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‘Hmmm,’ back to a FOCR (friend of charity regulators)

A reader and defender of charity regulators writes, “I [meaning, he] and others have proposed ideas like your online posting process for many years.  When and how did NASCO ‘oppose’ it?”

The opposition from NASCO first came in private correspondence after I asked them to support it, and also asked that NASCO make disclosures about its finances and operations.

NASCO stated publicly its opposition when questioned by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The NonProfit Times.  Here’s a quote by then-NASCO President Hugh Jones from The NonProfit Times piece, “Mark’ed Man”:  “As a voluntary system, no enforcement sanction could exist to volunteer accurate and complete information.”

What I may have left out in prior reports is that NASCO mischaracterized my proposal as “voluntary.”  The proposal is an alternative, and to describe it as voluntary is misleading.

The reader also writes, “You rail against anonymity, yet you don’t identify yourself.”

He must be wondering why I criticized charity regulators who issue threats or demand actions under color of law, yet fail to identify themselves.

The reader fails to distinguish between state-compelled disclosure of “private” information and the First Amendment right to publish anonymously versus due process requirements imposed on government that purports to act as “public” law enforcement.

The reader’s comments highlight a problem in America.  People seem to have gotten things backwards about privacy, government authority, and especially how the Bill of Rights makes those distinctions.

That’s one reason why I have this blog.  And, my name is Mark Fitzgibbons.  I thought everybody knew that!

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