Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Odd thing.....people who've been put out of work by the non-profits...don't want to contribute to their causes.


Contact Audrey Silk, NYC C.L.A.S.H., (917) 888-9317


Coming together as a first-ever nationally formed alliance, business associations and citizens' rights groups who have had their private property rights and free will usurped, will no longer help fund the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association or the American Heart Association.

At issue is the charities' relentless pursuit of smoking bans in city and state legislatures all across the country -- ban legislation that the charities themselves very frequently help to write and then promote to the general public. Strongly noted too is that by using their tax-deductible donations for lobbying for legislation they are teetering on the edge of violating the IRS code for charitable organizations.

The ACS, for example, is currently sponsoring a radio and print blitz, urging New Jerseyans to phone their representatives demanding a local ban. And, according to their own press release, Chicago is next.

Contrary to reports pumped out by smoking ban proponents, these smoking bans decimate mom-n-pop businesses and are intended to make pariahs out of adults engaging in a legal behavior.

Clearly, businesses that hold fundraisers for, and citizens who donate to, these health organizations are giving to groups that then use that money to destroy and attack them.

"No more," says Audrey Silk, founder of NYC C.L.A.S.H. (Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment). "We will stop contributing to Big Nanny. Why do we want to donate to groups that are out to ruin our businesses and demean us as human beings?"

This misuse of funds -- funds that should be dedicated to more research and less "bureaucratic backwaters" -- is apparent to In ranking the top 100 biggest charities in order of which "spends the public's money wisely" has the ACS coming in at #93.

Jim Avolt, a spokesman for an Ohio business group that's part of the alliance rates it even lower than that. He points out, "I feel the ACS, the ALA and the AHA should all lose their non-profit status. They were significant financial donors to the pro-ban forces at work in Toledo. And the irony of it was," Avolt continues, "they were using the same money we'd given them in donations and just handing it right over to our political opponents."

"What's more," Silk adds on behalf of furious smokers, "is that the ACS is also behind demands on state legislatures to make smokers pay more in taxes in order to legislatively control legal human behavior they don't approve of and to fund their increasingly ineffective programs. The states get millions of dollars a year through the Master Settlement Agreement -- a hidden tax already paid by smokers -- but because the states shortchange the ACS programs they want to shake us down for more!"

Incredibly, the ACS is behind taxation without representation when smokers are made to "pay up and get out."

This boycott will continue indefinitely, with more groups and private citizens expected to join in.

But it doesn't mean that members of the alliance won't continue to donate -- just not to those charities. There are thousands of worthy ones out there and they'll be the recipients of contributions instead. Charities like Make-A-Wish Foundation, Mary Crowley Medical Research Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Shriners Hospital for Children are just a few of the favorites, as are people in dire medical need in each of our own local areas.

The alliance agrees that cancer and heart disease research will not suffer by donating to other same goal charities -- and maybe the trampling of our country's treasured private property rights and the right to be left alone will subside.PARTICIPANTSNational: Smokers Club, Inc. Illinois Smokers' Rights Indiana Amusement & Music Operators Association Kentucky Licensed Beverage Association Metro Louisville Hospitality Coalition Cambridge Citizens For Smokers' Rights Smoke Out Gary (Minneapolis) Minnesotans Against Smoking Bans Fight City Hall York: NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment York: Taverners United for Fairness
New York: American Arborist
New York: Madison County Chapter of the Independence Party
Ohio: Lakewood Hospitality Association
Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Smokers Action Network
Tennessee: Yes S.I.R.
National: Private citizens

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