Questions That Unity 08 Will Not Answer

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February 1, 2007

These are 21 questions that Unity08 has not, as of February 1 2007, answered.

[2/6/07 Update: Unity08 still has not answered these questions. However, I have been able to uncover answers to some of them, and so will address them in clearly bolded updates below. Some of these answers come from the revised 2nd Quarter and 3rd Quarter Form 8872 reports to the IRS, which became available to the public on 2/5/07 via the IRS disclosure website.]

1. Unity08 has made a number of pledges in the past.

A) Unity08 has in multiple places indicated that it is committed to funding solely by small-dollar donations of no more than $5,000 (link|link|link|link|link|link). Yet in its lawsuit filed against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on January 10, 2007 in DC District Court, Unity08 specifically requests exemption from any "obligation to register with the FEC, report its receipts or expenditures, or limit the amount of donations that it receives from contributors or the amount that it expends." Unity08 also states in the lawsuit that "it should accept donations from individuals, which may be in the form of loans, without limitation as to the amount." Unity08 further states in its lawsuit that were it able to be freed of FEC regulation, "Unity08 would seek and receive much larger donations and loans from willing contributors."

B) In seeking an official Advisory Opinion on its correct designation as an organization (527 vs. PAC), Unity08 specifically stated that "The FEC will determine whether or not we are a political committee for FEC purposes. Obviously we will follow their opinion." On another page, Unity08 posed and answered its own question: "Would you and your candidates have to abide by FEC regulations? Of course." Yet when the FEC's advisory opinion was issued, informing Unity08 of the need to register as a PAC within 10 days, Unity08 ignored it for two months, and then filed a lawsuit against the FEC.

C) In the summer of 2006, Unity08 pledged to update its financial disclosures twice a month. It broke this pledge. In the fall of 2006, Unity08 pledged to update its financial disclosures once a month. It also broke this pledge. On January 5, 2007, it pledged to update its list of donors on the webpage http://www.unity08.com/donors on January 31, 2007. It broke this pledge as well.

Are there other current pledges being made by Unity08 that it plans to break, or is considering breaking?

2. The IRS clearly states that "An organization must electronically file Form 8872 if it has, or expects to have, contributions or expenditures exceeding $50,000 for the calendar year." Unity08 meets this standard. Why has Unity08 not filed its Forms 8872 for the 2nd and 3rd quarter electronically as the IRS appears to require? And did Unity08 file its Form 8872 for the 4th quarter electronically as the IRS appears to require? [2/6/07 Update: Unity08 did file its Form 8872 for the 4th Quarter as the IRS appears to require. But Unity08 did not file its Form 8872 for the 2nd Quarter or 3rd Quarter, either in the original filings or the revisions to correct numerous efforts, in electronic form as the IRS seems to require. Instead, Unity08 filed by paper, which takes the IRS longer to process and retards the disclosure process.]

3. Will Unity08 commit to post copies of the 2nd Quarter, 3rd Quarter, and 4th Quarter of 2006 on its own website for public review? Will Unity08 commit to post copies of its IRS Form 8872 on its own website into the future? And should it lose the lawsuit it filed on January 10, 2007 against the Federal Election Commission, will Unity08 commit to post copies of FEC disclosures as a Political Action Committee on its own website into the future?

4. In its initial, factually incorrect 2nd Quarter and 3rd Quarter statements to the IRS, Unity08 claimed its principal business address is 1801 California Street Suite 5050, Denver CO 80202. In its application for status as a corporation, Unity08 listed its principal office address as 1801 California Street Suite 5050, Denver CO 80202. This is identical to the principal business address of Peak Creative Media.

In a lawsuit filed against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in DC District Court (Case 1:07-cv-00053-RWR) Unity08 lists its primary address as 2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 514, Washington, DC 20037. This is an office suite in the Watergate complex, also claimed as an address for the law firm of Franch, Jarashow, Burgmeier & Smith, as well as for an organization called the Thoreau Group.

Which is Unity08's actual primary address?

5. In filing its Form 8871 with the IRS, Unity08 lists Peak Creative Media CEO Jim Jonas as Unity08's President and CEO, and Douglas L. Bailey as Unity08's Secretary and Treasurer. In Unity08's Governance Page, Douglas L. Bailey is listed as Unity08's President and CEO.

Who are the current officers of Unity08?

6. Founders' Council member Douglas L. Bailey has stated that "There is no one on the Founders Council who intends or wants to benefit financially from Unity08." Does this mean that no members of the Founders' Council will engage in paid work for Unity08? Does this mean that no members of the Founders' Council will receive compensation for any work for a campaign resulting from Unity08 nomination? Does this mean that no members of the Founders' Council will receive compensation for any work for a presidential administration resulting from the successful election of Unity08 candidates to the White House?

7. On July 18, 2006, Founders Council Member Doug Bailey indicated of members of the Founders Council that "Some will have expenses reimbursed.... And a few will be providing their business services at standard rates." Thomas Collier, Robert E. Jordan, John J. Duffy, and Anthony A. Onorato of the law firm Steptoe and Johnson have provided legal services in their filings with the FEC, which resulted in Unity08 needing to be reclassified as a PAC, not a 527. But there is no indication in the 2nd quarter and 3rd quarter reports currently available to the public of any compensation or reimbursement of Collier, Jordan, Duffy, Onorato or the firm of Steptoe and Johnson for their services. Were these services donated? If not, how much compensation or reimbursement has been paid, and how much is due?

8. Anya T. Harris refers to herself in a number of places on and off the Unity08 website as "Chief Operating Officer of Unity08". Yet there is no mention in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th quarter reports to the IRS (either in the original or revised reports) of Anya Harris (or any Chief Operating Officer) receiving compensation. Has the Chief Operating Officer of Unity08 been compensated in any manner for her work, which includes hiring and supervision as well as the website work she has been carrying out? If so, for what amount and out of what source of funds?

9. The 2nd and 3rd Quarter IRS reports currently available to the public indicate that for over this six month period, Shane Kinkennon has been compensated $7,669.41. Is this a "standard rate" for professional public relations services? Has Mr. Kinkennon been further compensated for his work in this six-month period?

10. Has any group or person other than Unity08 compensated or reimbursed individuals for their Unity08-related work? If so, who and for how much?

11. Unity08's second quarter statement lists $18,700 (a significant portion of all donations) as having been donated to it in the year 2002. Is this a typographical error? If it is not a typographical error, how does this mesh with the description of Unity08 in its May 30, 2006 press release as a "new grassroots organization" that has been "building for months," not years?

12. Unity08 has commissioned a national poll with Princeton Survey Research. I cannot find any description of expenses associated with a national poll on either the 2nd quarter or 3rd quarter reports of expenses that are currently available to the public. Did Unity08 pay for this poll? If so, please clarify the extent of those expenses. If Unity08 did not pay for this poll, who did pay for the poll?

13. What is the total dollar amount of all donations -- including those under $200 -- received thus far by Unity08?

14. If Unity08 has a positive balance in its accounts, what is that balance? If Unity08 is in debt at this point, by how much? From whom is it obtaining loans, if it is in debt?

15. Carolyn Tieger is co-chair of the Unity08 Rules Committee. Thomas C. Collier is the other co-chair of the Unity08 Rules Committee. Sayuri Yamada Matthews is a member of the Unity08 Rules Committee. Tieger is a leader of Porter Novelli, a registered lobbying firm. Collier and Yamada Matthews are registered lobbyists. Are there other members of the Unity08 leadership, or employees of Unity08, who are now or have been leaders of registered lobbying firms or registered lobbyists? If so, who are they?

16. Carolyn Tieger is a leader of a registered lobbying firm. Thomas C. Collier is a registered lobbyist. In the lawsuit against the FEC, Tieger and Collier claim as plaintiffs that they have contributed money to Unity08 and would like to contribute "substantially more." How does this square with the claim on Unity08's home page that "Unlike the other parties we don't have lobbyists bankrolling our work"?

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Caveat on #15 and #16:

Look, Iím just a self-employed guy with student loans and two kids. These are people who have a lot more money and resources at their disposal than I have. So I donít want to get my pants sued off. I also donít want to be unfair. Really and truly.

For that reason, I want to make it absolutely clear that this is not meant to be a personal attack against Carolyn Tieger, Thomas C. Collier, the lawyer lobbyists who work with Thomas C. Collier, or Sayuri Yamada Matthews. I donít know them, and Iíve never spoken in person with them. They may be perfectly nice people. The issue is Unity08 and its choices as an organization.

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17. How can Unity08 reconcile these two statements?

A. FAQ from unitypetition.com:

"Is anyone being paid for this Unity Petition effort?

No. It is entirely volunteer, from top to bottom."

B. 4th Quarter 2006 IRS Form 8872:

Recipient's name, mailing address and ZIP code: Christine McGuire, 8 Sugar Mill Court, Sewell, NJ 08080

Name of recipient's employer: N/A
Recipient's occupation: N/A

Amount of Expenditure: $400
Date of Expenditure: 10/12/2006

Purpose of expenditure: Unity Petition Outreach

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Recipient's name, mailing address and ZIP code: Christine McGuire, 8 Sugar Mill Court, Sewell, NJ 08080

Name of recipient's employer: N/A
Recipient's occupation: N/A

Amount of Expenditure: $800
Date of Expenditure: 11/01/2006

Purpose of expenditure: Unity Petition Outreach

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Recipient's name, mailing address and ZIP code: Christine McGuire, 8 Sugar Mill Court, Sewell, NJ 08080

Name of recipient's employer: N/A
Recipient's occupation: N/A

Amount of Expenditure: $500
Date of Expenditure: 11/15/2006

Purpose of expenditure: Unity Petition Outreach

18. In its legally-required 4th Quarter IRS Report, Unity08 lists the following mailing addresses:

P O Box 12545
Arlington, VA 22219

The custodian of records, Daniel J. Radek, also has a listed mailing address of

P O Box 12545
Arlington, VA 22219

Peter G. Peterson of The Blackstone Group, Inc. contributed $5,000 and has a listed mailing address of

P O Box 12545
Arlington, VA 22219

Leon M. Wagner of Goldentree Asset Management contributed $5,000 and has a listed mailing address of

P O Box 12545
Arlington, VA 22219

Glenn Dubin of Highbridge Capital contributed $5,000 and has a listed mailing address of

P O Box 12545
Arlington, VA 22219

Alison Mass Bommarito of Goldman Sachs contributed $5,000 and has a listed mailing address of

P O Box 12545
Arlington, VA 22219

Five more contributors have a listed mailing address of

P O Box 12545
Arlington, VA 22219

Also according to the report, Merchant Banking Services, American Express, Beehive Marketing, Verizon, Kinkennon Communications, TigerTel, and Manning also have mailing addresses of

P O Box 12545
Arlington, VA 22219

Exactly how large is this Post Office Box? If these are not the correct addresses, what are the correct addresses? Please post them promptly and publicly.

Also, please explain what specific quality control measures will be in place to prevent either the explosive over-use of a P O Box or the glaring errors that cannot be permitted in the nation's first online presidential nomination -- to take place in one year's time.

19. Note: See bottom of this question for an apparent answer to this question (the answer not provided by Unity08 itself, of course).

Unity08 writes with pride about its standards regarding donations:

"Unity08 does not accept contributions from special interests or corporations - and contributions from individuals are voluntarily capped at $5,000 (cumulative) per year."

It also mentions this specific contribution limit in its lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission.

And yet in its 4th Quarter 2006 IRS Form 8872, Unity08 reports accepting a contribution of $23,545 on December 31, 2006. The mailing address of the contributor as given is identical to the mailing address of Unity08. Who is this contributor? We cannot say. The report informs the IRS that this contributor's name will be "Withheld."

Also "Withheld" in this report is the name of a person who received a $359 payment from Unity08, also on December 31, 2006. The recipient of this payment is also given as identical to the mailing address of Unity08. And what service or good was this payment in exchange for? We cannot tell: the description provided is "miscellaneous."

Will Unity08 provide properly thorough and public details of these transactions?

[2/6/07 Update: Unity08 still has not provided documentation of these transactions. However, revised 2nd Quarter and 3rd Quarter Form 8872 reports to the IRS, needed because of extensive errors in Unity08's first filings, show similar "Withheld" lines for expenditures and for contributions. These are in the same place in each quarter: at the end of Attachments A and B. This format appears to show that these are totals of expenditures below a certain threshhold (I do not know what that threshold is) and donations below a $200 threshhold.

20. Unity08 makes a great deal (link | link) of its current annual contribution limit of $5,000 for individuals (a limit it paradoxically is suing the FEC to do away with).

On its donations web page as of January 5, 2007, Unity08 claimed that Unity08 Founder and lawsuit plaintiff Angus King had already given $1,000 to Unity08 as of September 30, 2006, and asserted that this website report was thoroughly accurate. 3rd QuarterThis donation is confirmed in Unity08's latest 3rd Quarter 2006 report to the IRS, which clarifies further that Angus King gave this donation on September 15, 2006. In its report to the IRS regarding the 4th Quarter of 2006, Unity08 reports that Angus King donated $5,000 to Unity08 on October 3, 2006. This would take Angus King's donations for the year of 2006 to $6,000 -- above the contribution limit.

Has Unity08 accepted more than its contribution limit, or is there an error in Unity08's reporting?

21. With the new year, Unity08 rolled out a Clean Money Pledge. It challenged members of the public to sign on to a statement in which they committed to the following plan of action: ďI will only vote for a presidential candidate who has raised more than half of his/her funds through small contributions of $250 or less.Ē It further sent out letters to presidential candidates in the Republican and Democratic parties, challenging them to commit to take a majority of their funds from donations of $250 or less.

In an aside, Unity08 noted:

"Like the weather, most politicians pay lip service to the dangers of special interest lobbyist money in Washington, but few do anything about it Ėexcept take the money."

"Well, if a new President is going to try to talk the talk of cleaning up the lobbyist money culture in Washington that so corrodes the democratic process, he or she had better have walked the walk in their 2008 campaign."

Has Unity08 followed the spirit of its own Clean Money Pledge? Has it walked the walk or just talked the talk?

From Unity08ís own 4th Quarter report to the IRS, here are the timings and dollar amounts of donations to Unity08 in the 4th Quarter of 2006, by those who donated at least $200 during the whole year of 2006:

10/6/2006 $5,000
10/6/2006 $5,000
10/23/2006 $5,000
10/25/2006 $5,000
10/25/2006 $5,000
11/1/2006 $5,000
11/7/2006 $5,000
12/7/2006 $5,000
10/3/2006 $5,000
10/3/2006 $5,000
10/3/2006 $5,000
10/3/2006 $5,000
10/3/2006 $5,000
10/3/2006 $5,000
10/6/2006 $5,000
10/6/2006 $5,000
10/16/2006 $5,000
10/16/2006 $5,000
10/16/2006 $5,000
10/16/2006 $5,000
10/20/2006 $5,000
10/23/2006 $1,000
10/23/2006 $200
10/23/2006 $200
10/23/2006 $75
10/24/2006 $200
10/25/2006 $1,000
10/25/2006 $5,000
10/25/2006 $5,000
10/25/2006 $5,000
10/27/2006 $5,000
11/1/2006 $5,000
11/2/2006 $5,000
11/3/2006 $5,000
11/3/2006 $5,000
11/7/2006 $5,000
11/7/2006 $5,000
11/7/2006 $300
11/10/2006 $5,000
11/10/2006 $5,000
11/10/2006 $5,000
11/10/2006 $5,000
11/10/2006 $5,000
11/20/2006 $5,000
11/20/2006 $5,000
11/27/2006 $200
12/1/2006 $5,000
12/4/2006 $5,000
12/4/2006 $5,000
12/5/2006 $5,000
12/5/2006 $5,000
12/5/2006 $100
12/7/2006 $5,000
12/11/2006 $5,000
12/11/2006 $5,000
12/11/2006 $5,000
12/12/2006 $5,000
12/12/2006 $5,000
12/12/2006 $5,000
12/12/2006 $5,000
12/14/2006 $5,000
12/14/2006 $5,000
12/17/2006 $5,000
12/22/2006 $5,000
12/26/2006 $100
12/27/2006 $5,000

Additionally, on 12/31/2006 $23,545 is reported in donations as "Withheld." This figure represents the total of all donations of less than $200 during the 4th Quarter. With the $1,075 in donations of at least $200 but of no more than $250 added to that, the total dollar amount of donations coming from donations of $250 or less during the 4th quarter appears to come to $24,620.

The total donated to Unity08 in the 4th Quarter of 2006 (remember, by those who donated at least $200 in all of 2006) was a whopping $306,920. Where did most of this surge come from? From $5,000 donations. Only 8.0% of the dollar value of all 4th Quarter Donations come from donations of $250 or less. 92.0% of the dollar value of those donations come from donations of more than $250.

Why is Unity08 asking other political parties to sign on to its Clean Money pledge of no more than half of the dollar value of donations coming from contributions of $250 -- when Unity08 garnered a full 92% of the dollar value of its donations from donations of more than $250?

Does Unity08 [2/6/07: Updated text to reflect knowledge of the origin of the $23,545 figure.

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Some of these questions were posed at the end of January 2007, but I have been asking many of these questions before in one form or another since the summer of 2006 -- and Unity08 has refused to answer them. Unity 08 refers to itself as a "grassroots organization" and a "people's movement." A grassroots organization responds to the grassroots. A people's movement responds to the people within it. Let's see whether Unity08 answers these questions -- or continues to ignore them.


February 1, 2007


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