Klingenschmitt on the Run from CGW, IRS Inquiries

(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
  • Persuade the World ministries 2014 Schedule )
  • 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.

mamajama55

About mamajama55

Teacher in northern Colorado. Nosy, curious, persistent.

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    I'll schedule time in the confessional this weekend.  Not passing this one up…(kudos for your work, MamaJ)

     

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    "Demon reporter with your demonic video camera . . . 

    . . . cease and desist ???????????? "

     

    "I cast thee out . . . 

    . . . in the name of the CSP ??????? "

     

    "And the Lord spake, and the voice of the Lord was sorely heard on Colfax, and the voice did command Gordon . . .

    . . . 'Run away !!’ . . .  ?????"

     

    This just may be the best internet video the sanctimonious scammer has ever appeared in !!!

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      All together now……."Give me that old time religion, give me that old time religion……."

    • Jorgensen says:

      Amen!

      Dede, great research and quest for truth. In addition to the IRS probe, file a complaint with the state AG for being ordered out of the Capitol. Your interactions with the legislator were within the legal parameters and physical boundaries,and you weren't stalking or threatening an elected official or employee. No reason to oust you.

      Keep up investigative and video documentation!

  3. Craig says:

    Interesting report.  Thanks for keeping your cool.  However, it might be nice if you posted his email in the name of full disclosure.  When you add in the "other" expenses exceeding 10% of the total raised, the fundraising costs seem to be almost 2/3 of the total amount raised from mailings.  Wow.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Craig, Here's Chaps' contact info (all publicly available): This is from his campaign website, http://www.GordonForColorado.com:

      Call Gordon Personally 24/7 Right Now:   719-941-7476

      Fax:  703-562-9032

      Email:  info@GordonForColorado.com

      TWITTER:   http://twitter.com/savechaps

      LINKED-IN:   http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=46460888

      FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/gordonforcolorado

      Gordon For Colorado SD12
      PO Box 77077
      Colorado Springs, CO  80970
      House legislative office:

      Gordon Klingenschmitt, PhD
      State Representative, Colorado HD15
      719-360-5132 District
      303-866-5525 Capitol

      His legislative information also includes his home address:

      Gordon Klingenschmitt  6525 Packsaddle Ct. Colorado Springs, CO 80922. I have his home phone # and wife's name, but won't put it here. It's easy enough to find.

      Here's the EIN # 84-1523636 and address for his non-profit Persuade the World Ministries, available by setting up a free account with Guidestar.org guide to nonprofits. BTW, the non-profit's 2014 returns list $853,000 in revenue, $391,000 in expenses, but list no grants to any charities. It says that these are "available to the public upon request", but apparently not at the request of Citizen Laugesen.

      Here's the contact info for his fundraising contractor,

      Fundraising Strategies, Inc

      1420 Spring Hill Road, Suite 490
      McLean, Virginia 22102
      [ Map It ]

      Phone: (703) 226-0212
      Fax: (703) 821-0920

      http://www.fundraisingstrategies.com/index.html

      The CEO of Fundraising Strategies, Inc, is Bruce Eberle, , formerly of Eberle Associates, with a well-deserved reputation for direct mail solicitation where the money comes in – but doesn't go out.

      I haven't wanted to be the listed complainant on the IRS complaints, although I have complained anonymously. So I'm grateful to CGW's Dede Laugeson for publicly confronting Klingenschmitt.

      I'm sure this is too much information, but I'm hoping that someone who can afford to publicly complain and do a records request does so.

  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    More Klingenschmitt shame – he attempted to raise campaign funds at a funeral for an apolitical pro-life chaplain, Bill Carmody. The Gazette has the story:

    Klingenschmitt Uses Funeral to Raise Campaign Funds

    Incredibly, Klingenschmitt claimed that Chaplain Carmody secretly confided in him that his opponent, Bob Gardner, wasn't really pro-life. Klingenschmitt handed out his campaign literature, complete with fundraising pleas, at the funeral.

    Gross.

  5. Why is it that these crappy fundraising ethics scandals keep popping up with Republican political figures attached to them? Is it the association with prosperity gospel "I need $1 million right now or God will take me off the air" pitches?

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      It's got to be pure ego, and pure contempt for his base – the elderly pensioners who tithe 10% to that nice Dr. Chaps.

      It's a less violent form of sociopathy. If one has an exclusive channel to God, then human rules of morality don't apply.

      Chaps has been on my naughty list since I saw that he demonized a 6 year old transgender girl. Finding out that he's a financial huckster who makes millions ginning up fear and hatred has only aggravated that.

       

  6. Gray in Mountains says:

    One thing I've done for 40 years is visit strangers in jail and sometimes acquaintances. I'll visit Chaps if he is incarcerated within 100 miles. I think Jesus would

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