As we continue to ponder why the issue of the illegal lobbying of Claire Shulman's FWPCLDC remains unaddressed, more facts add to the clarity of the case-and the confusion surrounding the delay. In a previous post we looked at the blatant violation of a federal IRS statute (see this IRS complaint form); but the egregious violation of state law (Section 1411) is equally as bad.
FWPCLDC's violation of the NYS Not-For-Profit Corporations Law is perhaps even more serious because, unlike the federal statute, there really isn't any wiggle room. FWPCLDC is prohibited from attempting to influence legislation, plain and simple-and that is the law that AG Cuomo is empowered to enforce.
While admittedly, the federal statute allows for the issue of "substantial lobbying" to create some uncertainty, FWPCLDC's violation of Section 1411 of the NYS Not-For-Profit Corporations law is black and white, and the most fundamental violation of all. In our view, however, the admissions of Shulman go along way towards removing any subjectivity from the question of whether what she and her group is doing is a violation of federal law.
At the same time, if this LDC-and the others that the NY Times referenced in its story of a few weeks ago-are lobbying in violation of state law, why are they even allowed to register for that purpose? The registration process should include confirming the type of organization registering, and if the organization is prohibited from doing the lobbying, then it should be prevented from registering. There are no safeguards to prevent an organization from deliberately registering to do an unlawful act; such registration is accepted by the City and State as if it is legitimate. It is like an unlicensed driver going into a dealership, purchasing a vehicle, and driving off with it.
So, the time for due diligence should have passed-and the need for action is, or should be, upon us. The Willets Point firms have been victimized by a illegal conspiracy to deprive them of their property rights. We await the recognition that equal protection under the law still exists in this state.