Friday, November 2, 2012

BREAKING: Vernon Parker Fails To Defend "Defend Sheriff Joe", Why He Failed To File Delinquent IRS Reports, Whether Received Compensation

The GOP nominee for the very competitive CD9 race has declined to comment on why his non-profit fundraising organization which shut down earlier this year has failed to file required IRS disclosure reports, and whether or not he received compensation from the organization.  Vernon Parker was the Chairman and public face of a free-lancing (read: not authorized or affiliated with) pro-Sheriff Arpaio organization since 2010.

In his capacity, Parker sent out numerous e-mails to raise money and support, and he did raise $114,916 in the last four months of 2010.  However; "Defend Sheriff Joe"  failed to file the required IRS returns at least twice in 2011 and at least once in 2012.  Those reports would detail the contributions he received from across the country and where the monies went.

"Defend Sheriff Joe" was formed in the autumn of 2010 by Parker to "defend Sheriff Joe's reputation against the Obama administration's effort to stop enforcement of our immigration laws and to change elected officials so that more representatives are elected who are willing to enforce our laws and support the police on the front lines."  Parker is listed as the Chairman, a former member of Nathan Sproul's Lincoln Strategy Group (Gary Bae) is Director, and a California bookkeeper (Kelly Lawler) is the Treasurer.

The organization collected nearly $115,000 ($114,916) in the last four months of that year, sending nearly $80,000 ($79,488) of it to the Lincoln Strategy Group.  It filed all of the necessary reports that year.

However, even after the 2010 election cycle was over, the 527 group (a political organization exempt from paying taxes, operating pursuant to Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code), Defend Sheriff Joe continued to actively raise money.  Arizona's Politics wrote about DSJ's efforts to convince Arpaio to run for the U.S. Senate seat that Jon Kyl (R-AZ) had just announced that he would not seek re-election to (in February 2011).  That was followed up by a report noting that the "pre-Valentine's Day money bomb" raised nearly $20,000 in one weekend (and in small contributions).

The IRS requires that all 527 file monthly or semi-annual disclosure reports in odd-numbered years, and quarterly or monthly reports in even-numbered years.

Arizona's Politics reached the Treasurer of Defend Sheriff Joe - she had prepared/signed the previous reports; she asked for an opportunity to look up the information and have someone get back to me.  On July 10, Arizona's Politics published the report about the delinquent reports;  the next day, DSJ filed a termination report with the IRS, backdating the termination to January 2012.  

However, DSJ failed to file the delinquent reports.  Arizona's Politics noted the termination and the failure to file the missing returns, and followed up with Parker's campaign and the DSJ treasurer.  Recent communications with Parker's campaign have yielded a promise to forward the questions to the candidate, but no responses to the remaining questions:
1) Did Mr. Parker receive any monies from this organization - either directly or indirectly (through Lincoln)? 
2) If so, when and how much?  
3) Has he made any efforts to ensure that the delinquent IRS reports have been filed? (If so, what efforts?)

Of course, there is nothing wrong with Parker chairing a political organization to Defend Sheriff Joe.  There would be nothing wrong with him receiving compensation for his fundraising and defending efforts (the reports that were filed detailed no "defending" efforts).

However, it is inherently wrong for Parker to be Chair of the organization and permit that organization to not file required IRS returns and reports.  And, it is not at all transparent to not disclose whether or not he received any compensation for the fundraising pleas that he made.  Perhaps some phone calls or Facebook posts from people other than a snooping reporter may help him see the (sun)light.  (602-472-6471,

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

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