Sooooooo, you might recall that back in January Sandra Rowcliffe, then-president of the Knox County Council PTA, sent an email to members, warning about the use of tax-exempt non-profit organizations for political purposes.
“PTA is a non-commercial, non-sectarian and non-partisan organization. Because PTAs are 501(c)3 tax-exempt organizations, the IRS rules regulating some types of legislative activities of non-profit organizations must be followed.”
She also advised principals that “if your parent group is a PTO as opposed to a PTA that you inform them as well if they are, in fact, a 501(c)3.”
“Certain political activities are absolutely prohibited: supporting or opposing political parties or candidates for federal, state, or local public office…”Well, on Saturday an email started making the rounds, and it was forwarded to a number of reporters. It was initially sent Oct. 10 by West High School PTSO co-secretary Carolyn Rezler.
You can read it RIGHT SMACK HERE.
Anyhoo, as I noted, a number of us received this Saturday evening. Looks like Betty Bean over at the Knoxville Shopper beat everyone to the punch. Find her story RIGHT SMACK HERE.
Essentially, the email - written by a member of non-profit PTSO - is asking members to support a certain opponent in the 2nd District BOE race.
Um, folks, I'm not sure if you should be doing this. It appears to be a political email (soliciting political support) and these are the types of things that jeopardize non-profit status.
As Betty noted, the county law office is now looking into it.
By the way, here's another note that made the rounds. It's a document that talks about what PTAs (and by extension, PTSOs) may and may not do.
Find that one RIGHT SMACK HERE.
It may provide a glimpse into what the law department will say.
In the meantime, the three 2nd District candidates - Charlotte Dorsey, Jamie Rowe and Tracey Sanger - will participate in a forum beginning at 6 tonight at the Christenberry Community Center on Oglewood Avenue.
Go out, show your support, vote for whoever you want to. Try not to violate election laws.