12 votes

Time’s Up said it could not fund a #metoo allegation against Joe Biden

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  1. [3]
    Death
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    I mean, I can kind of understand being conservative in the approach in that regard. Losing the exemption would be a huge blow to them and the IRS is traditionally not an institution whose rules...

    Ellen Aprill, a professor of tax law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said that Time’s Up’s analysis is too conservative, and the group wouldn’t be putting its tax-exempt status at risk by taking a case involving a candidate for federal office as long as it followed its standard criteria for taking on cases. “As a legal matter, if the group is clear regarding the criteria used as to whom it is taking to court, show that these are long-established neutral criteria, and they are being applied to individuals completely independent of their running for office, it would not be a violation of tax law. Groups are allowed to continue to do what they have always done,” she said.

    I mean, I can kind of understand being conservative in the approach in that regard. Losing the exemption would be a huge blow to them and the IRS is traditionally not an institution whose rules you want to interpret to liberally.. And the way the restrictions are usually phrased are rather broad. Time's Up would be taking a huge gamble on this.

    The references to Dovere, a reporter with The Atlantic, and Painter stem from their Twitter posts that highlighted favorable comments Reade had made about Putin in a now-deleted post on Medium. “What if I told you that everything you learned about Russia was wrong?” she had written in one 2018 post. “President Putin scares the power elite in America because he is a compassionate, caring, visionary leader. … To President Putin, I say keep your eyes to the beautiful future and maybe, just maybe America will come to see Russia as I do, with eyes of love. To all my Russian friends, happy holiday and Happy New Year.”
    Reade says that she learned about Russia and Putin through a Russian friend in her creative-writing group; she is currently writing a novel set in Russia. She wrote the post in the spirit of world peace and solidarity with her friend, she said, adding that the writing should have nothing to do with her allegation. Reade’s leftist mother had raised her to oppose American imperialism and be skeptical of American exceptionalism. She hoped that Time’s Up would be able to help push back against the attacks she knew would be coming.

    There's just no way that's ever not going to be a PR nightmare for her potential case against Biden. Not just for the content of the Medium post itself but the further association with her Russian friend, her writing that novel, and the mention of her anti-imperialist mother. It fits the mold of "US citizen turned Russian operative" far too well.

    6 votes
    1. ThatFanficGuy
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      BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEE-- Oh I'm sorry, this is my bullshit alarm going off. I've never heard this sort of propaganda spoken in English.

      “What if I told you that everything you learned about Russia was wrong?” she had written in one 2018 post. “President Putin scares the power elite in America because he is a compassionate, caring, visionary leader.

      BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEE--

      Oh I'm sorry, this is my bullshit alarm going off. I've never heard this sort of propaganda spoken in English.

      6 votes
    2. NaraVara
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      Nah. “Too conservative” is an understatement. This claim that it would have endangered their non-profit status is nuts. It would have been absurd even in a world where the IRS wasn’t reporting to...

      mean, I can kind of understand being conservative in the approach in that regard. Losing the exemption would be a huge blow to them and the IRS is traditionally not an institution whose rules you want to interpret to liberally..

      Nah. “Too conservative” is an understatement. This claim that it would have endangered their non-profit status is nuts. It would have been absurd even in a world where the IRS wasn’t reporting to a man who was literally impeached for abusing his authority to force Ukraine to make shit up about Joe Biden. There is no reasonable fear for them here.

      It would be a lot easier to take this claim seriously if it wasn’t being published in The Intercept, which has had a track record of being deep in the tank for the Sanders campaign. Given how dubious this article’s central thesis is combined with the lack of trustworthiness of the site itself in this regard, this should be taken with a large heap of salt.

      If you read between the lines in the article it’s pretty clear this is a weirdly slanted interpretation of the facts. The main paragraph is a quote from Reade herself, basically hearsay about what Times Up said:

      By February, she learned from a new conversation with Time’s Up, which also involved Director Sharyn Tejani, that no assistance could be provided because the person she was accusing, Biden, was a candidate for federal office, and assisting a case against him could jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit status.

      Times Up’s response is pretty clearly as measured as they could be without undermining Reade’s credibility, because they have ideological “believe women” reasons for not wanting to do that. Read carefully and you notice they don’t actually corroborate her claim about 501 status, just that they’re not backing her claim but don’t want to discourage women from speaking out.

      Driscoll wrote to Reade that she “wanted to let you know that after our conversation I talked further with our Director, Sharyn Tejani, about our ability to offer funding or public relations support in your case. Unfortunately, the Fund’s decision remains the same. … Please know how much I appreciate your courage in speaking out and appreciate what you shared over the phone, that you are speaking out so that your daughter and other young people can start their careers free of harassment.”

      Then the subsequent statement about how 501s do have political restrictions, but it comes from a PR person speaking strictly about legal restrictions and it’s pretty clear that she wasn’t talking about this specific case.

      Most likely the real reason is they didn’t think the case had sufficient support to be actionable so they blew her off in a way that didn’t leave her feeling resentful about them and the story spun out from there.

      2 votes
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