for. She also spent over $90k for the 'Study' on same, but when pressed about this wasteful spending, tried to squirrel-out by saying that it was Federal Money (Ah hum, WHERE Ms. Shaugnessy do you think the Fed gets their money?); with a thought process like that, she displays that she's neither the brightest bulb in the package, nor in anyway, a 'Fiscal Conservative.'

Then, Shaugnessy somehow receives the Farm Bureau 'Agri-PAC' endorsement over Raines, Slocum, and Rick Jones 'Pet Project,' Cheryl Haddock (I only state this because I, like thousands of other 71st District Constituents, have noticed that Rick is hermetically attached to everything Cheryl does or mails out? Could it be that Rick is extending his support to Cheryl not because she's the most qualified (which she CLEARLY IS NOT) as he's been stating in private for months (even though he'd stated he would not endorse any of the 71st candidates before the primary), yet most of her mailers make the two of them appear as conjoined twins who were recently cut apart yet suffer separation anxiety, but political hacks and RINO's, like the democrats they pride themselves for "reaching across the isle to WORK WITH," have no problem doing what they said they wouldn't and now Jones has... Brace Yourself- publicly endorsed Cheryl Haddock; what a surprise that one was huh. Of course in doing this Jones broke his earlier-made statement that he'd "make no endorsements before the Primary", but again people without integrity don't lose much sleep over such things unless it causes them bad-press.

Now, how do you suppose it could be that of the four GOP candidates for the 71st Seat, the only one who based on well-established facts and history, SHOULDN'T have in anyway been seriously considered for the Farm Bureau 'Agri-PAC' endorsement, end up getting it? It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that Mr. Fred Marquardt sits on the Eaton County Farm Bureau Board, as well as the 'Agri-PAC' review committee (the plot thickens) or that Mr. Marquardt is the father of Linda Marquardt (it's getting deep, where's my waders?), who until she was supposedly fired (according to the Shaugnessy Camp) after she let her temper get the best of her and public ally referred to Rick Jones as a "Media Whore" served as Deb Shaugnessy's Campaign Manager (and although the Shaugnessy Camp is telling those who ask that 'that Person is No Longer Associated in anyway with Ded's campaign', Linda's been seen unlocking the doors to Shaugnessy's Campaign HQ? Oh the games, they know no limit). When I researched this most strange and odious endorsement at Farm Bureau's HQ level, everyone I spoke with pointed me in the direction of the LOCAL Eaton County Branch which "handles" the candidate interview process independently and then sends their decision to Farm Bureau HQ in Lansing for publication. So, to all you great Eaton County and especially, Charlotte-Area Farmers, and tax-paying residents, who like me wondered how in the hell Deb Shaugnessy could possibly have gotten the Farm Bureau Agri-PAC Endorsement, perhaps this was how! Games being played behind closed doors.

By the way, notice if you will, the ONLY candidate whose last name wasn't capitalized in the MIRS Report... Yes, Laurie Raines (RAINES), the wife of Eaton County Sheriff Mike Raines, who is a bold Constitutionalist Conservative Sheriff in the mold of Arizona's Joe Arpaio. Of the four candidates, my objective opinion is that only Laurie Raines and Britt Slocum are sincere, quality candidates who should be considered by any true Constitutional Conservative demanding an honest, fiscally responsible Representative, who I feel will serve with honor and integrity.

While I have publicly endorsed both Britt and Laurie and sincerely like both as individuals, my vote will go to Laurie Raines as I feel she represents the very best total package as a Representative in that her fifteen plus years of experience with the Eaton County Sheriff's Office, Department of Homeland Security/Michigan State Police, and last few years as Rick Jones' Constituent Services Aide, make her the best choice to serve the people of the 71st House District.