Media Matters took $600K for gun control while carrying?

posted at 10:25 am on February 15, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The Daily Caller continues its series on Media Matters for America, this time looking at its tax returns and its tax exemption as a political organization.  The tax returns don’t reveal anything shocking, except for one point of hypocrisy.  In the first report, The DC revealed that the personal assistant to founder David Brock carries a concealed Glock when Brock goes out in public to protect him from attackers, either real or imaginary.  That is a defensible action to take as political debate sometimes brings out the fringe crazies, as I can personally attest, except for two things.  First, if he’s carrying in Washington DC, it’s probably not legal.  And the reason it’s not legal is because of organizations like Media Matters for America, whose tax returns show a hefty amount of cash earmarked for gun-control activism:

Media Matters reported at the end of 2010 that $612,500 of its assets were “restricted” by donors to be applied to “gun and public safety issues.” During this time, The Daily Caller has already reported, Brock’s personal assistant was carrying a holstered and concealed Glock handgun when he accompanied Brock to events.

That’s hardly the only example of hypocrisy in the gun-control movement.  A while back, I wrote about the difficulties in California over open carry; when researching that post, I ran across an article that reported on the difficulties in getting a concealed-carry permit in the state, thanks to the overwhelming power of the sheriffs to make arbitrary decisions on who should get them.  In the county of Los Angeles, few permits get issued, but one went to an attorney who conducts activism for — you guessed it — gun-control legislation.  I can’t find the link at the moment, but I’ll add it if I come across it.

On the matter of MMFA’s tax exemption, The DC reports that Congress may open an investigation into their status:

Congressional Republicans are now interested in examining the Media Matters For America‘s tax-exempt status, The Daily Caller has learned. Doing so would cause the GOP to wade into the complex world of tax laws that govern “exempt organizations” such as Media Matters and more than 1 million other charitable organizations that are exempt from federal income tax.

Media Matters’ critics have questioned its tax-exempt status for some time. The Internal Revenue Service has a series of requirements that must be met before organizations can qualify. Successful applicants pay no federal income tax because the government presumes such charities perform services that benefit the public. Donors also may deduct their charitable contributions.

One central requirement before an organization like Media Matters can achieve the gold-standard nonprofit status — known by its place in the tax code, Section 501(c)(3) – is that it may not “attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities” or “participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.”

But the law, and how it is implemented, is complex.

I think this is a mistake.  Setting a precedent of opening tax investigations on the basis of partisan grudges is one that Republicans and their allied political organizations will regret, and probably sooner rather than later.

What we should be doing is ending tax exemptions for political organizations entirely, along with the forty years of campaign finance laws that ended up with super-PACs running elections.  Eliminate the tax deductions for all political contributions, or perhaps all but those going to a specific candidate, although I’d prefer to make it absolute.  Taxpayers don’t need to subsidize the contributions of others through the tax code.

At the same, eliminate the contribution limits to candidates and instead impose requirements for immediate and continuous disclosure on the Internet through the FEC.  The technology to accomplish this has existed for well over a decade, and should be put into use for true transparency.  Taking those two steps would put the cash back into the hands of the candidates, who would be held accountable for the messaging conducted in the campaigns.

Let’s fix the real problem, rather than attack the symptoms, or the minor players.


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The Right of self-defense for me and not for thee.

Chip on February 15, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Two little words:

Carl Rowan

rogaineguy on February 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM

ANOTHER HOT AIR FAUX MEDIA MATTERS SCANDAL./

hawkdriver on February 15, 2012 at 10:31 AM

The rules apply to subjects, not to the Nomenklatura.

forest on February 15, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Don’t start political witch-hunts, GOP. The left is better at it and much, much less principled.

Mord on February 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM

That is totally hypocritical.

Sincerely,
Rosie O’Donnell and her Heat Packing Bodyguard

Doughboy on February 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Great point, agree completely. Unlimited non-tax-deductible personal contributions to individual candidates with full internet disclosure of those contributions is the way to go. It provides complete transparency and would hopefully eliminate some of the more slimy political attack ads. Hopefully.

sob0728 on February 15, 2012 at 10:33 AM

There’s shock that a liberal organization has double standards?
.
so quaint and charming.

LincolntheHun on February 15, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Don’t start political witch-hunts, GOP. The left is better at it and much, much less principled.

Mord on February 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Are you saying throw in the towel on the media all together? This self-righteous bunch of propaganda artists at Media Matters deserve every bit of scrutiny that we can muster.

hawkdriver on February 15, 2012 at 10:34 AM

rogaineguy on February 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM

The irony was so thick in that story that it clogged up my internet.

Mord on February 15, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Guy in the pic needs a larger shirt or a smaller handgun.

a capella on February 15, 2012 at 10:36 AM

hawkdriver on February 15, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Nah, in retrospect a /sarc tag would have wise to tag on at the end there. I was trying to agree with Ed that partisan tax investigations are not always going to turn out the way one would hope they do.

Mord on February 15, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Not surprising. The left-wing Adolph Hitler was also for gun control while having armed body guards. And yes, I’m going there because these guys are fascists too.

rbj on February 15, 2012 at 10:40 AM

It’s elitism, not hypocrisy.

Nanny Bloomberg rails against guns all the time and maintains an armed personal protection detail 24/7.

California only issues carry permits to celebrities and pols. Ditto Chicago.

CorporatePiggy on February 15, 2012 at 10:41 AM

In the first report, The DC revealed that the personal assistant to founder David Brock carries a concealed Glock when Brock goes out in public to protect him from attackers, either real or imaginary.

Heh. Real guns vs the boogeyman…..

my money is on the boogeyman!

ted c on February 15, 2012 at 10:42 AM

The actor Jack Lord of the original Hawaii Five 0 was a huge gun control nut, when he was exposed as hypocrite for carrying he became a poster boy for gun rights activists. It had some impact.

Wonder how many liberals make their living as action heroes carrying guns?

Speakup on February 15, 2012 at 10:43 AM

It’s gun control for the masses, not their betters.

John Deaux on February 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Since we’re on the subject of Leftists trying to disarm the law abiding:

Fast And Furious Gun Control Plot Was Widely Known
http://news.investors.com/Article/600998/201202131854/fast-and-furious-gun-control-plot-.htm

The statements by the now-retired Coulson confirm the testimony of ATF agents themselves that providing guns to Mexican drug cartels was intended, not accidental. “Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals — this was the plan,” John Dodson, an ATF agent, testified before the House Government Oversight Committee.

This myth was behind the Justice Department announcement last April 25 that it was making 8,500 gun stores in Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico report individual purchases of multiple rifles of greater than .22 caliber by law-abiding American citizens to the ATF because — get this — such guns are “frequently recovered at violent crime scenes near the Southwest border.”

This is meant to be the beginnings of a registration system that will be expanded to all 57 states and guns sales.

Couple this with government control over the sale of your private property and these ‘baby steps’ will end in the destruction of your right of self-defense and the confiscation of your guns.

Colbyjack on February 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM

I can’t believe there are still Leftist organizations that take up the cause of gun control. For all the defeats and half-victories the Right has suffered over the years, gun rights is the one area where we have beaten the tar out of the Left.

JohnGalt23 on February 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM

And the reason it’s not legal is because of organizations like Media Matters for America, whose tax returns show a hefty amount of cash earmarked for gun-control activism:

In the county of Los Angeles, few permits get issued, but one went to an attorney who conducts activism for — you guessed it — gun-control legislation.

This evidence nearly completely undoes the entire argument for gun-control legislation in the first place. It affirms the argument that there are some people that genuinely, or paranoidally, prefer the protection that a sidearm affords when they are out in public. Ed has made that argument several times and it is one that I agree with. I do not happen to be one of those people that feel that I need that degree of protection, however, I would like to exercise that freedom in the event that I so choose to do so someday. That day may be coming.

Reasonable people can see that there are those out there that would do harm to others. It would make sense that Ed is armed, Michelle Malkin certainly and hopefully, and even some of these Media Matters people. While possibly paranoid, I am not going to begrudge this guy’s decision to have some protection, however, I am going to begrudge that institution’s decision to limit my freedom while they simultaneously exercise the same freedom that they seek to yank from folks like Ed and others.

ted c on February 15, 2012 at 10:50 AM

I can’t believe there are still Leftist organizations that take up the cause of gun control. For all the defeats and half-victories the Right has suffered over the years, gun rights is the one area where we have beaten the tar out of the Left.

JohnGalt23 on February 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Well said.

hawkdriver on February 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Mord on February 15, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Ah, thanks.

hawkdriver on February 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM

it was making 8,500 gun stores in Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico report individual purchases of multiple rifles of greater than .22 caliber

Well that rules out most ARs as they are 22 caliber.

There must be some EBR clause in there.

CorporatePiggy on February 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM

You’ve got to admire Mr. Morrissey’s offering up a big juicy porter-house steak coming off the grill, while warning us that perhaps we shouldn’t take a bite. And while I agree that witch-hunts can turn ugly, it was the Media Madd-Hatters that started this with their attempt to silence Fox News. The Daily Caller is right to point out MM’s hypocrisies, but like Ed said, it might be a mistake in the long run to open this can of worms.

Rovin on February 15, 2012 at 10:59 AM

I agree about the witch hunt, Ed. Spot-on. The reason that I agree is that those tax exempt organization laws are byzantine apparently, according to the DC’s own QNA with SEN Grassley. Thus, the sniper approach of singling out MMFA is probably an unwise endeavor.

ted c on February 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Well that rules out most ARs as they are 22 caliber.

There must be some EBR clause in there.

CorporatePiggy on February 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Not exactly. A 22 is slightly smaller in diameter, rim fired and the .223/5.56 is about 6 times more powerful. Even a 22 long doesn’t come to anywhere near the grain weight of a .223/5.56. Although 22 brass casings make excellent jackets for .223/5.56 if you’ve a mind to swage your own bullets.

hawkdriver on February 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

I can’t believe there are still Leftist organizations that take up the cause of gun control. For all the defeats and half-victories the Right has suffered over the years, gun rights is the one area where we have beaten the tar out of the Left.

JohnGalt23 on February 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Which is why they want to do it “under the radar”

Over a barrel? Meet White House gun policy adviser Steve Croley
http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/over-a-barrel-meet-white-house-gun-policy-adviser-steve-croley/2011/04/04/AFt9EKND_story.html

On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial “large magazines.” Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said.

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

Ain’t that nifty?
A rogue government trying to wipe-out the second amendment under the cover of darkness.

Colbyjack on February 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Wonder how many liberals make their living as action heroes carrying guns?

Speakup on February 15, 2012 at 10:43 AM

are you calling out Jason Bourne, er…..Matt Damon!?

ted c on February 15, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Oh yeah, once we limit the access to all the guns, we’ll put our guns down then.
/MMFA

Someone said that once they outlaw guns that only the outlaws will have guns, and they were right!!!

ted c on February 15, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Liberal? Hypocrisy? Whodathunkit and say it ain’t so. Liberals love the law so long as it applies to everyone but them.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on February 15, 2012 at 11:06 AM

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

Which explains Fast and Furious.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on February 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM

My Schandeboner is indeed, epic.

Just sayin…

My Sharia Moor on February 15, 2012 at 11:09 AM

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.” via Colbyjack on February 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Your Fast and Furious program missed the “under the radar” status Mr. Obama.

Rovin on February 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM

That is a defensible action to take as political debate sometimes brings out the fringe crazies, as I can personally attest….

Geez Ed, all I did was walk up and shake your hand at CPAC Saturday.

JeffWeimer on February 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Well that rules out most ARs as they are 22 caliber.

There must be some EBR clause in there.

CorporatePiggy on February 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Not exactly. A 22 is slightly smaller in diameter, rim fired and the .223/5.56 is about 6 times more powerful. Even a 22 long doesn’t come to anywhere near the grain weight of a .223/5.56. Although 22 brass casings make excellent jackets for .223/5.56 if you’ve a mind to swage your own bullets.

hawkdriver on February 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Have no doubt that the rule will be expanded to all calibers and all types before long.

Every little scam perpetrated by Socialists on a National scale begins small and seemingly innocuous, like the camel’s nose under the tent flap.

Chip on February 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Quick! Someone alert Obama’s “Truth Team”. We need to know about Media Matters and their gun control agenda.

I am positive that Obama’s Truth Team will get to the bottom of this scandal. We shall know the truth any minute now. Yep, any minute.

Still waiting…..

Annyy Miinutte nnoww………….

gasmeterguy on February 15, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Have no doubt that the rule will be expanded to all calibers and all types before long.

Every little scam perpetrated by Socialists on a National scale begins small and seemingly innocuous, like the camel’s nose under the tent flap.

Chip on February 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM

I don’t disagree. But I think GJ23′s comment above about this is one issue we do remain relatively strong on stands. I just think it’s important to understand the particulars of the weapons being referenced. A 22 isn’t in the same league as a .223/5.56.

hawkdriver on February 15, 2012 at 11:25 AM

I can’t believe there are still Leftist organizations that take up the cause of gun control. For all the defeats and half-victories the Right has suffered over the years, gun rights is the one area where we have beaten the tar out of the Left.

JohnGalt23 on February 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Absolutely! it isn’t just that conservative Whites have won philosophically, but in the Supreme Court with the Heller decision and at every level of State government. When I first started carrying, only a few states had CCW laws that were “shall Issue”. Now 49 States have carry laws with many adding Castle doctrine or Stand Your Ground laws. Liberal hypocrisy has only fueled this movement with the old “rape manuals” telling people to lie back and enjoy it while Liberals hire armed guards.

With the rise of private security and the increasing acceptance of defensive shootings against Mahogany mobs. (See: http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/02/05/020512-news-detroit-vigilantes-1-5/) the Left and their toadies are laughed at routinely.

Bulletchaser on February 15, 2012 at 11:25 AM

I can’t believe there are still Leftist organizations that take up the cause of gun control. For all the defeats and half-victories the Right has suffered over the years, gun rights is the one area where we have beaten the tar out of the Left.

JohnGalt23 on February 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Leftists are no different than the terrorists when it comes to patiently waiting to succeed in their mission. They have done it with every single progressive item on their agenda. They don’t give up and they don’t give in.

That is what scares me about them.

Jvette on February 15, 2012 at 11:38 AM

He wasn’t carrying carrying per se……

/whoopi

ted c on February 15, 2012 at 11:41 AM

“A while back, I wrote about the difficulties in California over open carry; when researching that post, I ran across an article that reported on the difficulties in getting a concealed-carry permit in the state, thanks to the overwhelming power of the sheriffs to make arbitrary decisions on who should get them.” – Ed

You can add Missouruh and Michigan to that list too.
When I need a sheriff’s opinion on what firearms I can own or carry, I might as well move back to Germany where only the Polizei and bad guys have guns.
BTW, In many major cities across Europe, you can (illegally) buy a full-auto AK-47 for $500. It has probably lessened some, but for years after “The Wall” came down, real “assault rifles” were all over the place.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 15, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Have no doubt that the rule will be expanded to all calibers and all types before long.

Every little scam perpetrated by Socialists on a National scale begins small and seemingly innocuous, like the camel’s nose under the tent flap.

Chip on February 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM

I don’t disagree. But I think GJ23′s comment above about this is one issue we do remain relatively strong on stands. I just think it’s important to understand the particulars of the weapons being referenced. A 22 isn’t in the same league as a .223/5.56.

hawkdriver on February 15, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Oh, I would agree on that – a 22 is a pop-gun compared to .223/5.56…

Me thinks the gun grabbers didn’t mean to rule out their eternal nemesis and one of the best examples of the Scary-Looking weapons they love to demonize.

Chip on February 15, 2012 at 11:52 AM

You can add Missouruh and Michigan to that list too.
When I need a sheriff’s opinion on what firearms I can own or carry, I might as well move back to Germany where only the Polizei and bad guys have guns.
BTW, In many major cities across Europe, you can (illegally) buy a full-auto AK-47 for $500. It has probably lessened some, but for years after “The Wall” came down, real “assault rifles” were all over the place.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 15, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Yeah, these days those weapons are supplied by our feral government though the ATF..

Chip on February 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Yeah, these days those weapons are supplied by our feral government though the ATF..

Chip on February 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Not full-auto though.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 15, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I believe that political parties and political campaigns are businesses that should be taxed. If Obama actually raises $1,000,000,000 in funds, that should be taxed as any other business. Think of how much revenue the government is letting slip away. This is like $40 a paycheck, right?

DAT60A3 on February 15, 2012 at 12:33 PM

can’t believe there are still Leftist organizations that take up the cause of gun control. For all the defeats and half-victories the Right has suffered over the years, gun rights is the one area where we have beaten the tar out of the Left.

JohnGalt23 on February 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM

F & F? They won’t quit trying…one bite at a time.

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Rip that tax free status right now.

Until decent and civilized people start making subversive organizations like this pay it will only get worse.

jukin3 on February 15, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I suppose I’m the only one who wondered if that chunk of change isn’t being used by the paranoid Brock to arm and fund his personal security force. I’m sure he would be able to twist things around to justify protecting himself as a “gun and public safety” issue.

postaldog on February 15, 2012 at 1:44 PM

“THE DEMOCRAT PARTY : A VOTE FOR US IS A VOTE FOR HYPOCRISY”

CatchAll on February 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Let’s fix the real problem, rather than attack the symptoms, or the minor players.

Exactly. Don’t give the left more reasons to hype more “vendettas” against them. Here, the best thing is to fix the tax-exempt problems. Use the powers of Congress to go after real issues like F&F, mSolyndra etc.

AH_C on February 15, 2012 at 1:48 PM

I just think it’s important to understand the particulars of the weapons being referenced. A 22 isn’t in the same league as a .223/5.56.

hawkdriver on February 15, 2012 at 11:25 AM

No, it isn’t. Just saying, the following are all .22 cal bullets. And I wonder if our infinitely wise legislators are aware of that.

.22,
.218,
.219
.220,
.221,
.222,
.223,
.224,
.225,
.226

22-250 kicks the but out of a .223 round.

Still a .22 caliber.

CorporatePiggy on February 15, 2012 at 2:25 PM

rogaineguy on February 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM

He’s the first person I thought of too.

Hill60 on February 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Despite the blatant hypocrisy it just goes to show you that some liberals aren’t that stupid. Maybe there’s a little conservatism floating around inside them and there could be hope for them yet.

LizardLips on February 15, 2012 at 3:24 PM

If you’re a CCW hired bodyguard, why would you take he job?

This donut hole is trying to put you out of business…

ajacksonian on February 15, 2012 at 4:23 PM

CorporatePiggy on February 15, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Are you guys debating whether we need to regulate all guns or just gun guns? (Joke)

IlikedAUH2O on February 15, 2012 at 11:25 PM

SORO$ Media Matters guys seem to regular visitors to this site..

Panentheist on February 16, 2012 at 5:17 AM

Setting a precedent of opening tax investigations on the basis of partisan grudges is one that Republicans and their allied political organizations will regret, and probably sooner rather than later.

I think with 0bama claiming to want tax increases all of the Democrat Voters should be outraged by Media Matters paying no taxes at all.

TEA Party groups across America have to abide by the current tax laws. Let Turbo Tax Timmy the Democrats do the same for a change!

DannoJyd on February 16, 2012 at 8:32 PM