Amid all the other news in the child immigration crisis, you may remember that Baptist Child & Family Services (BCFS) was going to purchase a resort hotel—complete with weight room, tennis courts, and Olympic pool—to house illegal aliens. They were granted hundreds of millions of dollars to set up this operation. We here at Political Outcast wondered if someone was getting a bailout through the government-funded purchase. BCFS quickly walked away from the deal, and it was indeed revealed that the planned price was more than the property was supposed to be worth.
I know you find this so surprising.
Now the Daily Caller is reporting that BCFS spent money on lobbying and yet did not properly report it on their tax forms. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, they have spent $210,000 since 2006. The biggest spending years were 2006, 2007, and 2009. They spent a combined $190,000 using the powerful lobbying firm, Williams & Jensen. They lobbied both Congress and several Federal agencies, “including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS and HHS.”
In response to the primary section of BCFS’s IRS 990 forms which asks whether organizations spent money on lobbying, the organization checked “No” in every year in which it lobbied.
Piferrer — a former spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry — explained, saying that the lobbying expenses were instead reported in the statement of functional expenses. The claim was partially true. The organization did not report some of the lobbying expenses in that section during the years they were incurred. But on its 2011 and 2012 tax forms, it reported around $190,000 in lobbying expenditures even though records show it did not spend that amount on lobbying during those years.
Piferrer said that in previous years, BCFS reported lobbying expenses under the “professional fees” line-item. However, such fees usually include legal fees and not lobbying expenses.
Pressed on the issue, Piferrer said, “We’re going to reach out to our private tax firm to review and consider amending [the tax form].”
TheDC’s request to further discuss BCFS’s finances with the organization’s financial department was not answered.
As scandals go, I wish this was the worst one we had to deal with (I may be wrong, but I think the bailout of the resort is much more serious). But it is a real window into the corruption machine that is our Federal government and its nonprofit contractors. $210,00 of lobbying netted a contract worth almost $3 million. I suppose BCFS will say they needed to lobby to get considered for what they want to do. Perhaps. But they could have answered the question honestly on their tax forms the first time.
Wasn’t there a candidate back in 2008 who spoke against the influence of lobbyists? I can’t remember his name. He has completely disappeared from public life.