"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Trigger Happy Parent Revolution Refuses Form 990 Request

"Soviet style elections" — Ben Austin in response to parents and communities voting for community school plans over corporate charters.

Parent Revolution are Walton funded Astroturf poverty pimps and privatization pushersThe scoundrels, scandal-mongers, and assorted criminals at the so-called Parent Revolution have been very active lately. Meeting with other astroturf groups on a statewide privatization bus tour. Hosting meetings with their ideological counterparts of the extreme right-wing The Heartland Institute. Lying to Mother Jones. Covering up the fact that their Executive Director, that foppish millionaire from Benedict Canyon — Ben Austin, was illegally lobbying the California State Board of Education. They've even taken to smearing actual grass-roots parent organizations like Parents Across America in high profile venues like NBC's Miseducation Nation.

With all the poverty pimping and privatization pushing they've been up to, I wondered if they were following tax laws and keeping their paper work current. As I mentioned recently, 501C3s are required by law to have their Forms 990 on-site and available for inspection by the public during regular business hours. Here's the requirements straight from the Internal Revenue Service:

Public Disclosure and Availability of Exempt Organizations Returns and Applications: Public Disclosure Requirements in General

In general, exempt organizations must make available for public inspection certain annual returns and applications for exemption, and must provide copies of such returns and applications to individuals who request them. Copies usually must be provided immediately in the case of in-person requests, and within 30 days in the case of written requests. The tax-exempt organization may charge a reasonable copying fee plus actual postage, if any. The IRS must also make this same information publicly available.

I've been waiting for the Walton Family Foundation's darlings' 2010 Form 990 to come out now for some time. In addition to seeing if avaricious Austin got a raise from his already exorbitant base salary of $15,000 a month to sell our public schools to the highest charter bidders, there was some other information I wanted to check out on their new filing. The so-called Parent Revolution filed for an extension this year, so this information is being kept from the public. In case anyone wants to research them further, Parent Revolutions Employer Identification Number or EIN is 20-2207418.

Gabe Rose, Deputy Director Parent Revolution aka McKinley Parents for Change
Gabe Rose, Deputy Director Parent Revolution aka McKinley Parents for Change.
Today I paid a visit to the Gates funded poverty pimps at their lavish tenth floor office on 9th Street in Downtown Los Angeles. I announced to the young woman sitting at the front desk that I was there to inspect their Forms 990 when Parent Revolution's churlish Deputy Director Gabriel Rose approached me. I reiterated my purpose for being there.

As a refresher, well-to-do white male Rose is a Coro Fellow, meaning he is specially trained in astroturf operations on behalf of the lucrative charter-voucher school industry. He is so devoid of both ethics and morals that he posed as a Compton parent in order to deceive real Compton parents. Rose is Squealer to Austin's Napoleon, and his assigned task is to manipulate frustrated, but uniformed parents, teaching them to bleat "Charter Schools Good, Public Schools Bad."

The surly privatizer Rose stated that his Broad funded organization didn't have copies of their Forms 990 at their office. He then asked me to step out into the hallway to continue our conversation. He told me that I could find them online. I informed him that by law they were supposed to have them on-site and he acted somewhat surprised (one would think a Deputy Director of a 501C3 would have a grasp of a modicum of non-profit laws, but again he's paid to lie to parents, not to actually know anything). He then said he could email them to me, which was agreeable, so I told him that I wanted 2008, 2009, and 2010. He said they hadn't filed their 2010 yet. This despite the fact that it was the last day of September 2011.

I told Rose that I would continue to stop by to check the status of their 2010 filing, which elicited some dismay. He said something about it being a private office, oblivious to the fact that the public has a right to inspect several of their documents in exchange for their tax exempt status. He is seemingly blissfully unaware of what non-profits were originally (or ostensibly) for. Not to mention that their well heeled plutocratic funders are claiming donations to these astroturf organizations are charitable deductions. I strongly suggest anyone in the Los Angeles area do the same as I did: Parent Revolution is at 315 W. 9th St. Ste. 1000, 90015. Before I departed, I asked Rose if he would keep his word and email me the Forms 990. His snide reply was "you can just download them from GuideStar." He, like the vile plutocrats that pay his bloated salary to scamboozle [1] people in impoverished communities, just doesn't get it.

As soon as I got to a computer, I immediately filed a 13909 Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint (Referral) Form with IRS against them. Failure to disclose a Form 990 can result in a fine for every day that they refuse to disclose the information to the public. This is a method of resistance to neoliberalism and privatization that all activists can participate in. Pick any Broad/Gates/Walton funded 501C3 to visit and demand inspection of their Forms 990. At the very least, they'll know communities are paying attention. If they aren't forthcoming fines and possible revocation of their exempt status are very attractive prospects.

[1] I'm lifting this word from Cartoon Network, scamboozle is apparently an elision of scam and bamboozle. It's the perfect word for what Parent Revolution does.

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