The organizer of the
Million Mom March scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C., this Sunday, Mother’s Day, is the sister-in-law of first lady Hillary Clinton’s closest friend and political advisor and has served as publicist for CBS News anchor Dan Rather.
reported by columnist Tony Blankley in yesterday’s Washington
Times, virtually all major media coverage of march organizer Donna Dees-Thomasas has failed to disclose that she is the sister-in-law of Susan Thomasas, Mrs. Clinton’s chief political advisor and close friend.
“To deny the readers (and viewers) such necessary — and available — information is to breach … the moral act of communication,” Blankley wrote.
Blankley intimated that extensive reports about Dees-Thomasas and the Million Mom March aired by CNN and recently published by the New York Times conspicuously omitted the information. He questioned the veracity of Dees-Thomasas’ motives for the march, which she has repeatedly said were “personal and not political.”
“Maybe all those warmhearted thoughts about maternal instincts, the kids and getting politics out of it, are genuine,” Blankley said.
But, turning to the major media sources covering the march, Blankley asked, “When the organizer of this event — so timely and politically useful to the Clintons — turns out to be so closely connected to the Clintons, shouldn’t that be reported widely?”
Blankley made a comparison of coverage by major media sources during the McCain campaign for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination earlier this year.
“During the New York Republican primary, when some anti-McCain environmental ads ran on New York television, the major media formed a posse to find out who placed the ads.” When it was discovered to be a businessman close to Texas Gov. George W. Bush, McCain’s primary opponent, Blankley said, “that became the main story.”
“For days the media itemized every available detail about the Bush connection,” Blankley wrote, “as well they should have. The public has a right to judge the motives of political players by knowing their background and affiliations.”
However, he said, a New York Times piece, in particular, painted Dees-Thomasas in a different light and tried to characterize her motives as “trying to break through ideology and partisanship and make an appeal based on the moral authority of women as mothers.”
Other major media sources have also failed to disclose the massive list of
those who have endorsed the march, as well as the group’s
sponsors, which include the women’s cable network Oxygen and the women’s community website iVillage.com. The march is to be emceed by actress, comedienne and vehement anti-gun activist,
O’Donnell agreed to emcee the March after Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., called and asked her to participate.
The Clinton administration has relentlessly pushed for gun control and has recently called for even more measures, including mandatory background checks at gun shows, mandatory child safety locks, and handgun registration — the same measures the Million Mom March is advocating.
According to Blankley, the CNN report he reviewed merely reported the march as “the brainchild” of Dees-Thomasas, “who conceived of the idea as she watched footage of a shooting at an area day camp.”
“In a script that goes on for more than four single-spaced pages,” Blankley wrote, “that is all we learn of Ms. Dees-Thomasas” from CNN.
Also missing from many major media sources, critics say, is in-depth coverage of a rival group that has also scheduled a march on Mother’s Day in support of gun rights. That group, the
Sisters, is sponsoring the Armed Informed Mothers’ March to oppose new restrictive gun laws.
A spokesman for SAS-AIMM, Colorado state coordinator Debra Collins, refutes the claim of the Million Mom March that guns are inherently dangerous.
“The anti-gun factions constantly say if it saves one life, it’s worth it. Well, my firearm saved one life — mine — and I promise you my mother thinks it was worth it,” she said yesterday.
“The purpose of AIMM is to get concerned women together and let Congress know that we won’t stand for having our right to defend our families ripped away,” said Kimberly J. Watson, one of the founders of the group. “We won’t let this assault go on any longer.”
Meanwhile, some critics of the march have questioned the organization’s claim to a tax-free 501 (c)(3) status, saying that the march’s primary activity “consists of carrying on propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation,” a no-no according to the Internal Revenue Service code governing the activities of non-profit charitable organizations.
According to Don Kramer’s
Non-Profit Issues website, “Public charities are specifically permitted by the tax code to lobby on pending legislation, provided that the activity is not ‘substantial.’ Some organizations may even increase their permitted activity by electing to be governed by specific expenditure limits under Section 501(h) of the code.”
However, said Kramer — a practicing Philadelphia attorney — non-profits are “absolutely prohibited” from engaging in “electioneering,” under IRS regulations.
“Section 501(c)(3) of the code says a charity may ‘not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office,'” Kramer wrote.
Critics of the Million Mom March organization say that the group is not only spending a “substantial” portion of its activities on prohibited lobbying efforts, but a statement published on its website, they say, may also be in direct violation of the rules prohibiting electioneering.
On its site, the Million Mom March openly
Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, for his pro-gun stance and makes a thinly veiled threat to unseat the congressional leader.
“You stand by your guns, Mr. DeLay. Come Mother’s Day, we mothers will stand together on the mall of Capitol Hill to remind your PRO-GUN House that on Election Day, the voters will stand by our children,” said a letter on the group’s site.
“There is no leeway for an ‘insubstantial’ participation in a campaign,” Kramer wrote in his assessment of IRS codes as they pertain to the activities of nonprofits. “The prohibition covers candidates at any level of government, federal, state or local, including executive, legislative, judicial and other elected positions such as school board member.”
WorldNetDaily contacted Kramer by telephone, but he said he could not give additional comments because march organizers have consulted him in the past and to do so would constitute an ethical conflict of interest.
SAS-AIMM is currently a private organization whose contributions are not tax deductible. Group officials said the organization would apply for tax-free status after the May rally.