FSC Calls on Calif. Attorney General to Probe AHF

Sep 2, 2015 10:28 AM PST

LOS ANGELES — The Free Speech Coalition today petitioned California’s attorney general to conduct an audit of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to determine if the organization’s nonprofit status should be revoked.

The FSC said that over the past four years, the controversial Los Angeles-based healthcare organization appears to have willfully and repeatedly violated multiple laws and regulations related to political spending by a nonprofit.

“They appear to have grossly underreported political expenditures to the IRS,” the adult trade organization said today in a statement before a downtown Los Angeles press conference.

“Many people have wondered how a non-profit like AHF could spend so much money in politics, given the strict limitations placed on nonprofit political activity by the IRS and the State of California,” said Jeffrey Douglas, board chair of the FSC. “The answer appears to be by underreporting campaign expenditures on tax forms, even while filing much higher numbers on state lobbying disclosure forms.

"A nonprofit organization should not be able to abuse the status granted to it by the state of California. Actions like these not only distort the political process, they starve in-need communities of critical services so that checks can be written to lobbyists.”

Among the findings, the FSC said:

  • In 2012, AHF reported to Los Angeles County $2.3 million in political expenditures in support of Measure B. However, AHF’s tax filings report only $1.6 million in total campaign expenses. That same year AHF also paid $100,000 to a lobbyist in Sacramento, and $200,000 to a lobbyist in D.C. bringing their annual total to $2.6 million; $1 million more than they reported to the IRS and the California attorney general.
  • AHF’s total political and lobbying expenditures in the past four years is nearly $7 million; $1 million higher than the threshold for revocation of tax-exempt status.

In addition to the attorney general, the petition's letter and documents have also been sent to the board members of the AHF, the FSC said.

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