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IRS, Save the Ridge, and Tyranny in our own back yard

May 19, 2013

save the ridge postcard020

2007 ‘Paid Political Postcard’ from Save the Ridge

The recent revelations about the tyranny of the IRS having targeted tea party and conservative groups may seem like a distant issue.  However, abuse by the IRS has been felt closer to home and right here in Gardiner.  Our issue is not about unfairly auditing or holding up the exempt status of a non-profit.  Instead, it’s about blocking, stonewalling or simply ignoring serious complaints against local non-profits who abuse their  501C3 exemption status by clearly and openly campaigning during a recent local election.

Save the Ridge is a non-profit that will be familiar to many in the Gardiner New Platz area.  Patty Lee Parmalee who runs the Save the Ridge organization has a long history of leftist and anti-conservative leanings.During the November 2011 election, Bill Barrett ran for Gardiner Town Supervisor and at that time, Save the Ridge was using their usual strong arm tactics to pressure candidates to “endorse” their “platform” or else.  On November 26, 2011, Barrett wrote the following letter to the IRS complaining of the Save the Ridge campaign tactics then and in prior years:

Internal Revenue Service, Fresno CA  93888

Sirs:

I  am filing form 3949 A against Patty Lee Parmalee aka Save the Ridge organization, which claims tax exemption under Section 501 c 3 of the Tax code.

The Save the Ridge organization has been politically active in local elections for a number of years, going back to at least 2007 or before.

Ms Parmalee, as Save the Ridge, sends out letters to candidates with the “Save the Ridge” platform prior to every election, asking candidates for town office as well as Ulster County offices to endorse the Save the Ridge platform, or otherwise be subjected to public denunciation in various forms.

As a candidate for local office of Town Supervisor running in the November 2011 election, I, as well as my running mates for town board and the candidate for Ulster County legislator in Gardiner received, by Certified Mail, demands that we either endorse or not, by signature, the Save the Ridge platform.  None of us replied to Save the Ridge either way, as we believe that elected officials should act in the best interest of all citizens of the town, and not sign on to or endorse any narrow special interest groups.

Save the Ridge, at each election, makes public announcements to the electorate of who endorses the groups platform.

Please see attached the following documents, in addition to form 3949 A:

  1. The Save the Ridge letter and endorsement statement sent to all local Gardiner Candidates in the 2011 election, along with copies of the certified mail notices from Parmalee.  I was not available to receive and sign for the package from her.
  2. A copy of a postcard from Save the Ridge sent to the entire Gardiner, NY electorate just prior to the 2007 local election.  It clearly shows campaign signs urging voters to vote for three specific candidates, who all ultimately won the election.
  3. A copy of a Full Page ad from Save the Ridge in the New Paltz Times Thursday, November 3, 2011 issue, the last one prior to the election on November 8.  Please note the words “A Paid Political Advertisement” at the bottom of the ad.  Also, I’ve included the contact information for the staff at the New Paltz Times.

The people of Gardiner should not have such groups under the guise of being non-political, non-partisan tax exempt, inject themselves into our elections.  I hope that you will take immediate action to stop this practice, and/or against the exempt status of this organization.

I look forward to hearing the result of your review and determination.  I’m happy to assist in any other way I can.

Regards,

William L. Barrett

The IRS website then, and still now, does not offer any other contact information to file complaints except to send it to them with the form to the Fresno, CA office.  There are no names or phone numbers or email address’ listed on the website for the public to speak to about any complaints they make.  Barrett received no confirmation, letter or notice from the IRS that they received the complaint and were acting on it.  After some several weeks, Barrett tried to call the general numbers at the IRS “helpline” to try and get information about a person to speak to regarding the complaint.  The person at the IRS was nice but unhelpful, simply restating over and over that there were no people in the Fresno, CA office to speak to!

This method of creating a “black hole” for public complaints or issues should be a familiar one, as we’ve run across it here at our own town hall in Gardiner.  See my previous blog entitled The Black Hole of Justice.

This type of tyranny and abuse from government against the rights of the people needs to end whether it’s in DC or Gardiner, NY.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. eleanor venables permalink
    May 19, 2013 1:22 pm

    appalling! tyrannical and abusive…and yet we permit it. Mostly by being passive.

    • May 20, 2013 1:26 pm

      Agree Eleanor. In my opinion, the IRS has gone from merely dysfunctional to criminal. I say, lets go to a flat or some other tax without the millions of pages of rules. Time for tax reform, and the Republicans had better get it on the table while the iron is hot.

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