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2010-03-05 1:50 PM
More Controversy/Fraud surrounding "The Family" at C Street
If you haven't been aware of the reporting about the C Street house or "The Family," let me give you a quick summary. The Family is a secretive organization which claims to be religious and has very strong political ties and members. The Family owns a big building on C Street in Capitol Hill and it rents rooms out to members of Congress (all very religious, mostly Republican but some Democrats). The Family provides mentoring and direction to its Congressional members so they can vote the "right" way, but it also has shown some frightening ethical stances. They believe that the members of The Family have been "chosen" by God to lead the world. A journalist went undercover into The Family and wrote a book about his experiences named The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.
A quote from the book about Dan Coe, one of The Family's advisor's at C Street:
Attempting to explain what it means to be chosen for leadership like King David was -- or Mark Sanford, according to his own estimate -- he asked a young man who'd put himself, body and soul, under the Family's authority, "Let's say I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?" The man guessed that Coe would probably think that he was a monster. "No," answered Coe, "I wouldn't." Why? Because, as a member of the Family, he's among what Family leaders refer to as the "new chosen." If you're chosen, the normal rules don't apply.
The Family runs this C Street House as a church. They previously paid no taxes at all because they acquired a religious exemption by claiming to be a Church. After the above book was released and the story was opened up, investigations began and C Street's religious exemption was modified. They have to pay some taxes now, but still maintain some religious exemptions. Rachel Maddow reports that a group of Christian Pastors are filing suit with the IRS to strip C Street of all of its religious exemptions. Good for them, I say! If I was a Christian I wouldn't want these disgusting para-political "religious" figures associated with my religion.
Ok, now that you're sort of caught up on "What the heck is The Family?" let me get to what prompted this post.
Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) is one of the few Democrats at C-Street. He has been distancing himself from the organization ever since the story broke saying that he never heard of any "Family" and that all he did was rent a room at the C Street house. The author of the aforementioned book says that Stupak was part of The Family and acted as a Mentor to new members of The Family when they joined, so this claim is likely to be bunk. However, the latest investigation is going in a different direction.
Ok, let's say all he did was rent a room. How much was that room? He paid $600 a month for a room in an upscale House on Capitol Hill in which he was provided with cleaning services, meals, and other amenities. For $600 a month.
RentOMeter.com says the average rent in that area is much closer to $1400 per month and that does not include maid service or meals. So... where is the other $800 coming from? If he was paying even close to Fair Market Value for this room it wouldn't be a problem, but since he is not it then that extra value is considered an In-Kind Contribution and must be reported as income to him or his campaign.
I became very aware of In-Kind contributions as we had to fill out TONS of paperwork regarding them and the Obama campaign when I was in Elko. If we wanted to run a small meeting and a supporter offered to let us use their living room or something like that we had to determine the FMV of that rental space and register it as an In-Kind contribution to the campaign.
This shadowy para-religious-para-political organization just gets dirtier and dirtier the more you look into it.
Here is Rachel Maddow's full segment on Bart Stupak, his actions regarding the Health Care reform, and his association with The Family.
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