(Run Chaps, run! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
UPDATE 3/13/16 The Gazette ran an article by Megan Schrader, which Klingenschmitt claims “clears me of all wrongdoing”. Schrader’s article goes deeply into Chaps’ Pray in Jesus Name/ Persuade the World Ministries nonprofit finances, finding that Klingenschmitt spends about 75% of his donations on fundraising expenses – to Fund Raising Strategies, Inc, whose CEO is Klingenschmitt’s old friend Bruce Eberle. Eberle has worked for decades in the direct mail fundraising business. His various businesses market lists of conservative donors, and raise millions for right wing candidates and causes.
Questions still not answered by the Gazette article:
- Why does Chaps have no Board for his nonprofit organization? Most nonprofits have a Board of Directors to guard against abuses and provide oversight – Klingenschmitt is the only CEO and is accountable to no one.
- Why are there no grants made to any of the charities he said that he has raised money for? (the orphanage in Harissa, India, among others)
- See Klingenschmitt’s Persuade the World 2014 tax return, below
- Why is there still an obvious conflict between the tax-free nonprofit PJIN show, and the clearly political guests, causes, and messages Klingenschmitt promotes on his shows?
Representative Gordon Klingenschmitt fled down a Capitol corridor Wednesday, invoking the aid of a Capitol guard to protect him from the probing questions of Colorado Government Watch’s Dede Laugesen. Video follows:
Here is CGW’s report:
Confronted on camera at the State Capitol Monday with questions surrounding his controversial, tax-exempt charity, state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt shut down the attempted interview and had state troopers eject a Colorado Government Watch team from the public building.
Flanked by a uniformed Colorado State Patrol officer, the first-term Colorado Springs legislator refused an interview when approached outside the chamber of the state House of Representatives by CoGW Executive Director Dede Laugesen. Klingenschmitt then stormed off as Laugesen called out questions about whether the lawmaker was using his nationwide nonprofit religious ministry—which has raised more than $1 million since 2010—to drum up business for his parallel for-profit operation.
The state trooper blocked Laugesen and an associate from following Klingenschmitt—into a common area used by the public on the State Capitol’s second floor—and he ushered them out of the building.
As Klingenschmitt makes his hasty exit, Laugesen also asks him why his charity has no board or any other officers, and she notes there appear to be no tax documents or other records substantiating his claims to have raised money for an orphanage in India. He does not respond.
Klingenschmitt’s Persuade the World Ministries, also known as Pray in Jesus Name—a 501(c)(3) Colorado nonprofit corporation whose only officer is Klingenschmitt—took in more than $850,000 in tax-deductible contributions in 2014 and over $1 million since 2010, its latest tax returns show.
The operation has been under scrutiny for some time.
Among other things, it is the subject of a separate inquiry by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office following a complaint filed with that agency by Colorado Government Watch last fall, alleging violations of Colorado’s Charitable Solicitation Act. Colorado Government Watch also recently filed a complaint with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, calling for an investigation and audit of the operation. Klingenschmitt has declined to disclose donors and other details of his nonprofit operation.
Klingenschmitt, who also hosts a show as a televangelist on a national satellite TV network, has brushed aside our inquiries about his for-profit operations and how they tie in to his nonprofit activities. Most recently, he has not responded to our public letter calling on him to disclose his latest tax returns to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for public inspection, as provided by law.
Readers, please note that this is based on painstaking research and writing I did in April of last year. Colorado Government Watch is welcome to it, but it would be nice if they would credit my work.
Klingenschmitt’s taxes and money will be difficult for any except the IRS or a government agency to sort out – Diener Consultants handled Klingenschmitt’s PJIN donations since at least 2011- 2014. Diener is the organization most well known for vacuuming up the donations of gullible conservatives, and making them disappear, as they did with some poor sod’s $150,000 contributed for creating a non-existent fence along the border. Now Klingenschmitt’s fundraising is handled by Fund Raising Strategies, Inc, headed by Bruce Eberle. Eberle also has a dubious reputation for suckering gullible conservatives. He was involved with Americans for Tax Reform, and was integral to Florida’s effort to certify the dubious Bush “win” in 2000, through his direct mail lists used by millionsofamericans.com.
I understand that Colorado Government Watch has their own agenda – which, I think, is cleaning up some of the rampant corruption in El Paso County Republican circles, and that they hope to replace corrupt Republicans with clean(er) ones. Although that’s not my agenda, I applaud them for their efforts.
For the rest, it’s just entertaining watching Chaps run from the cameras.