Thursday, November 3, 2016

Top Think Tanker May Have Violated Multiple Election Rules

More think tankers seem to be getting into trouble these days for a whole host of reasons.

Here is the latest example from The Daily Caller:
A top official at the Atlantic Council violated the think tank’s “ethos and policies” by not disclosing email exchanges with the Hillary Clinton campaign in which he offered himself up as a campaign surrogate and also proposed hosting an event that would be critical of Donald Trump.
The emails, sent by Peter Schechter, the director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, raise questions about whether the think tank violated IRS regulations prohibiting tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations from engaging in political activity in support of or opposition to political candidates.
The emails were released earlier this month by the website DC Leaks. They were hacked from the Gmail account of Capricia Marshall, a Clinton campaign fundraiser and ambassador-in-residence with the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.
In a March 17 email, Schechter offered his services as a campaign surrogate to Clinton campaign foreign policy adviser Jake Sullivan and his deputy, Laura Rosenberger.

He also proposed hosting a forum at the Atlantic Council which would focus on “US-Latin American relations in a Trump era.”
The event was held on June 27 at the Washington D.C.-based think tank. It was not an overt attack on Trump. Instead, Schechter and his panelists, which included four former George W. Bush administration officials, chipped away at Trump’s policy positions on immigration and trade with Mexico.

The article goes on to quote Atlantic Council spokeswoman Nicole Hobbs who said that Mr. Schechter's email exchanges with the Clinton campaign violated the think tank's "ethos and policies" but not the federal tax code.  More details can be found at the link above.