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COTI story read more like PR than reporting

By Staff | Jan 7, 2015

To the editor:

The Dec. 3 issue of The Island Reporter featured an article on the Committee of the Islands (COTI). The reporter, Brian Wierima, has many quotes from COTI officials. The remainder of the article, not quotes, we assume were from sources independent of COTI. Really? To consider the entire article anything other than a rehash of COTI’s normal self-laudatory commentaries, repeatedly carried by the Island Reporter, stretches one’s imagination.

I assume COTI was given the opportunity to fact check the article before it was published. In any event, the appropriate placement for the article would have been the Editorial page.

Now for a major reason I am writing this letter. The subject is 501(c) 4’s.

Political Action Committees and their danger to 501(c) 3 non-profits. It is well established that any 501(c)3 who contributes, in any way, to the advancement of an 501(c)4, be it monetary, or otherwise, endangers their own non-profit status.

COTI declares it is proud of its status as a 501(c) 4 organization, however it does not mention the pitfalls to local 501(c)3’s, in any of their PR releases.

The Island Reporter is aware of COTI’s tax status and the resulting potential problems. It chooses not to make this fact known to its readers.

Dale Armstrong

Columbus, Ohio

Sanibel, Florida