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Sheriff's Report on the Enforcement of Ordinance 884 - Targeted Residential Picketing

Discussion in 'Important documents' started by AnonOrange, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. AnonOrange

    AnonOrange Gold Meritorious Patron

    Thank you mnql1 for posting and e-mailing the interested parties.

    Here's the report submitted by Stanley Sniff, Riverside county sheriff regarding the application of ordinance 884.

    http://www.clerkoftheboard.co.riverside.ca.us/agendas/2009/09_15_2009/03.42.pdf

    I see this report very differently from the discussions on WWP.

    Some people see this as a win:
    "Since the enactment of the Ordinance, there have not been any situations where the Ordinance has been utilized. In situations where picketing has occurred, the Sheriff's Department has found the usage of existing penal code violations more appropriate. "

    Maybe so, but the problem is that the RECOMMENDED MOTION is not to do away with the ordinance as the above paragraph implies, but rather to "receive and file this report".

    Therefore, the ordinance STAYS and will not be RE-VOTED on.

    The way the ordinance is written, people will get arrested if they attempt picketing at Gold Base. As it was discussed many times, the ordinance is cleverly designed to restrict picketing from an invisible property line, which is not only unenforceable, but (because the cult owns both sides of the street) also forces picketers in the middle of the street!

    The cult just waited the required 6 months, kept quiet till the ordinance is cast in stone and I will not be surprised one bit that the next protesters at Gold will be arrested.

    Please attend the Sep 15, Board of Sups meeting to ask that the ordinance be repealed, because it is unenforceable, it is unconstitutional, it is unnecessary (because existing laws can be used instead) and crafted at the request of a "religious" organization, in direct conflict with the principle of separation of church and state and tax laws.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  2. AnonOrange

    AnonOrange Gold Meritorious Patron

    Bumping in case anybody want's to get arrested at Gold Base.
     
  3. Mystic

    Mystic Crusader

    I'm calling for an Ork invasion of Int.
     
  4. ARC

    ARC Patron

    Thanks for getting it posted on WWP

    I tend to agree with AO's assessment of this one - it's too early to celebrate - except I don't agree with this pont:

    Churches, corporations and citizens all have a right to request legislation. That doesn't violate church/state separation. But the preferential treatment shown to them here might violate that. But to show that, you need to show something more than that they asked for the legislation.
    So while church/state separation is not a valid argument IMO, it is completely valid to argue that the supervisors are bowing down to special interests rather than protecting the rights of the people here.
     
  5. AnonOrange

    AnonOrange Gold Meritorious Patron

    Wrong. Here's the law:
    http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=96099,00.html

    Note: "it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates."

    Scientology in Riverside's ordinance 884 not only "influenced" the legislation, it WROTE the damn thing. Both Moxon and Alhadeff attended the meetings and Alhadeff spoke to clarify points about the law and was used as the "judge" as to what protesters could and could not do.

    Both Muriel Durfesne and Cathrine Fraser funded the political campaigns of Jeff Stone, Rod Pacheco and Stanley Sniff using the address of PAC base in LA (L. Ron Hubbard way) as well as Golden Era in Hemet.

    As SeaOrg, with essentially no salary, they both managed to scrape together around $600 each for these politicians.

    Alhadeff made large contributions to Jeff Stone. I'd like to see Golden Era's tax returns to see how much they paid Alhadeff.

    I was reading further about charitable contributions. (derail alert!)
    http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=96102,00.html

    A charitable organization must provide a written disclosure statement to donors of a quid pro quo contribution in excess of $75. A quid pro quo contribution is a payment made to a charity by a donor partly as a contribution and partly for goods or services provided to the donor by the charity. For example, if a donor gives a charity $100 and receives a concert ticket valued at $40, the donor has made a quid pro quo contribution. In this example, the charitable contribution portion of the payment is $60. Even though the part of the payment available for deduction does not exceed $75, a disclosure statement must be filed because the donor's payment (quid pro quo contribution) exceeds $75.

    Isn't all auditing a "quid pro quo" service and therefore not tax deductible?
     
  6. FinallyMe

    FinallyMe Silver Meritorious Patron

    If you are going to be involved in litigation, you will find that one of your most valuable tools is to read every word, exactly as written, regardless of how you would prefer to interpret the rule/code/law. You did not bold the part of your quote that says "as a substantial part of its activities" - what the "Church" was doing at the hearing is demonstrably not a substantial part of its activities - even though anti-Scn's may want to think so - no way you could convince anyone that it is, even if the "Church" would stay out of that argument, which of course it would not.
     
  7. AnonOrange

    AnonOrange Gold Meritorious Patron

    "Substantial" means what exactly? The scientology lawyers go for several hundred dollars per hour and they have spend in my estimation, including all the board meetings, the 106 letters to Buster, the several meetings with Jeff Stone, approximately 1500 man hours. I think it's substantial.
     
  8. ARC

    ARC Patron

    Ah, now I see what legal theory you are arguing from. And that is what I was asking for.

    Churches have a limited first amendment right to lobby for legislation, but an absolute ban on supporting any party or candidate.

    In the San Jacinto meeting, I didn't understand what you meant when you mentioned this, so instead of saying that Scientology "asked for" this legislation, I think you should say "Scientology lobbied aggressively" for the legislation, or "Scientology is devoting a substantial part of their time to lobby for it".

    If a church asks for some change in legislation to alleviate some problem it is having, that is not a violation of the law, but if you want to argue that they are violating their tax free status by lobbying legislation, I think you have to argue that the lobbying is substantial enough.

    For public perception, and perhaps in court, it might also count how germane the legislation is to day-to-day operation of a church. If, for example, a church is fighting against legislation which would cause it to have to shut down or rebuild, that is probably seen as a more relevant thing for it to be doing than if it were introducing legislation to ban straight bananas.

    Do you have any relevant court precedents or IRS decisions on the Substantial Part Test?

    Some light reading seems to suggest that the rough guideline is to keep lobbying as less than 5% as your efforts, but that the IRS probably won't interfere unless it's even more than that. Maybe 10-20 percent? Maybe never? It's up to the IRS to react on this, so I guess it fits in with the other Tax The Cult stuff.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  9. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    But is it a "substantial part"? The CofS has approx. 5000 SO members working about 100 hours a week each. That is 500,000 man-hours a week. Of course, this is slave labour compared to lawyer fees of several hundred dollars an hour, but 1500 highly-paid man-hours is still not obviously a "substantial part" of the CofS's activities, especially if you factor in all the volunteer work and non-SO staff.

    Paul
     
  10. FinallyMe

    FinallyMe Silver Meritorious Patron

    "Substantial" does not mean that it simply costs a lot. A substantial part of its activities would mean it is a measurable percentage of the ACTIVITIES of the church. Auditing, regging, training, fund raising to meet goals - this is what the courts would look at to determine what the ACTIVITIES of the church are. Lobbying and requesting legislation is not a church activity, it is a step taken to protect and/or enable it to carry on its activities.

    Please forget any notion that I agree with what the Church would argue in court and in the media, but since it would be a wog court, jury, attorneys and witnesses, you want to view the laws and testimony from the viewpoint of a disinterested party. My opinion is based on 20 years worth of litigation and trial experience.
     
  11. ARC

    ARC Patron

    This. But perhaps this is an issue where having so many front groups which are "independent" might work against them? If most of the time of one of the entities, such as Church of Scientology International or the Religious Technology Center, or the CCHR is spent on influencing legislation, then each of those might lose their tax exemption, while the local and regional orgs which do the auditing and training can carry on as tax exempt?

    If they are playing the corporate shell game, adversaries can play against them,right?

    Only a theoretic discussion, since it's up to the IRS to pursue it, AFAIK.
     
  12. FinallyMe

    FinallyMe Silver Meritorious Patron

    Good question, ARC -- I don't know anything about Corporations law, and it could well be that a non-profit organization can have a totally-owned subsidiary whose business activity is lobbying. That would be fun, however, because even if it is permissible, it would certainly bring the front-group connections into view through the arguments. The net result, however, of arguing the front-group connection, I think, would cut down the percentage of activities counted as lobbying, or legislation influencing, because you'd then have to factor in activities like getting people off drugs, helping children, saving people who've been in car wrecks.
     
  13. AnonOrange

    AnonOrange Gold Meritorious Patron

    I'm guessing 1,500 hours on ordinance 884 alone, but add up all the other efforts such as getting Hwy 79 closed and the constant PR that Muriel and Cathrine do at the city and county councils. Both of these girls add up to a min of 5000 hours of work per year.

    They do a lot of lobbying in Tustin and at PAC base with the LAPD (that I know of). Look at the recent anti-anon legislation in Australia, that was a lot of work and they must have paid lawyers a beaucoup bucks to get that done. Basically, EVERY org in the world spends a substantial time on lobbying activities.