UPDATE 10: September 12, 2012, A check of the NC Secretary of State website now shows that the State of North Carolina was in error as to the suspension of TREBIC. As to the other matters brought forth I still hold my ground until proven otherwise.
Why are we allowing a 501 3 (c) non profit that was suspended by the NC Department of Revenue in 2006 and according to the NC Secretary of State, never reinstated, to lobby the North Carolina Legislature, direct campaign donations to almost every local candidate in Greensboro, High Point, Guilford County and surrounding counties, and alter city regulations at the state level? Don't believe me? Click on the words "never reinstated" and see for yourself.
Roy Carroll, president of TREBIC and Robbie Perkins, the Mayor of Greensboro need to answer. The entire Greensboro City Council needs to answer. NCGS § 105‑230. Charter suspended for failure to report. states,
"(a) If a corporation or a limited liability company fails to file any report or return or to pay any tax or fee required by this Subchapter for 90 days after it is due, the Secretary shall inform the Secretary of State of this failure. The Secretary of State shall suspend the articles of incorporation, articles of organization, or certificate of authority, as appropriate, of the corporation or limited liability company. The Secretary of State shall immediately notify by mail every domestic or foreign corporation or limited liability company so suspended of its suspension. The powers, privileges, and franchises conferred upon the corporation or limited liability company by the articles of incorporation, the articles of organization, or the certificate of authority terminate upon suspension.
(b) Any act performed or attempted to be performed during the period of suspension is invalid and of no effect, unless the Secretary of State reinstates the corporation or limited liability company pursuant to G.S. 105‑232. (1939, c. 158, ss. 901, 902; 1957, c. 498; 1967, c. 823, s. 31; 1969, c. 965, s. 2; 1973, c. 476, s. 193; 1987, c. 644, s. 1; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1024, s. 19(a); 1993, c. 354, ss. 19, 20; 1998‑212, s. 29A.14(l); 2001‑387, s. 152.)"
That, my friends, undermines the entire legislative process in which the NC Legislature voted to eliminate RUCO (Rental Unit Certificate of Occupancy) A suspended entity cannot legally lobby the State Legislature nor can it do any other type of business. Politicians who took contributions from TREBIC members took those contributions illegally.
This is a political scandal that could literally touch hundreds of state and local politicians. Weeks ago I notified Robbie Perkins but he's yet to reply. I've notified Zack Matheny but he has yet to reply. I've notified the News & Record and they won't reply. I contacted Elon Law but as I expected they didn't reply either. After all, Elon Law's biggest doners were all TREBIC members. I've contacted various state agencies only to be told to contact other state agencies who sent me back to the state agencies I started with but no one talks about it. And while most people have never heard of TREBIC, they are one of the most power political organizations in the State of North Carolina.
I first discovered this on May 8, 2012. I think it's time someone did some talking.
UPDATE: As of Saturday, August 18, 2012, I made the remainder of the Greensboro City Council aware of this via e-mail. I also contacted The NC Attorney General's office via this e-mail form on Sunday, August 19, 2012. I hope more of you will do the same. I believe laws are being broken and an investigation should take place immediately.
UPDATE 2: As George and I hypothesized in the comments below. Donations to TREBIC during their 6 years of suspension might not be tax deductible and would possibly leave doners owing money to the IRS.
Update 3: As George points out in the comments below. According to Federal Tax Returns for the Year 2010 alone, TREBIC took in $45,683.oo in prepaid membership dues that were most likely written off by members as being tax deductible. That's not all they took in that year. And that's only 1 of the 6 years they've been suspended.
UPDATE 4: Rather than the usual way of direct contributions to political candidates, TREBIC sponsors a sort of meet and greet where the candidates endorsed by TREBIC are invited to their annual Pig, Poultry & Politics (bottom of linked page) where they meet directly with TREBIC members to discuss donations and the "needs" of North Carolina's Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition including the recent need to dismantle the RUCO statute and end a successful program of rental property inspections that might have helped to prevent recent problems like the evacuation of Cascades Grandview towers which put 60-70 people on the streets and into Red Cross shelters in the middle of the night just last week.
UPDATE 5: Learned some interesting news as of Monday, August 20, 2012 that I am not yet willing to share. The bigger they are the harder they... Well, you know the old saying.
UPDATE 6: With a nod to Curious George, as pointed out by this Wikipedia article on non profits, "Section 501(c)(3) organizations are subject to limits or absolute prohibitions on engaging in political activities and risk loss of status as tax exempt status if violated." It may well be the very hosting of Pig, Poultry & Politics is in violation of Federal Campaign Finance Laws.
UPDATE 7: Tuesday, August 21, 2012. Someone claiming to be Pricey Harrison sent me the following e-mail. I say someone because the e-mail came from a me.com e-mail server and not from the State Legislature. There's no law preventing elected represenatives from using other e-mail servers but confirming the source is something I cannot do.
"Hey, i just read your post re TREBIC which George Hartzman forwarded
I am sorry if you have tried to contact me and I have failed to respond. Sometimes emails fall through the cracks when we receive an especially high volume
I would be happy to check with the Secretary of State's office to follow up on the questions you posed in your blog posting
please pass along any additional information you think might be helpful
"Actually I had not tried to contact you but thank you for getting in touch with me.
According to the Secretary of State website, TREBIC was ordered suspended in 2006 by the NC Dept of Revenue and has never been reinstated. Error? Perhaps, but I found it months ago and it hasn't been changed. I found several other non profits with histories of suspension and reinstatement usually withing a month or two so 6 years seems like a very long time.
I would appreciate your following through on this matter. I have also contacted the Attorney General's office.
Thanks -Billy Jones"
UPDATE 8: Proof TREBIC Is Operating Illegally
As confirmed by NC Legislator, Pricey Harrison and Deputy Secretary of State, Haley Haynes. As e-mails often do, the trail starts at the bottom and works its way up.
pricey harrison priceyharrison@XXXXXX
Begin forwarded message:
> From: "Sue Osborne (Rep. Harrison)" <Sue.Osborne@XXXXXX>
> Date: August 22, 2012 2:23:38 PM EDT
> To: pricey harrison <priceyharrison@XXXXXX>
> Subject: FW: FW: INQUIRY FROM REP. HARRISON
> Does this answer your constituent’s questions? And do I need to do more research?
> From: haley haynes [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 02:20 PM
> To: Sue Osborne (Rep. Harrison)
> Cc: robert wilson
> Subject: Re: FW: INQUIRY FROM REP. HARRISON
> Dear Ms. Osborne:
> I can confirm that Trebic, Inc. is a domestic non-profit corporation that is currently suspended due to non-payment of fees/taxes to the Department of Revenue. I cannot confirm whether this entity has a 501(c)(3) exemption, since that is a status that is given by the Internal Revenue Service. Here is a link to their information on our Corporations database: http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/Corp.aspx?PitemId=4715589
> I checked our lobbyist principal database for "Trebic" and I did not find that this entity has been registered to lobby.
> Please let me know if we can be of further assistance.
> Haley Haynes
> Deputy Secretary of State
> NC Department of the Secretary of State
> P.O. Box 29622
> Raleigh, NC 27626-0622
> Phone (919)807-2005
> Fax (919)807-2010
> >>> "Sue Osborne (Rep. Harrison)" <Sue.Osborne@XXXXX> 8/22/2012 10:47 AM >>>
> Good morning, Ms. Haynes, Rep. Harrison had this inquiry from some folks in Greensboro, could you please confirm/negate this information?
> Thank you
>TREBIC- in Greensboro a 501 3 (c) non profit that was suspended by the NC Department of Revenue in 2006 and according to the NC Secretary of State, never reinstated, allowed to lobby the North Carolina Legislature, direct campaign donations to almost every local candidate in Greensboro, High Point, Guilford County and surrounding counties, and alter city regulations at the state level?
> Sue Osborne
> E-mail correspondence to and from this address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.
I can make this e-mail available to interested parties at your request.
Ed Cone seems to explain away everything I have written above in his post, Ask and ye shall receive but in the comments below his post George Hartzman asks about Proxy Taxes as is sometimes required by law and discovers none have ever been paid on behalf of TREBIC. Are TREBIC's members aware their donations to TREBIC are not tax deductable? Nor have they ever been. And what about that old fashioned political rally? If taxes were deducted then the rally was illegal too, right?
Billy Jones For Mayor Of Greensboro
Click here to read what I would do if you elected me to be Mayor of Greensboro.