« Obama's Special Olympics Jest: Their Response | Main | A Republican Congressman's Big Cash Grant Give-Away Website »

The Disturbing Better Business Bureau Report On The Finances And Earmark Cash Grants To Morality In Media

Christian right wing political organization, Morality in Media, which received a $100,380 government earmark grant in 2007 thanks to some Republicans in congress, continues to portray themselves as some sort of "moral" watchdog for society. However, a very disturbing Better Business Bureau report on this organization's finances raises serious concerns about the basic financial transparency, ethics and honesty of this organization that continues to receive ongoing earmark government grants.

While Morality In Media also continues to solicit the public for hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in donations, and even received another $150,000 earmark grant added to legislation by a Republican member of congress in a previous annual budget, yet fails to provide basic information about it's finances and disclosure according to the BBB report.

According to the BBB report, Morality In Media refuses to provide basic information of how donations are actually spent, and "the organization did not provide the Alliance with an annual report covering activities conducted in the past year". Donors to this far right organization are simply throwing their money into some black hole in which their donations disappear. Morality In Media President, Robert Peters. sets a $56,000 dollar a year salary for himself according to the BBB report. In fact, of the $705,000 annual budget for all activities conducted by Morality In Media, and the other front organizations it runs seem to largely disappear into the salaries of just seven persons.

Part of the reason Republicans argued for to the taxpayer earmark grant to Morality In Media is the claim that this organization combats illegal obscenity. However, THE NEW YORK TIMES reported that for $150,000 grant this organization received, not a single prosecution of any illegal obscenity actually resulted. Morality In Media is a pretty good example of a Republican sponsored earmark grant funded organization that doesn't have to provide any proof of work or achievements in order to qualify to receive taxpayer money.

Further, some of the activity such as harassment and threatening letters sent by Morality In Media to legal businesses selling constitutionally protected materials may even come very close to constituting crimes such as extortion and racketeering in themselves. It is illegal to threaten persons who are not breaking any law or committing any crime with a letter sent through the public mail system that they must do as you say, otherwise you will have them arrested or put them in prison. It is threats like this this coming from Morality In Media members that raise the serious question of whether this organization may in itself be a criminal enterprise not that much different than some criminal gangs that shake down businesses for cash. Extortion schemes are illegal. Yet this organization receives earmark cash grants.

While Republican members of congress have no problem sending taxpayer money off to this highly questionable organization in the way of earmark grants, the BBB notes that Morality In Media home page website "does not include a board roster or financial information. The website also does not provide electronic access to the organizations most recent IRS form 990". According to BBB standards this organization does not meet the basic financial disclosure standards of standard charity nonprofit organizations. Yet Republican members have slipped hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars to this Christian right wing political organization whose activity largely involve the illegal harassment of legal business such as bookstores, websites, film and book distributors, grocery stores and TV networks.


More on the BBB report about this organization that receives ongoing Republican sponsored earmark cash grants can be found at the BBB website at http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:7zBEl4YJ6KAJ:charityreports.bbb.org/public/Report.aspx%3FCharityID%3D2317%26bureauID%3D9999+morality+in+media+grant&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Far right groups like this have pressured congress to pass outrageous unconstitutional laws that have put controversial independent filmmakers, artists and others in federal prisons, including the notorious federal facility outside of Lompoc, California where stabbings and other violence are common place for mere production or distribution of controversial books, movies, record albums, paintings, short stories or operation of a website. max hardcore.jpg

Morality In Media claims to be a morality watchdog, yet cannot meet basic ethics demands or even provide basic information how they are spending your tax dollars received as earmark grants? Your tax dollars at work?


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

  • Currently 2.3/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 2.3/5 (3 votes cast)


Comments (5)

Allen:

Paul, haven't you learned by now that any money earmarked by the GOP is good, and that any money earmarked by the Dumo's is pork? Hell, the GOP flips and flops and yet they are the party of "fiscal responsibility." Yet they never raised a voice when President Bush wasted money on a false war.

But listen to them now when a Dumo President has to spend to spend to clean up their mess. They now have deserved the title of "Party of NO." and with Lush Limpdick as their spokeperson (a in the closet gay) it really is fun watching them spin the BS, don't you think? wink. wink, you betcha!

Paul Hooson:

Hello Allen. Yeah, some of the Republican right wing have no real sense of right or wrong, and don't mind handing real crooks huge grants if they claim to be "moral". Further, even if some idiots don't have good sense and produce some real trashy films or books, that still doesn't justify putting them in some very dangerous prisons where they are highly likely to become victims of violence or even murder. This is such a twisted "morality".

And even worse, these "morally" twisted foot soldiers for the religious right think that they're doing all of this in the name of God or something. God doesn't need these idiots to do his work. He's perfectly capable of judging individuals and dealing with them in his own way, thank you.

carol:

Where are you getting your information.

The link you gave says that from audited 2007 financial statements 8%, goes to administrative expenses. Not as you put it "almost all". Maybe administrative expenses does not include salaries, but no where in this report does it say that almost all expenses go into salaries.

The following information is based on MIM's audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2007.

Source of Funds
Contributions 599,562
Government grant 100,380
Interest and dividends 5,731
Total Income $705,673

Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses Programs: 73% Fund Raising: 19% Administrative: 8%


Total income $705,673
Program expenses $422,321
Fund raising expenses 109,335
Administrative expenses 49,304

Not only do you have no credible information, you also have NO information that anyone can go back and look at. And we're supposed to believe you?

Lee Ward:

There's NO information that you've quoted here, Carol, that indicates HOW the money is being spent.

And that's Paul's complaint.

According to the BBB report, Morality In Media refuses to provide basic information of how donations are actually spent, and "the organization did not provide the Alliance with an annual report covering activities conducted in the past year".

You showed what was being spent, you didn't show how it was spent.

Paul Hooson:

Carol, according to the BBB report it appears that just seven persons are sharing much of the organization's income if their incomes and expenses are nearly equal to that of lawyer Robert Peters who runs the organization. Further, the organization does not post an IRS form on their website or breakdown exactly what it calls expenses. The organization runs a small office from what I understand, and has computer service. But the only fundraising expense that I know of is that the organization posts a link on the three front group websites it has asking for donations. How do they get $109,335 in fundraising expenses out of that? Oh yeah, Peters probably used a stamp to send Wolf a letter asking him to give his group $150,000 in taxpayer money.

It certainly appears that not only salaries, but also any claimed "expenses" eat up much of the income of this organization which cannot really prove or detail just what constitutes an expense. Is a new car lease an expense? Taking the wife out to dinner? This tiny organization with some poorly maintained websites is very vague about why they need so much money from donations and the taxpayer and how exactly they are spending that money.

Further, most of the materials that Robert Peters or his organization attacks in his threat letters appear to be constitutionally protected materials such as mainstream pornography, supermarket tabloids, cable TV programming, etc., all of which are constitutionally protected and legal speech. Only a tiny bit of pornography for example falls under the classification of illegal obscenity, yet Peters continues to harass legal businesses with threats of prosecution unless they bend to his will. This might even constitute extortion or racketeering.

I'd certainly welcome Mr. Peters or his organization to address some of these issues here. I think that this group that accepts so much taxpayer money needs to be held accountable and answer a few questions here. Mr. Peters like to write letters to legal and lawful businesses to threaten them unless they do as he wants. He could surely take some time away from all of his "fundraising" activities to answer a few questions.


Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Advertisments

Categories

Archives

Technorati



Add to Technorati Favorites

Credits

Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

All original content copyright © 2007 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark. Wizbang Blue™ is a trademark of Wizbang®, LLC.

Powered by Movable Type 3.35

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.