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Open Letter to Americans Elect CTO Joshua Levine Formally Requesting IRS Documents (Yet Again)

[Note: the following open letter has been sent this morning to Americans Elect Chief Technology Officer Joshua Levine in e-mail form, one of the avenues by which the IRS explicitly recognizes official requests for information may take place.]

Dear Mr. Levine,

The following is an open letter which is directed to you and also published on the web for purposes of full transparency and civic engagement.

In 2010, I made a request by phone for Americans Elect’s IRS documents under which it had re-organized as a Section 501c4 corporation. I have not received any response to this request.

On March 11 2011, I was turned away from the door of the Americans Elect offices by a security guard (see http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2011/03/25/contrary-to-peter-ackerman-americans-elect-will-not-communicate/) after I arrived to make a personal request for Form 990 (report on the activities of a 501c4 corporation) and Form 1024 (request for status as a 501c4 corporation). Corporations organizing under section 501c4 status are required by the federal government to respond to in-person requests by supplying these forms on the same day they are made.

Immediately following my attempt to make a personal request, I stood outside the Americans Elect office building on 1775 Pennsylvania Avenue, one block away from the White House in Washington DC, and sent an e-mail message to Americans Elect chief Peter Ackerman, Americans Elect executive Kahlil Byrd, Americans Elect Communications Manager (now Campus Director) Nick Troiano, Americans Elect office manager Nancy Blackmore and the general informational e-mail account for Americans Elect. That e-mail message, a copy of which you can read at http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/text-of-e-mail-request-to-americans-elect-for-irs-document-disclosure/, specifically and formally requests copies of Form 990 and IRS forms requesting exemption under section 501c4 (Form 1024). Corporations organizing under section 510c4 status are required to supply these forms within 30 days of a written request. According to IRS information listed below, e-mails count as a valid form of written request.

As of November 10, 2011, eight months after the request and seven months after the deadline for satisfying this request, I have not received any response to this request.

On August 13 2011, I wrote specifically to you as follows:

“As I’m sure you know, I have a number of questions, as they’re listed under my name on the Get Satisfaction system. I won’t waste your time by repeating them here, save one because I’ve been asking it of Americans Elect for some time by multiple methods including certified letter and it’s a pretty basic question, an answer to which appears to be compulsory. My question lies between these ellipses:

The federal government requires corporations organized under section 501(c) of the IRS code to make the following forms available the same day upon an in-person request, and within 30 days upon a written request:

* Form 990, the organization’s annual report to the IRS
* Form 1023/1024, the organization’s application for tax-exempt status
* Any letter or other documentation accompanying the organization’s application for tax-exempt status

Americans Elect may not yet have a Form 990 to share with those who make a request, but it has been acting as a 501(c)4 corporation for more than ten months now and therefore should have made an application for tax-exempt status. Americans Elect was organized before that as a political organization under Section 527, creating another set of documents that it is also required to produce upon request. On March 11 2011 I visited Americans Elect headquarters at 1775 Pennsylvania Avenue in an attempt to deliver an in-person request for these forms. A security guard indicated that she had been made aware of my planned visit and refused me any access past the lobby. Unable to deliver my request in person, I made an e-mail request for documents the same day. I have not received any communication from Americans Elect in return. The 30 day federal deadline since my request has passed. On the Get Satisfaction web system, I have posed the question again.

Factual sources:
http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=135012,00.html and
http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=135005,00.html

Question: What is the reason for Americans Elect’s noncompliance in supplying the requested documents and on what time frame will they be supplied?

My official requests by multiple means for this information date back to last year. I am as I’ve stated before willing to pay the costs of reproduction and postage. I look forward to seeing these documents; it might be a good idea to have them posted (with updates when relevant) on the new disclosure page of your website.

Sincerely,

Jim Cook
Irregular Times”

As of November 10, 2011, three months after making the repeated request and two months after the deadline for Americans Elect to satisfy the request, you have not responded with any of the requested information. Neither has Americans Elect posted its Form 990 or Form 1024 for public review.

I am writing again to specifically request these forms, Form 990 and Form 1024. If Americans Elect has chosen for some reason to use any other alternatively publicly-requestable form to register itself as a 501c4 corporation or any other entity, I also formally request that those forms be supplied to me by Americans Elect. I will be happy to receive these forms in electronic form or paper form. If you prefer to send these forms in paper form, I will of course promptly pay all costs associated with these forms’ reproduction and postage. The IRS requires that you supply these forms to me within 30 days.

My contact information for receiving this information is:

Jim Cook
52 Conway Road
Camden, ME 04843
207-230-0018
retorts@irregulartimes.com

I look forward to receiving these documents at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Jim Cook
Irregular Times

http://irregulartimes.com

7 comments to Open Letter to Americans Elect CTO Joshua Levine Formally Requesting IRS Documents (Yet Again)

  • I appreciate your efforts. I’ve just found out about this “organization” from an article at Huffington Post, and after visiting the “Americans Elect” website immediately smelled some rotten fish.

    Anything I can do to help, please let me know. Perhaps this group has good intentions, but it just seems to be another way to divide and conquer from where I stand.

    • Jeff Kelly

      I’ve been to the site many times and it is a place where those who are tired of the 2 party monopoly, the gridlock and our limited choices, meet up to compare notes. A “social media” site for the politically frustrated. It does sound like the massive Wall Street money that is financially backing this drive wants to put forth another candidate who is friendly to Wall Street but us disaffected still get to meet at the site and interact. AE is working.

      • Jeff,

        Have you really visited the Americans Elect website? If so, regardless of your opinion of Americans Elect, there really isn’t a basis to say what you’ve said.

        Americans Elect isn’t a “social media site” where people can “meet up to compare notes” or “meet at the site and interact.” There is no way for people to interact at the website, no way for people to compare notes at the website, no way for people to even leave comments on Americans Elect blog posts.

        • Jeff Kelly

          So I’ve been registered on the site for about a month now, I visit just about everyday, people leave messages on my “Bio wall” referencing how my “colors” (our issues answers) compare to theirs (“meet up to compare notes” as I said), the chairman of another “alternative” party contacted me through email and we’ve conversed this way and over the phone (“meet at the site and interact.” As I said). I put “social Media” in parenthesis and you should know what this implies. Maybe you know people who take time to make such things up, but I don’t. I was merely commenting on my experience at AE so far. I am very confident in my critical eye. Are you trying to discourage comments such as this based in experience? Your questioning of my visiting the site and report (very rude to a first time visitor and not very insightful since your doubt was unfounded) expose your ignorance of how parts of the site work. “Interact” doesn’t have to mean instant. When I can see how my views match up with others, that is comparing notes. Now I am not being as pedantic and harsh as you are to AE but I will see if you respond to me as AE has responded to you, ie; Dig the heals in and be defensive. I’ve learned some valuable information from your reporting but the way you respond to this feedback will tell me if sifting through your AE reporting is worth it. (I know your bias so I can separate the wheat from the chafe but it takes work and I’ll decide if it’s worth it.) Respectfully, Jeff Kelly

        • Actually, you’re right and I was wrong in your particular regard — I didn’t know you were a candidate and I was answering as if you were a delegate. There’s no means for delegates to communicate with one another on the website — but you’re right, there is a way for candidates to communicate with one another.

          Thanks for checking my check.

  • The Americans Elect organization may be an enormous phishing operation getting ready to commit the biggest rip-off in internet history. I joined, donated, filled out all the questionnaires, etc, but when I tried to show support for one of the Democrat candidates, it ran me through an unbelievably complicated gauntlet. In the process, they asked me for (and I foolishly gave) every security token imaginable, including social security number, drivers license, and personal data on other family members as well…that’s when I finally backed away. Since I donated, they even have my credit card information. They now have everything they need to get into every financial account I’ll ever own…all in the name of verifying me as a registered voter before they’ll let me participate in their primary process. I get emails from them daily saying I’m not verified yet and need to give them even more data. I’m worried that they’re just a front for gathering security access data. They’ve now gathered that same information from hundreds of thousands of Americans. If they’re not legit, now’s the time to get ahead of what they’re planning. I filed a report on the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center site (Complaint ID: I1203271217084321) but to date have not had a response. Any thoughts on how to get law enforcement to take a serious look at their operations? And how do I get them to delete all the data that they’ve already collected on me?

    • Anonymous

      I highly doubt your fears will come true. Jim Cook and others talk about how rich they are, some billionaires. Not likely their after your money. Your vote yes, $ no. I went through the process and it was a bit Big Brother, but my big brothers’ a decent guy and they are merely accessing a data base for voter registration many have access too.

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