The Disturbing Better Business Bureau Report On The Finances And Earmark Cash Grants To Morality In Media
Christian right wing political organization, Morality in Media, which received a $100,380 government earmark grant in 2007 thanks to some Republicans in congress, continues to portray themselves as some sort of "moral" watchdog for society. However, a very disturbing Better Business Bureau report on this organization's finances raises serious concerns about the basic financial transparency, ethics and honesty of this organization that continues to receive ongoing earmark government grants.
While Morality In Media also continues to solicit the public for hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in donations, and even received another $150,000 earmark grant added to legislation by a Republican member of congress in a previous annual budget, yet fails to provide basic information about it's finances and disclosure according to the BBB report.
According to the BBB report, Morality In Media refuses to provide basic information of how donations are actually spent, and "the organization did not provide the Alliance with an annual report covering activities conducted in the past year". Donors to this far right organization are simply throwing their money into some black hole in which their donations disappear. Morality In Media President, Robert Peters. sets a $56,000 dollar a year salary for himself according to the BBB report. In fact, of the $705,000 annual budget for all activities conducted by Morality In Media, and the other front organizations it runs seem to largely disappear into the salaries of just seven persons.
Part of the reason Republicans argued for to the taxpayer earmark grant to Morality In Media is the claim that this organization combats illegal obscenity. However, THE NEW YORK TIMES reported that for $150,000 grant this organization received, not a single prosecution of any illegal obscenity actually resulted. Morality In Media is a pretty good example of a Republican sponsored earmark grant funded organization that doesn't have to provide any proof of work or achievements in order to qualify to receive taxpayer money.
Further, some of the activity such as harassment and threatening letters sent by Morality In Media to legal businesses selling constitutionally protected materials may even come very close to constituting crimes such as extortion and racketeering in themselves. It is illegal to threaten persons who are not breaking any law or committing any crime with a letter sent through the public mail system that they must do as you say, otherwise you will have them arrested or put them in prison. It is threats like this this coming from Morality In Media members that raise the serious question of whether this organization may in itself be a criminal enterprise not that much different than some criminal gangs that shake down businesses for cash. Extortion schemes are illegal. Yet this organization receives earmark cash grants.
While Republican members of congress have no problem sending taxpayer money off to this highly questionable organization in the way of earmark grants, the BBB notes that Morality In Media home page website "does not include a board roster or financial information. The website also does not provide electronic access to the organizations most recent IRS form 990". According to BBB standards this organization does not meet the basic financial disclosure standards of standard charity nonprofit organizations. Yet Republican members have slipped hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars to this Christian right wing political organization whose activity largely involve the illegal harassment of legal business such as bookstores, websites, film and book distributors, grocery stores and TV networks.
More on the BBB report about this organization that receives ongoing Republican sponsored earmark cash grants can be found at the BBB website at http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:7zBEl4YJ6KAJ:charityreports.bbb.org/public/Report.aspx%3FCharityID%3D2317%26bureauID%3D9999+morality+in+media+grant&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
Far right groups like this have pressured congress to pass outrageous unconstitutional laws that have put controversial independent filmmakers, artists and others in federal prisons, including the notorious federal facility outside of Lompoc, California where stabbings and other violence are common place for mere production or distribution of controversial books, movies, record albums, paintings, short stories or operation of a website.
Morality In Media claims to be a morality watchdog, yet cannot even provide basic information how they are spending your tax dollars received as earmark grants? Your tax dollars at work?