Now, at last, Gary Aldrich is free to speak his mind on matters of great concern to him without having to worry about overstepping the bounds imposed on his First Amendment rights by the Internal Revenue Service. His Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty had its tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code revoked, effective last July. The final determination letter was dated December 31 but was just released to the media this week. It said:
This is a final adverse determination regarding your exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. It is determined that you do not qualify as exempt from Federal Income Tax … effective July 1 .
The letter then listed in its 17 pages the various infringements of which Aldrich was guilty and the conclusion of the IRS:
You operated as an action organization because you participated in or intervened in political campaigns on behalf of and in opposition to candidates for public office by publishing and distributing statements.
As [as a result] we revoke our previous favorable determination as to your exempt status effective July 1.
Not that Aldrich is much concerned about the ruling. After a 26-year career in the FBI, during part of which he spent time in the White House vetting Clinton’s appointees, he likely knew that eventually his past “indiscretions” would likely catch up to him.
When he left his job under Clinton in 1996, Aldrich wrote a New York Times’ bestseller, Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House, in which he exposed the corrupt underbelly of that administration. Time after time nominees favored by Clinton were found to be so corrupt and unworthy that Aldrich rejected them, only to have Clinton ignore his findings and allow them positions of authority on his staff anyway. He noted the especially corrupt, vulgar, and obscene behavior of Hillary Clinton, giving special emphasis in his book to her decorating the White House Christmas tree with sex toys and drug paraphernalia.
As Aldrich noted in his biography,
[I] could not let these threats to national security and attacks on basic American values continue….
With firsthand knowledge of the hardship facing those who dare to speak the truth in the face of corrupt power, [I] determined to make a difference by helping others. Thus was conceived a non-profit foundation to assist [other] whistleblowers and to protect their First Amendment rights.
In an attempt to inform the electorate of the corruption of Senator John Kerry during the “Swift Boat” incident, Aldrich wrote the following in 2004:
I’m quite certain Senator John Kerry will be a “hero” to today’s peaceniks, anarchists and any others who hate Amerika. But for the more than 50,000 Vietnam Veterans whose names appear on the Vietnam Memorial, Senator John Kerry is nothing but a skunk.
Let’s see what happens when he brings his medals to the first presidential debate. I’m willing to bet George W. Bush will have no trouble dealing with this coward.
This was more than the IRS could stand and, coupled with similar comments expressing — under the First Amendment — his contempt for Hillary Clinton, resulted in the IRS pulling his tax-exempt plug.
Aldrich’s operation was never hugely consequential in size, declaring less than $350,000 in revenues for the year 2012. Most of that came from the Scaife Foundation, which has generously funded other worthy groups on the Right, such as Heritage, Cato, Americans for Tax Reform, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Why well-intentioned people like Aldrich decide to give up some of their First Amendment rights in order to obtain the mess of porridge that allows contributors a tax deduction has never been well understood. How he could justify “protecting First Amendment rights” of others while giving up some of his own is a conundrum.
Ever since July, however, Aldrich is now able to breathe the clean pure air guaranteed by the First Amendment, without having to worry about IRS censors looking over his shoulder. It’ll be interesting to see if contributions to his now IRS-free foundation actually increase.