Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tax Returns:
Romney, 6 vs. LA Gay Center & AHF, Zero

(Romney's site includes four tax returns.)

Last August, I urged Lorri Jean and Michael Weinstein of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Center and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation respectively, to adopt a modicum of fiscal transparency and post their three most recent IRS 990s. My urging was ignored and the $43 million gay center, via media rep Stevie St. John, had a most laughable reason why the were happy with financial darkness:

I’m responding to your inquiries regarding the Center’s website. We post our Annual Reports on the site each year, including our financials, but not the voluminous 990’s. 
Oh, the burden of 40 or so pages of an IRS filing on a multimillion dollar "community" agency. Imagine the laughter from here until election day, when he loses the race, if Mitt Romney dared to withhold sharing more of his tax returns on his site because they are voluminous.

Today, I requested the LA center's 2011 tax return which they filed in May with the IRS, and the AHF's 2011 filing submitted to the feds in July. By federal statute, both organizations are required to make those returns open for public inspection upon written request and neither complied with the statute. Of course, both groups fail to post even a single year's IRS 990.

Which gay and HIV organizations post 990s on-site and comply with laws on requests? Just a sampling. PFLAG, SF gay center: 9 years. Aestrea Foundation: 5 years. NYC gay center, AMFAR and Lambda Legal: 4 years. SF AIDS Foundation, National Center for Lesbian Rights: 3 years.

The LA center posts seven years of propagandist annual reports and maintains a "silence = best policy" regarding even mentioning IRS 990s. I'd post a screengrab from annual reports from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which had revenue of $97.2 million, yeah, nearly $100 million, but their site lacks 990s and annual reports.

(A trust and foundation tax return, three federal monetary disclosures from Romney.)

(Six financial disclosures from Massachusetts courtesy of the Romney campaign.)

Over at the Romney campaign site, the GOP presidential hopeful posts a single year's estimated tax return for himself and wife Ann, their 2010 return, three of their trust returns, one foundation return, three federal disclosure forms, and six Massachusetts state financial disclosures.

I repeat my plea to Lorri Jean and Michael Weinstein. Post your three most current IRS 990s, including your already filed 2011 editions, on your sites and catch up to the financial transparency of Romney.

A final note to reporters at the LA Times, Frontiers LA, the LA Weekly and bloggers in Southern California. When was the last time you asked the gay center and AHF for their 2011 990s? How about surveying the sites of several gay and HIV groups in your region, seeing who discloses returns and how current they are?

Let's spread the gay sunshine!

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