The other day, my bride (of 34 years) and I were having wonderful banter with the server at our favorite Tex-Mex joint, but it all ended abruptly. The sweet little part-time college student who had been so kind and gracious to us all night suddenly expected us to pay for her work! Imagine our shock when we saw how even there. . . it came down to the money.
Seriously, we at the VIP resolved several years ago to avoid begging the IRS for a tax-exempt status. We did this because of the harassment that Morton Blackwell had endured for seven of the eight years that Bill Clinton occupied the Oval Office. After spending six digits of dollars to defend his tax-exempt status, he finally won a piece of paper that (basically) said “you got away this time.” We also observed the level of government harassment that Catherine Englebrecht sustained for having the audacity to start True the Vote as a 501-c-4 organization. That aspect of the entire public policy advocacy business has always been unappealing to us, especially as it drives wedges between friends (and rivals?) at other such organizations.
For those reasons and more, we opted to form as a private corporation. The upside is that anybody can give us donations and we can even accept cash, but the downside is that they don’t get a tax break for their generosity. On another upside, the identities of anybody supporting us is nobody else’s business. It’s about like walking into McDonalds and tipping the server. As long as the kid reports the income, no laws are being broken.
We at VIP have occasionally peeled back the shroud of secrecy (in the name of “privacy”) surrounding our election laws, but the FLANC-3 Technical Report is a turning point in our maturation process. We sense a market value to our analysis and proprietary database research methods and want to test that idea by offering the report in such a way that the marketplace will understand: We’re selling it on Kindle.
While our friends in other states are giving away the fruits of their hard labor, they are in desperate need for funds. We too are limited by financial constraints, but we believe our friends and critics will not mind paying a small token if they really want to read the details on how we determined (in this particular case) that around 150 people are either “perps” or “vics” of vote fraud. Either they voted twice in the same Presidential election or they voted once from their new address and somebody stole their identity at the old address in order to cast a vote in their absence. It’s as easy as voting for a dead person . . . only the chances of getting caught voting for a dead person are a lot higher than for an Inactive voter. . . but I digress.
I say all this to launch the concept that working for open and honest elections has a cost. Lots of people tell us how important and useful our work is, but that won’t help our staff pay their light bills. So, the deal is this: We ask you to give us some “props” by surfing over to our Kindle page and buying a $9.99 copy of the technical report. If you think it’s junk, there is probably some sort of Amazon refund policy that we’ll eventually learn all about. But in the mean time, you can learn more about the inside work that our research team does and maybe develop some research ideas of your own. After all, vote fraud disenfranchises everybody!
All that said, we will give PDF copies away to “select” media and to NC Legislators who need a copy. Our friends in other states who are doing our same sort of work will also get the favor of a free copy, but they will need to contact us first. We’re not going to clutter up people’s email boxes with reports they don’t want to read. This work is valuable to many people, so we hope you will give it a chance too.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your support!