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Americans Elect CTO Joshua Levine writes to Irregular Times, fails to produce Form 1024

Yesterday, I sent Americans Elect Chief Technology Officer Joshua Levine a message yet again formally requesting IRS documents relating to Americans Elect’s status as a 501c4 corporation. These documents include Form 990, an annual report, and Form 1024, the form Americans Elect would have sent in to the IRS officially requesting recognition as a 501c4 corporation. See here and here and here for documentation of requirements regarding the submission of these forms to the IRS and the sharing of these documents with members of the public upon request. I have been sending such requests to Americans Elect in one form or another for a year now. Americans Elect has failed to supply either Form 990 or Form 1024. Until CTO Joshua Levine began replying to my e-mails this August, Americans Elect failed to respond in any fashion to any communication at all.

Today, Joshua Levine sent me a brief e-mail, the complete contents of which I’ll share with you.

From: Joshua S. Levine
To: James Cook
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011 9:28 AM
Subject: Re: Repeat of Formal Request for Americans Elect Form 990 and Form 1024

dear mr. cook,

your open letter of november 10, 2011 neglected to mention that americans elect had previously posted the approved form 990 extension on september 16, 2011, granting a filing extension until november 15, 2011.

best,

– josh

My response, which I have also sent directly to Joshua Levine:

Dear Mr. Levine,

Your message to me neglected to provide Form 990 or Form 1024 within 30 days, as clearly required by IRS regulations.

Putting Form 990 aside for the moment (which I’m still asking for and which you are required by the federal government to provide as soon as the extension expires), you are also required to provide Form 1024. Please provide the completed Form 1024 for Americans Elect. It’s long, long, long (times how many days?) overdue. Please consider this yet another formal request for Americans Elect’s Form 1024. As required by the federal government, I am informing you yet again that I’m perfectly willing to cover any necessary costs of reproduction and shipping.

I’m not asking for something that should be difficult for you to dredge up. I’m asking for a document that ought to be easily at Americans Elect’s disposal.

I will happily share your latest e-mail with the public, including your latest failure to share Form 1024. But I would be happier to share the Form 1024.

Best,

Jim Cook
Irregular Times

P.S. Your e-mail neglected to mention that the extension is only for Form 990. There is no public evidence available suggesting Americans Elect has filed an extension for Form 1024. See http://static.americanselect.org/sites/files/official-documents/F8868.pdf for documentation.

P.P.S. Did I mention asking again for Form 1024? It’s been a long, long, long, long, long, long, long…

P.P.P.S. I notice that Americans Elect has a taxpayer ID for its extension form. This means that Americans Elect has an established relationship with the IRS, which means Americans Elect surely has made an application for IRS-recognized status, which means Americans Elect ought to have that Form 1024 handy, since that’s what Form 1024 is for. Or is Americans Elect out of IRS compliance? If Americans Elect is out of compliance with the federal government, please advise me in that regard, since that is also useful information that the public has a legal right to know.

P.P.P.P.S. Nothing personal, I hope you understand. I’m just asking for the information that is my right to ask for and that is Americans Elect’s obligation to provide; Americans Elect has failed repeatedly in its duties. I certainly hope that you will show the personal fortitude and professional completeness you’re known for and produce the document, Mr. Levine. I have faith in you; you’re the only person in the entire Americans Elect corporate structure who has ever responded to any of my questions in a year’s worth of efforts. I’m sure you’ll do the right thing, which is to share information with the public that the public has a right to know.

10 comments to Americans Elect CTO Joshua Levine writes to Irregular Times, fails to produce Form 1024

    • I have no personal desire to get legal with Americans Elect, to no small extent because I don’t have the money to hire a lawyer. Rather, I’m doing what I can, which is to note the gap between the requirements as written by the IRS and the actions (not) taken by Americans Elect. But by all means I encourage those who do (Bill?) to follow whatever process they feel is legal and ethical to get Americans Elect to move into compliance with federal requirements.

      Do you think you’re going to follow that path, Bill? And if you do, would you be willing to keep the rest of us up to date on your progress?

      • Bill

        You don’t need an attorney to file Form 3949-A with the IRS. It’s free, it’s simple, and it’s your right (some might even say your responsibility).

        I have just sent the following email to AE’s CEO and COO:

        To: Kahlil Byrd, CEO, Americans Elect (kahlil.byrd@americanselect.org); Elliot Ackerman, COO, Americans Elect (elliot.ackerman@americanselect.org
        Date: Nov. 11, 2011
        Subject: Americans Elect IRS Form 1024 request

        Dear Kahlil and Elliot:

        I write to request a copy of Americans Elect’s IRS Form 1024 as filed with the Internal Revenue Service in support of your 501(c)(4) application. Please include all attachments filed with that document, most notably including Americans Elect’s articles of incorporation.

        You may provide me with the the requested materials either electronically, emailed to me at xxxxx, or by U.S. mail, addressed to: xxxxx.

        As you are aware, it is Americans Elect’s legal responsibility, as a tax-exempt organization, to honor requests such as this one in a timely fashion. Please be aware that if you have not complied with this request within 30 calendar days I will file IRS Form 3949-A to inform the IRS of your failure to comply.

        Sincerely,

        xxxxx

        • Bill

          And I have just now received the following reply from Kahlil Byrd (that was fast…about 2 minutes!):

          Bill, Thanks for the note. On this, please do check our website on the 15th. You will find what you are looking for there. We felt, in this internet age, that it would be more effective for everyone to have access to the information at the same time.

  • Bill

    If it’s redacted, I’m going to Defcon 4.

    • I have some klaxons in my closet if that will help.

      Seriously, I have the same wariness that you do: that what we’ll see on November 15 is only Form 990 and not Form 1024, or some version of both forms with some information redacted. The IRS regulations do not allow for redaction: they’re clear that the documents are to be provided to the public, period, within 30 days, end of story.

  • theotherjimmyolson

    Thanks for your efforts, Jim.

  • Jim Malay

    Thanks for you background work to this date. I logged onto the site and see the Form 990, but no mention of Form 1024. Have you filed the IRS 3949-A at this point? Is there any other website that I might visit which does any other followup on this issue? I also have become concerned (cynical) that this organization is trying to elicit funds from the member delegates for their own political aims and not for the delegates. I found it interesting that when doing a ‘whois’ on the .org that it is listed as: AmericanSelect.org (please notice the capitalizaton). Thanks in advance, Jim Malay

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