Nick Nichols

In 2012, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) reported $112-million in revenue and $173.1-million in assets. EDF has been tax-exempt since 1969. In 2011, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (NRDC) reported $97-million in revenue and $248.9-million in assets. NRDC has been tax-exempt since 1970. Three tax-exempt Greenpeace organizations in the U.S. reported $39.2-million in revenue and $20.6-million in assets in 2011.

I wonder whether the tax-paying coal miners of West Virginia realize that they are subsidizing progressives intent on destroying their jobs? Do they consider Greenpeace charitable? I can’t speak for the coal miners, but I can confirm that both New Zealand and Canada have stripped Greenpeace of its charity status.

What about unemployed union workers who have been denied jobs on the Keystone pipeline? Is it fair and just that they have to pay taxes while the progressive activist groups lobbying against pipeline construction avoid state and federal tax collectors?

Progressive environmental organizations aren’t the only radicals feeding off the beleaguered taxpayer. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been tax-exempt since 1981. Last year PETA reported $31-million in revenue and $16-million in assets. For those who have been victimized by the radical animal rights group, how does it feel to be forced to subsidize your adversary?

The Ruckus Society trains protesters to disrupt public events and engage in civil disobedience. Yes, Ruckus has been tax-exempt since 1996. Three years later it helped train radicals to rain havoc on Seattle during a World Trade Organization conference. Very charitable, wouldn’t you agree?

One final example: The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) which is alleged to have links to Hamas, a State Department designated terrorist group, has at least thirteen 501(c)(3) tax-exempt groups in the U.S. During 2011, CAIR reported $8.7-million in revenues and $6.4-million in assets. It also boasts a multi-million dollar lobbying organization. Isn’t it ironic that the IRS saw fit to declare CAIR a Public Charity worthy of tax-exempt status, while putting the Tea Party through the wringer?

Once the Congress finishes its investigation of the IRS Tea Party scandal it would do well to take a comprehensive look at how “charity” is defined for the purpose of granting tax exemptions. Failure to do so will amount to taxation without representation for millions of real American taxpayers.


Nick Nichols

Nick is a retired crisis communications executive. He also developed and taught graduate-level crisis management courses at the Johns Hopkins University. Nick is the author of Rules for Corporate Warriors: How to Fight and Survive Attack Group Shakedowns. He is a Vietnam veteran.


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