From Robert Skeels — school, immigration rights activist and civil rights activist says:
I lodged the initial complaint (against Green Dot) in August. They’ve been conducting an investigation ever since. I’ve been sending them information as often as I can. They don’t like how I do it publicly, but they did provide me the case number recently. Since their investigation is ongoing, they haven’t published anything yet. However, the following might help.
City Ethics Commission
And so might Skeels letter:
Reflecting on how much money, time, and resources Green Dot’s LAPU/Parent Revolution has devoted to lobbying in Sacramento, here with LAUSD, and both local Assemblypersons and State Senators, makes me wonder if they haven’t violated the laws on how much money a 501c3 ‘non-profit’ can spend on such endeavors. This would explain, in part, why the Ben Austin (City Ethics Case # 2010-36) headed
organization hasn’t filed a 990 for 2009 yet. They’re probably afraid they spent far more than a substantial amount of their donations on lobbying. Chances are they’ll wait until all the damage is done in terms of privatizing schools, and then release their paperwork. By then it won’t matter if they loose their tax exempt status, as they will have already accomplished their goals.
I don’t have the resources to look into this matter further, but wonder if your office, or any of the labor unions would be willing to check into this. I found the following online about 501c3 spending on lobbying.
I also noticed it addresses what is prohibit for 501c3 organizations to do: “Charities are expressly prohibited from intervening in a political campaign of any candidate for public office, and from engaging in partisan activity of any kind.”
This is of real concern, given LAPU/Parent Revolution used their vast resources extensively when their CEO Ben Austin (who is also a city attorney), ran for the LAUSD District 4 Board seat. In fact, Mr. Austin’s campaign website address now redirects to, of all places, the Green Dot LAPU Parent Revolution website:
It that isn’t a clear violation of intervening in a political campaign, then I’d be interested in knowing what is.
I am sending an almost identical version of this email to the City Ethics Commission since they are currently investigating Mr. Austin. Maybe this will help them to broaden their investigation.
In solidarity and struggle
Robert D. Skeels
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