The Internal Revenue Service grants every American the right to examine the public records of the corporations that have been granted a public charter. The IRS requires that the Form 990 annual report of any Section 501(c) corporation be delivered within 30 days of a written request, whether that request has been made by e-mail or by letter. Some corporations gladly and readily share with all Americans the information they have a right to see. Other corporations pull out every last stop to keep Americans from seeing what they’ve been up to.
Today I have made a formal request by e-mail and the U.S. Postal Service for Americans Elect’s 2011 Form 990 by e-mail and in writing. This is my third request. My first request in May 2012 was denied as Americans Elect filed for an automatic three-month postponement. My second request in August 2012 was denied as Americans Elect filed for its second three-month postponement, which according to the IRS must have a reason behind it. Americans Elect has not shared the nature of this reason with the public. That second extension was the last extension available to Americans Elect. According to the IRS, it must file Form 990 now and must share that Form within 30 days upon request.
My letter sent today reads:
From: Jim Cook, 52 Conway Road, Camden, ME 04843
November 17, 2012
To: Americans Elect, 1775 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 1212, Washington, DC 20006
To the leadership of Americans Elect,
As Americans Elect publicly acknowledged this spring at the web page http://www.americanselect.org/news/8-2011/what-501c4-corporation, it is a corporation organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the IRS code. As revealed in a Bangor Daily News article on November 3 2012, Americans Elect is still active as a Section 501(c)(4) corporation. Its latest registered address with the Federal Election Commission as of October 31, 2012 is 1775 Pennsylvania Ave NW Suite 1212. This letter makes a formal request of Americans Elect in its continuing capacity as a 501(c)(4) corporation.
In its prior Form 990 for the year 2010 -- see http://irregulartimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/AmericansElect2010Form990.pdf for a permanent copy -- Americans Elect revealed that it files according to calendar years. As the IRS specifies here, your corporation must file Form 990 for the year 2011 by May 15 of 2012. In mid-May 2012, I requested Americans Elect's Form 990 for the year 2011. But in an unsigned letter dated May 25 2012 -- see here -- Americans Elect replied to my inquiry with the following explanation:
“Thank you for your recent inquiry. Americans Elect has not yet filed its 2011 Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service. Americans Elect has filed Form 8868 with the Internal Revenue Service and therefore has received an automatic 3 month extension for the deadline to file its 2011 Form 990.”
That three month extension expired on August 15 2012, and so in August 2012, I again requested Americans Elect’s Form 990 for the year 2011. Americans Elect replied on August 17 2012 with the following explanation:
“Thank you for your recent inquiry. Americans Elect has not yet filed its 2011 Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service. Americans Elect has filed a second Form 8868 with the Internal Revenue Service for an additional three month extension of the deadline to file its Form 990 and, therefore, Americans Elect will file its 2011 Form 990 by November 15, 2012.”
November 15, 2012 has passed. I am therefore writing again to formally, specifically request that Americans Elect's Form 990 for the year 2011 be sent to me at the address below. This is my legal right, as specified by the IRS here: http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=135005,00.html
I reserve my full rights under law and expect your response to respect those rights. 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. If Americans Elect has chosen for some reason not to file Form 990 with the IRS, I also formally request that you supply to me a complete written notice indicating why Americans Elect has neglected to file these forms. The IRS requires that you supply these forms to me within 30 days from today.
I will be happy to receive these disclosures 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 if you will charge me any money for the transmission of these documents, that you inform me of such charges and the manner in which I may pay them within 7 days from today.
My contact information for receiving this information is:
52 Conway Road
Camden, ME 04843
I look forward to receiving these documents at your earliest convenience within the 30-day window available to you.
P.S. For the record, I have sent this message on November 17, 2012 in the mail, by e-mail, and as a publicly-visible internet posting to the article thread at http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/category/americanselect/. Americans Elect does not share a contact e-mail address with the public, so the following addresses used in the past by leadership and including some names of current leadership have been used to establish contact:
Will Americans Elect respond within the required 30-day period to share its 2011 Form 990? Check back in this space. If Americans Elect does respond, I’ll be sure to let you know right here. If you see no further notice, you can interpret that as a lack of response by Americans Elect.
Why ask Americans Elect for its Form 990 if its 2012 bid for the White House failed? The simple answer is that Americans Elect continues to use a handful of big-money financiers to sway elections, without informing and involving its delegates as its rules and bylaws require. Its latest spending spree to promote and oppose particular candidates for office added up to 1.75 million dollars, supplied by just 3 wealthy Wall Street figures and voted on by none of the Americans Elect rank-and-file. As long as Americans Elect continues to simultaneously wield the rhetoric of democracy and the practice of undemocratic big-money spending, it will remain crucial to obtain every last piece of public information about Americans Elect possible.