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Fortenberry ‘bending’ of political campaign rules should be stopped

Fortenberry ‘bending’ of political campaign rules should be stopped

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“Fortenberry approves” and “Fortenberry for Congress” pays for ads placing a nonprofit organization in jeopardy. The ad features a man speaking negatively about Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s opponent; however, the most visible and unforgettable item in the ad is the cap worn by the speaker. That cap is obviously that of a nonprofit veterans organization and is intended to tell other members/veterans that this is the candidate supported by the organization.

IRS regulations for 501(c) designated organizations require no partisan support for candidates by any of its members who purport to represent the organization and may remove the benefits of any nonprofit organization violating that regulation. The American Legion may speak (even lobby decision makers) on behalf of veterans’ issues — not partisan candidates — as that is the purpose for which it was chartered 100 years ago.

The Legion and its Auxiliary have been telling its leaders and members via Facebook notice at all levels of the organization that this is against the regulations for at least a month but not everyone uses social media.

Fortenberry has campaigned enough times and served enough years to be knowledgeable about this IRS regulation; however, a regular member of a nonprofit organization may not be aware. Fortenberry has been notified that he is complicit in breaking federal regulations. His response has been requested but not received. His willingness to break these regulations demonstrates that he will continue to cheat on other regulations. Our country has had enough of “bending” the rules.

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