Constantine Cannon represents Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) in new IRS whistleblower complaint against American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
SAN FRANCISCO, July 20, 2021 / PRNewswire / – On behalf of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), the law firm Constantine Cannon LLP today filed a complaint with the IRS Whistleblower Office against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), alleging that the CAFTA openly engaged in political campaign intervention in violation of its 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status by offering political campaign software to conservative lawmakers under the pretext of providing software as a “service” to voters ”.
According to the submission, the ALEC has been providing this sophisticated voter management and campaign software – created and managed by Republican agents and directly linked to the Republican National Committee voter records – since at least 2016. Its patently illegal abuse of its status nonprofit is just the latest activity the organization has undertaken in the past decade to lobby for legislation or to support political campaigns despite its 501 (c) 3 statute, which requires it ‘ALEC to refrain from any activity likely to advance political campaigns or legislation.
The submission details the partisan use of the so-called “ALEC CARE” software, which was developed by the Republican agent Ned ryun and political software company VoterGravity specifically to help with Republican and Conservative campaigns. The campaign software was then “white-labeled” as the founding software of the CEAA, in order to disguise its true purpose. By CAFTA’s own admission, the services provided to Republican lawmakers through the use of the CARE software were worth more than $ 6 million by electoral cycle, none of which was declared as campaign contribution.
The actions of the ALEC were brought to the attention of the CMD through a legislative member of the ALEC, who admitted the illegality of the ALEC program. The lawmaker became a whistleblower and provided screenshots of ALEC training videos and other incriminating evidence. The submission is also supported by documents obtained through CMD’s own investigation and open case requests.
“No amount of disguise or facade can hide the CAFTA’s brazen disregard for laws related to its tax-exempt status,” said Eric Havian, Partner at Constantine Cannon and Head of the Firm’s Whistleblower Practice. “The CAFTA has abused its tax-exempt status for a decade or more. I can only hope that we haven’t gotten used to the fraud in plain sight and that the IRS will finally take action to prevent taxpayers from subsidizing the election campaign and lobbying supporters of the CEFTA. “
Some of the campaign-related features of the ALEC CARE software, according to a YouTube introduction to the product, include “Geomapped Walking Lists”, “Door Knocks”, “Voter Data” and a unique “Attack List” feature. Designed to alert campaigns about who voted on election day. According to a VoteGravity blog post, “This allows the campaign to contact all supporters who have not yet voted and track the progress of the strike list as it occurs.”
“There is no universe in which the functionality of ALEC CARE could be considered as a constituent service,” said Max Voldman, partner at Constantine Cannon. “This is campaign software, clear and simple, and as such, an illegal contribution to these campaigns in violation of the CEFTA 501 (c) (3) tax exemption.”
In the case, CMD urges the IRS to remove the 501 (c) (3) status from the CEAA and pay fines related to the violations. The CMD also files campaign finance complaints with the appropriate monitoring agencies in 15 states.
The press release from the Center for Media and Democracy is available here. The IRS submission is available here, with a full list of exhibits here.
About Constantine Cannon LLP
With offices in new York, Washington DC, San Francisco and London, Constantine Cannon LLP is one of the world’s largest whistleblower firms United States. The firm’s team of dedicated whistleblowers represent whistleblowers under federal and state misrepresentation laws as well as the whistleblower programs of the IRS, SEC, CFTC, DOT and others.
Constantine Cannon also has extensive expertise in practice areas that include complex commercial and antitrust litigation, government relations, securities and electronic discovery. The firm’s antitrust practice is one of the largest and most recognized in the country. Constantine Cannon’s experience spans many industries including healthcare, banking, electronic payments, insurance, high tech, telecommunications, internet, and government procurement.
For more information, visit the Constantine Cannon website, at constantinecannon.com.
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