Monday, May 23, 2011

Humane Society Gets Sand Kicked In Its Face

The Humane Society of U.S. continues to get sand kicked in its face.
  • The first kick comes from several key members of Congress which have asked the Internal Revenue Service to look into HSUS's tax status as it appears, according to these members of Congress, that HSUS has violated its nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)3 status by spending too much money on lobbying. You can read more about it here, but the bottom line is that I doubt this investigation will go anywhere. The rules here are a little fuzzier than most people think (so long as specific legislation is not named, it's probably not lobbying), and the remedy is unlikely to be a denial of HSUS's 501(c)3 status.  .
  • The second kick comes from the courts which have denied HSUS, the ASPCA, and Maddie's Fund from getting their hooks into Leona Helmsley's eight billion dollar fortune which was supposed to be left to animal welfare (no specific charity was named). All three claims were denied due to lack of standing. Only the Attorney General of New York has standing to represent the interests of potential beneficiaries in New York, and the Attorney General of New York has sided with estate trustees which have decided to fund other causes.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I notice that all but one of those Congressman is from MO. I imagine this is backlash from the puppy millers that are angry HSUS has tried to get some better rules in place to govern dog breeding.

I think it's ridiculous that non-profits have restrictions on lobbying. It's like corporations can spend as much as they want on influencing the political process, but non-profits have all sorts of limits.