Your newspaper allowed Mr. Pacelle, the president of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), to misuse its Code of Ethics by publishing his unfounded allegations that denigrated Congressman Luetkemeyer's requests for the IRS to act upon 3,000 pages of documents that established that the HSUS had violated the Tax Code because of its excessive lobbying and prohibited political activities.
Protecting the public interest by upholding the tax code is all that Congressman Luetkemeyer asked the IRS to do. Compounding the egregiousness of the libelous assertions of Pacelle were his own "intentional misrepresentations" by omission of such facts as:
• Ms. Lerner, the IRS official who was responsible for acting upon Congressman Luetkemeyer's communications, is a member of the HSUS and she asserted her Fifth Amendment rights in the midst of the growing IRS scandal.
• Pacelle, with no "Chinese Wall," serves as the vice president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) which has endorsed over 1,000 congressional candidates.
• Pacelle brags about having passed "1,000 laws." That involves lobbying.
• The HSUS, not the HSLF, has already sponsored Lobby Day Events in 38 state capitals in 2013.
• The HSUS lists lobbying expenses as charitable grants on its tax returns.
For example, in 2010 the documents submitted to the Missouri Ethics Commission revealed that the HSUS contributed over $2 million to the lobbying group that was supporting the Proposition B ballot initiative in Missouri. Even though this was a very specific lobbying contribution, the HSUS listed over $1.8 million of the $2 plus million dollars that was reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission as a charitable grant on its 2010 federal tax returns.
And, oh yes, Pacelle's claim that its subsidiary, the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) does the bulk of its lobbying is repudiated by a further examination of records maintained by the Missouri Ethics Commission which reveals that that the HSLF only contributed $50,000 to the lobbying effort in support of the Proposition B ballot Initiative.
Your code of ethics says do the right thing. Do it by repudiating the improper political use of your newspaper by Pacelle, who used you. If there is nothing to hide, why does Mr. Pacelle object?