RWJF (a 501(c)3 organization) funding to force (lobby) smoke-free laws should draw closer scrutiny by the IRS
pg 3 exceprt:
A second, related issue was that of lobbying. In state capitals across the country, the tobacco industry lobbied, and it lobbied hard. Lobbying by tobacco-control advocates would have to be done to counteract the actions of the tobacco industry. But federal law prohibits private foundations from
lobbying, and grantees cannot legally use Foundation funds for that purpose. Legally, the Foundation’s grantees were allowed to use their own resources and matching funds raised privately to lobby. Federal regulations permit foundations to support projects that include lobbying, so long as
they support only the non-lobbying portion of the project. Thus, the Foundation’s conditions of grant expressly prohibited Foundation funds from being used for lobbying.
pg 4 excerpt:
To accomplish these goals, it (RWJF) sought applications from statewide coalitions made up of organizations such as the health voluntaries (the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association), state medical societies, hospital associations, and others. The coalitions were to conduct public education campaigns, strengthen prevention and treatment capacity, and advocate for tobacco-control policies (a.k.a. lobbying by CTA's definition). To encourage collaboration among the various organizations working on tobacco control within a state, the Foundation allowed only one coalition per state to apply.
Shows that RWJF realized they could not get caught lobbying directly......and that their grant funds couldn't be used by those surrogates who received RWJF money for lobbying activities......yeah right; I'm sure that happened.
More than likely, the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJF) and Johnson & Johnson Company are more concerned with how much they will financially prosper......they have little or no concern regarding the damages caused by their smoke free laws.
This grant is an open admission by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that they have supported and funded the lobbying efforts to pass smoking bans around the globe for 20+ years.......some might call this a clear violation of the IRS code as it applies to a 501(c)3 foundation.
At the very least RWJF's very close relationship with the Nicoderm manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (ALZA) makes these same lobbying efforts a rent seeking maneuver pure and simple.
To become a tax-exempt organization, the organization must meet the requirements given by the IRS. Charitable organizations are not to be operated for private interest. The organization cannot support or endorse any political or legislative activities (such as lobbying, or funding lobbyists).