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Accounting Literacy (Recognizing RICO and other Deceptive Practices) Is THE Language to Master and of the “Masters”; Cause-Based PolicySpeak is Deliberately Dissociative and Dysfunctional [Most Written Jan., 2020, Current Commentary, Sept. 10, 2022].

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Quickly written the first time, quickly updated the second.  Embeds two recent and one pinned Twitter thread.  References a lookup I did recently based on a phrase circulating on-line. I applied some of basic “find-the-entity” principles and, as often happens, uncovered more nonprofits involved than at first meet the eye. This example was Milwaukee (City and County, as it turns out)’s “Housing First.”

(At first I footnoted that discussion because it takes a while to explain, but on review (of just-published post here), I added an extended Foreword showing how it came up and some images).  So the 2022 comments sandwich the middle section, simply a statement of my position and reasoning on emphasizing basic public/private accounting literacy for the masses, written in January 2020, in the middle.

Post Title and Short-link:

Accounting Literacy (Recognizing RICO and other Deceptive Practices) Is THE Language to Master and of the “Masters”; Cause-Based PolicySpeak is Deliberately Dissociative and Dysfunctional [Most Written Jan., 2020, Current Commentary, Sept. 10, 2022].  (short-link ending ‘-c5h’).  This post is under 6,000 words long.. With post-publication (Foreword) additions, make that under 7,000 words.

Before I get to the main content (which I’ll announce; I’ll re-post the title above when I do):

FOREWORD (How I ran Across and BRIEF (not thorough) summary of why it matters.):

How I ran across it:

A Sept. 2, 2022 long (at least 25-post) Twitter thread by Aaron Carr (@AaronACarr) talked about Venice, California, with a reply Sept. 2 by David Graham-Caso (@dgrahamcaso) referencing the Los Angeles Times and Villanueva and another reply Sept. 3 by Jason Haas (@hazah) referred to Milwaukee.

Venice (Beach), California has some connections with my family history (and re: making lots of people suddenly homeless in the process of redevelopment). I didn’t hang out in Venice, but that’s why the thread caught my attention at first.

Regarding other geographies (cities across the country) and some years ago on this blog, I have looked at the housing and redevelopment models targeting specific cities, and how models in one place can migrate cross-country to another.  In some of these, I also did “drill-downs” just in the process of satisfying my own questions on what I was looking at.  One case originated out of Atlanta, but made it to Oakland, California (that’s in Northern California), and a civil grand jury had sued those running it.  Youth Outreach (of course) was also involved.  I’m not looking the posts up now, but estimate (my write-ups) were 2018 or earlier.

(Well, a search on ‘Atlanta’ brought up a Sept. 18, 2018, detailed post and reminded me that the phrase “purpose-built” might be a better searchable term on this blog next time I want to locate it): Replicable Models like ~Purpose Built Communities~ Already Have Their (public/private-sponsored) positive PR, but what are the Aftershocks of “Shaking Up Your City” and What, Really, is OUR Bedrock Bottom Line? (started March 14, 2018, edited for about a month; published Sept. 8, 2018) (shortlink ends “-8OV” and the middle digit is a capital “o”, not the symbol for “zero”) About 7,200 words, some of which are in the impromptu “EndNotes” added because of the long delay in publishing. [[In hindsight — check out the tags at the bottom of that post! Such as LISC and more//LGH Sept. 2022]]
(Incidental:  You see where  I said “started March, 2018″ but not published until Sept., 2018.”  Look at my Twitter profile. Between those two times, I had to flee California; was already pushed out of stable housing and into expensive LONG-term hotels; had I stayed I’d have to open an elder abuse lawsuit (on my own behalf) there but being mentally and physically competent and not (yet) institutionalized for alleged mental or physical incompetence, resources generally were not available. It was truly frightening the last month, but I decided the best decision at the time was to just go, and start over in more privacy and with it, sense of safety.  The levels and indicators of abuse were escalating.  Four years later, I still say it was one of the best decisions I’d made this century; the other one (right at the turn of the century) was to file for domestic violence restraining order with kick-out before it was too late. I’d been wanting and planning to leave for some time (my original purposes for being in California, and for staying there, no longer existed.  My children (now adults) weren’t there…they’d escaped, in different ways (turning 18 certainly helped!)… It was my turn.

(Back to the Sept. 2-3, 2022 Twitter thread):

There were several replies but at the time I was just browsing and chose Milwaukee’s example.  Carr’s 25th post (re: Venice, not Milwaukee) read:

While this thread mostly deals with chronic homelessness, the majority of homeless people in America don’t have mental health or drug issues (and keep in mind there’s some overlap between the two) – they just need housing: 25/

Another individual located the entity “HousingFirstInitiativeNY.org” where Carr was (still is presumably) an Executive Director. Revisiting this now (I always revisit my posts right after publishing them), I remember looking into that nonprofit also under “CharitiesNYS” (it’s undergone some name and website changes since, i.e., now HousingFirstUS.org, but it’s legal-domiciled on the East Coast (NY), not in California. I am not writing it up (or the Milwaukee one, which isn’t its own entity) for this post, but I did notice and wonder, how such a small (financially) organization formed only in 2016 expected to take something national.

Haas (for Milwaukee’s version) replied:

Housing First has made a tremendous positive impact here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It really works! https://county.milwaukee.gov/EN/DHHS/Housing/Housing-First

As you can see, that link leads straight to a county website, Dept. of Health and Human Services, but a quote says it was soliciting to donate to the Housing First Endowment ℅ “Keys to Change.”

DONATE NOW

Your contribution to the Housing First Endowment through the Key to Change program helps house the chronically homeless. It also ensures that the people we help won’t suddenly find themselves back outside due to political decisions made hundreds of miles away.

I looked for “Key to Change” and noticed that donations were ℅ Milwaukee Downtown, Inc., which I then looked for.  Solicitation is definitely creative (retracing some of the steps — looks different on different devices) I see that repurposed parking meters in certain areas (where’s a map) can take donations, which may be tried in other cities also. Hence the name “Key to Change” (double-meaning).

(Next images are from bottom of the same page as the map image, but expanded to show detail). For post spacing reasons, I’m showing them above, not below, the map:

2. Same page, bottom, notice it’s © 2022 Key To Change (which doesn’t show entity name)

3. Detail of bottom page shows the parking meter has been transformed into a giant Key, with solicitations (from the public) stating what purpose donations are for, but not (on its front at least) to whom they go. It also mentions “Flux Design” as the designer.

1. Meter Locations on a map of (downtown) Milwaukee; see fine print description to the right.

On the website KeytoChangeMKE.com the fine print doesn’t reveal this; only the Pledge Form does, and even that form, only at the bottom is Payee named.  I notice the pledge form url contains domain name “Shopify.” I’ll post two imore mages for the single page (top and bottom) to magnify the words.

KeyToChange. Pledge Form (TOP) Accessed Sept. 10, 2022 (for post I published today) from Milwaukee County DHHS website on Housing First)

KeyToChange. Pledge Form (BOTTOM, see “Make Check Payable To”; notice “I (we) would like our donation to go toward: with option to check “Housing First Endowment Fund,” i.e., within Milwaukee Downtown, Inc.) Accessed Sept. 10, 2022 (for post I published today) from Milwaukee County DHHS website on Housing First)

 




[END OF “FOREWORD” section.]

(MAIN CONTENT HERE; FOREWORD image overlaps some):

I often wonder whether if there were fewer nonprofits (effective, ineffective, warring, and or just “there” below the surface), there might be more tax revenues, more justice, and fewer people held artificially too long on the margins of society: many times on main street, but still living marginally.

Let me re-state that:  I often wonder whether if “non-profit” (i.e., tax-exempt) status for private entities — ALL of them — was removed– including for religious groups or other ones exempt from even having to file tax returns, not only churches — this sector wouldn’t attract so many unethical sorts and so effectively hide the money trails.

I know nonprofits also attract truly sincere volunteers (not that sincerity means diligence in exploring and considering the financials, the reports and statements in the appropriate forms)  we might be better off, over all.  Is it really necessary for a nonprofit executive to make, as some really do, salaries over $1,000,000 (or, even over $500,000 or $750,000) to outsource someone else to decide who gets the grants and who manages the investments, and how wide to spread the individual enterprise.  Sometimes that high-salaried person isn’t the chairman of the board, but an executive director.  Others don’t always make much — but what would these make in fair competition with people NOT working for well-endowed nonprofits backed by corporate wealth, government wealth, or a combination of the same?

I say this after a dozen years of diligently looking for and reading (thousands of!) tax returns, and probably thousands of audited financial statements, connecting the dots (where feasible) between and among nonprofit after nonprofit with an emotionally and financially closer relationship to government than to the people they are supposed to be helping.  I have a basis for saying:  “it’s NUTS out there!” and “you have NO idea” how many entities exist within the average state or county program, which may have been organized and promoted nationally to start with. //LGH.

Post Title and Short-link:

Accounting Literacy (Recognizing RICO and other Deceptive Practices) Is THE Language to Master and of the “Masters”; Cause-Based PolicySpeak is Deliberately Dissociative and Dysfunctional [Most Written Jan., 2020, Current Commentary, Sept. 10, 2022].  (short-link ending ‘-c5h’).  This post is under 6,000 words long.. With post-publication (Foreword) additions, make that under 7,000 words.

This post doesn’t show how to “recognize RICO” — there are sites that do outline it, define it, give examples, by lawyers who’ve prosecuted for it.  There are official descriptions of what it is.  I’m just here pointing out how ripe the field is for racketeering within and across government and private sectors when the public doesn’t become aware and maintain that awareness AND talk about (and in terms of) entities and in accounting terms besides the occasional word “budget” or, more often “budget deficit,” without reference to assets and liabilities.

Understanding what RICO is and can look like I believe is helpful in understanding what an UNcorrupt — or at least far less corrupt — system or enterprise would look like, and how we might recognize and correct when it goes off-course.

It’s a matter of basic awareness of operating terms, concepts, vocabulary and (as it were) “moving pieces.”


What is the bottom-line? What’s the lowest common denominator of government and of our lives in relationship to our governments?

It’s not just “government service effectiveness” by subject area.  

To understand the condition of any major public (i.e., government) cause, sooner or later you must understand that the involved actors (entities), at any point in time, are going to come from different sectors, and when these have names that are other than individual human beings’ names, these actors must link at some point, generally, to some recorded business (= private)* or some recorded government (=public) “entity.”  Private and public regulations differ.

People may work simultaneously in both public and private sectors (overlapping) or rotate in and out, and/or have close relatives or spouses which work in one while they work in the other, and do this legally (but, where the public one is setting policies, the public should know). Civil servants with authority or influence over policy, or expenditures, within key areas of government at (for the USA), federal, state, or more local than state — or multi-jurisdiction authorities (like the TVA (multi-state, provides [sells] energy across state borders), or West-Ed, which I’ve blogged before).  See Footnote “For Example, In Milwaukee (Housing First)

**Yes, some — probably most — governments have components, i.e., run businesses, that charge fees for services; “enterprise” or “proprietary.”  Parts of government comprehensive annual financial reports (or, I learned recently, “general-purpose-fund”) which contain financial statements — and define reporting entities, usually in both the front  matter and in “Note 1” accompanying those financial statements. I used to type up these statements for a living:  basic spreadsheet format made readable; each page had a different type of statement named. There aren’t that many types, and the types should be familiar, not “foreign territory” mentally — even if the numbers are large. But in those situations, the report identifies the relationship of any such business to the “reporting entity” (i.e., that government).


My point here is, know what is, and is not government, and understand what types of revenues + expenses, assets + liabilities exist, in both sectors (gov’t and private). I was Tweeting about this the other day (incidentally, my comments here are Sept. 2022, not Jan. 2020):

Recent Twitter Threads, based on one link in my pinned Tweet (it’s also a very long thread, has examples, and is making a statement): tinyurl.com/US-CAFR-YESep2 

I picked the link to (the “NOTES” section only) of the most recent (I believe) U.S. Federal Government, what I call “CAFR,” for Fiscal Year Ending Dec. 2021 (and 2020).  Obviously, for FYE 2022’s isn’t out yet.

In the thread I talk about two ways to learn what possibly new acronyms or terms mean and where they come from:  from the context (“deductive” & “just look it up.”)


Deducing the meaning involves just reading and making sense of the context (surrounding prose, right in the report) — how a term is being used. For acronyms, the first use often writes it out. Often if you just keep reading for phrases which may not be acronyms, they often explain themselves, eventually.  It’s basic reading comprehension and understanding, exercised. When these are taught in early years, the purpose is to continue using them as adults! Reading outside (versus just avoiding) one’s comfort zones helps, probably, keep those skills sharp, or sharpen them.  Just using the same (cause-based, campaign-focused) phrases over and over (i.e., parroting, mimicking, repeating without comprehending — really) seems more rewarded socially; it builds a social media follower base — but does it build your own understanding base?


These reports are all about defining terms and usage within the report, to qualify statements.  So are, for such reports, the introductory “transmittal letter” by the auditor.  No one wants to be held responsible for someone else’s misdeeds or mis-management and the basis for the accompanying opinion on how fair or reasonable those statements are (which “management” is responsible for — here, the US. Government) and what processes the auditor used to come to an opinion.  Auditing, internally or externally (i.e., “independent auditors”) is a huge deal.

So, I’m embedding that thread (and below it, my current pinned thread, which is also very long).  If I do it right, click on the main page to (be brought back to Twitter) to read the whole thread.

Please understand this as me speaking — calling attention to certain things, and not expecting anyone to memorize the contents of a huge and complex statement of operations.  I DO, however, expect people to understand they can remember some basic parts of financial statements (such as the Notes) and that these are places to read what a government is saying (for that particular year) about itself.  They ARE designed for public consumption, much can be learned from them that is well worth learning: definitions of terms, organizational charts (parts of the reporting entity), and in this case (i.e., it’s the financial statement for an entire country!), some of those specialty terms refer to specific major events in recent history, and major influences on our daily life.  So why not make some time to look?

TWO of my TWITTER THREADS FROM SEPTEMBER 8, 2022 (I am writing two days later):

As it begins “See Prior Thread, ” I’ll include that one.  This first thread’s tweets are labeled A/, B/, C/ thru Z/ (I had two “S”‘s) to distinguish from the prior thread, which was numbered, 1/, 2/, 3/,

(Thread #1)

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The “Prior Thread” (same day) had 20 posts (Tweets), and ends with what you can see is also the theme of this post, and a continuing one for this blog.  (See fine print aside just below).

(And continuing theme of my life purpose, with that life’s direction so dramatically impacted by what my (our) children and I were put through courtesy a politically progressive, liberal (?) and not particularly religious metropolitan area (and, state)’s family courts after experiencing, in-home, what I wish I’d known before we married, an exceptionally conservative, male-dominated marriage (as to the role of women in marriage, and our rights to work, attend classes or maintain supportive relationships outside the home (and fellowship/churches), to take continuing education, to keep credit or even have access to an individual OR a joint bank accounts, to speak up, or make decisions about self, transportation, or how to raise (educate) our children), i.e., how to live together.
After a decade of in-home battering and being held in “survival mode,” for the children also, I really expected a liberal and secular legal and court system to function and to handle me as a competent adult individual — with children, yes, but not as a second-class citizen permanently by virtue of gender, or by virtue of not having stayed in the same house and household with my husband, the batterer who, at the time of separation, had been obsessed with weapons, brandishing them towards me, occasioning periodic calls to the police, who took cruel retaliations for my (or our children’s) participation in [my former profession I’d trained for since a child AND had a degree AND worked primarily in, known to him before we married.  He knew it was important and what that type of work — and it had income attached — meant to me]. I was left wondering “what happened?” to the concept of individual choice, if responsible, moral, legal, and sensible, in this country?  IF this is the new normal for women who choose to marry, or choose to have children, should there not be a Consumer Protection Notice, a sort of Buyer-Beware — there are Family Values/Fatherhood Lobbyists (bipartisan: neither political party follows through; one promises more than it delivers, the other doesn’t even bother to pretend believing in equal rights for women) throughout government who don’t take kindly to strong-minded, working (hence financially self-sufficient) mothers (a.k.a., who still say wife-beating and terrorizing, in front of the kids, and attempts to enslave and exploit, is wrong”)?)

This is the last tweet of “prior Tweet” after which I’ll embed the whole thing:

Only by finding out “what it is” (or might look like) is it possible to asses[s] what it isn’t. Failing to sort public from private, entity from non-entity and program (project. etc.) from the “person” (Private entity) OR public (gov’t entity). & I didn’t even get to databases

As you can see, it starts with the sentiments, “Who Asks (these) questions? ” and “the U.S. Government including HHS speaks “Entity.”  Twitter Analytics show almost no one read it.  

(Not entertaining enough?)

(Thread #2)

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While I’m here (and because it contains a relate link, and is also multi-thread, relevant.  This thread branches out more into the family court and domestic violence field points of reference:

My Currently (Sept. 2022) Pinned (to profile) Twitter Thread:

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That pinned Tweet features black and white, fine-print on purpose.  You want the colors and big words — go somewhere else. They’re important — but I’m looking for readers who are into processing written information rapidly to understand with whom they (we) are dealing.  Constantly…

Below here, until I indicate differently (with a heading), the text was written January 2020.  This post was in draft; I added a “Conclusion” (summary), but overall, the post is just pointing to certain topics and saying:  “This matters!  Learn about it and talk about it!”  //LGH.

Different rules and exemptions apply to each sector, and the sectors constantly interact with each other, and have similarities also.

Crooks and honest people exist and operate, obviously, within both sectors, and can operate within and across national boundaries.  The crooks, generally, are going to prefer the company of crooks for closest confidents, but need honest people for cover / appearance of legitimacy; OR they can also deal with compromised people where enough honest ones can’t be either fooled or compromised. Or, the basic pattern of extortion (fear and intimidation) in direct dealings combined with keeping potential sources of support either dissociative, uncommitted, or unaware of the level of outrageous behaviors involved.

What continues to distress me is the level of willing volunteers for being mass socially engineered about some of the most basic elements of our economy, and our forms of government: the nature and character of the interactions between the public and private sectors.

Is it really just too burdensome or troublesome to apply even the most basic “truth filters” to leading organizations and people:  Do they give account of their own operations?  Do their quoted/favorite, BFF colleagues?  When they have the public platform, do they even tell the truth? When caught withholding important information in their “tell-all” “Shine-the-light:” proclamations (either as quoted by others on news media, or as on their own (as it applies) websites, was this withholding done in innocent ignorance, or with intent to deceive (typically for reasons involving profit)?

IF we are all on the same page when the words “we, us, our” are constantly put forward, then why are some on a more equal page than others as to deserving to know what private entities  (and associated interests) seek and collaborate to drive public institutions (like the family courts, child support systems, welfare systems child protective systems, jails and prisons, tax systems, educational systems, housing development, healthcare, daycare and “early childhood education” systems?


WHEN filtering for truth, commonsense or validity from the news / social media as you run across, or are sent, information and press releases, typically there’s a story hook (compelling story line: problem, tragedy, outrage, fear, protest, starting at the individual level: a person, a family, a child facing daunting odds and challenging circumstances).

Then it’ll flip to summary information and soon enough, someone is quoted as an expert or concerned (grassroots, typically implied or said) organization addressing the problem.

There will be a person’s name (possibly with associated profession or academic/government etc. position of influence), and, almost as an afterthought in that exhale, some name of an important- or legitimate-sounding organization. That’s one place to start in checking the story line and source, although tracking them across time and space can develop whiplash.

When the same (organization or seeming entity) names continue coming up across a country as wide geographically as the USA (and with its 50 states, territories and possessions), know that any such name whether a government entity OR a business entity has a single legal domicile — JUST ONE.  As such, it doesn’t represent all jurisdictions. Anywhere else that particular organization is qualified to do business, when registered, it’s considered a “foreign ______” (<~~fill in the type of business: stock, nonprofit, etc. While this can and sometimes is changed, it has to register as either nonprofit or for-profit when it must register.  It must choose a TYPE of business).

Blogger note:  I started this post (and it’s remained in draft until any “published” date you see on its title) January, 2020.  By January-February, 2022, I had cause to again publicize that in the USA, there is no legal filing (for a private entity) called “national” and as such, almost ALL the entities (or non-entity centers within universities) are basically lying.  They are indicating intent and purpose, but not reflecting reality — and it seems the one’s I keep running across — continue to hope no one INside or OUTside the USA notices, or gives a damn how dishonest the practice is.

Here are two posts I wrote (and did publish) to address this.  I’m sure one or both contains references to prior times I also addressed the issue:

“National Nonprofit:  True or False? Wishful Thinking or Flat-Out Deception for USA-Legal domiciled Entities? […publ.Jan.30, 2022] case-sensitive short-link ends “-dgS”

“NATIONAL” Nonprofits? (Centers, Initiatives, etc.) in the USA? No Such Thing. US Treasury’s CAFR explains ‘ENTITY’… [Yesterday’s (Jan. 30, 2022) post, second half]. case-sensitive short-link ends “-dvu”

Before “what type of entity” one is dealing with comes the question of IS it an entity or not?

ALSO, IF an entity:

Public vs. Private | Tax vs. Tax-exempt |

NB:  government entities are by definition tax-exempt, that is, on the filing entity’s profits, though not often called that.  As employers they can of course contribute other forms of taxation or withholding for their employees, but that’s not the same as corporate taxes or business taxes on the overall income.  This is a big deal not often considered.  But, for now, among the PRIVATE entities, some are nonprofit, some are not.

Of websites or quoted expert affiliations that tend to show up in news media on a current social problem getting more press, often along with proposed legislative changes:  Is it an Entity or Non-Entity?

Legitimate vs. illegitimate ways of operating as a “non-entity” — with a fiscal agent, having (somewhere:  “Happy Hunting” if the individual doesn’t feel like disclosing!) a legitimate (and unexpired) “dba” (Doing Business As) filing.

Of tax-exempt entities (once identified): Filing as public charity (USA Forms 990), or private foundation (Form 990PF)?  Different information provided (or not) by each, while often both kinds collaborate on similar or identical projects.

Of tax-exempt entities (once identified), some don’t have to file.  Are you considering churches and religious entities yet?  You should be! (Go visit the IRS for more information). Not all tax-exempts have to even produce public tax returns, which is an advantage to the entity and to those contributing to them, at least as to privacy issues.


Profits on both sides of the argument seem to devolve to:  advertising, consulting, and media companies; interconnected networks of tax-exempt organizations across the US named after each separate cause — then gradually blended together to “conserve resources” and “collaborate” across the previously set, so-called “silos” in favor of a more “holistic” approach to social problems.   It takes a special mindset to continue ignoring that.

And motivation, i.e., rewards, incentives, salaries, to continue speaking to the public as though understanding “entities” was irrelevant to social causes or social justice.

Pivotal events and legislation in the 1970s (no-fault divorce), 1980s USA public/private-funded media campaigns against wife abuse and domestic violence and simultaneous, and similarly organized — that is, through politically aggressive/active nonprofits, some of whose members are or revolve in and out of public office to promote the campaigns — USA public /private funded media campaigns promoting and pushing for more “family values while stigmatizing single motherhood (while grudgingly admitting some of that situation stems from unwillingness of some women to remain in abusive  and potentially lethal co-habiting / ongoing relationships [or even marriages] with the fathers of their mutual children) and follow-up events in the 1990s as the programs gradually became embedded under specialty commissions or agencies/entities within federal, then (echoing this) state governments, as well as certain local county courts in various states.

You can find lists of these at times within a federal agency website, not always on the same web page, but under program descriptions, which clouds the realization that they are indeed organized as named after the social problem cause, whether “fatherlessness” “lack of marriage or unhealthy marriages” “child abuse” (or “child welfare, the counter-action to child abuse”) “domestic violence” or “family violence prevention,” “poverty” “inequity,” etc.

[Over the years, on many posts…] I’ve listed ones that deal with marriage, reproductive [“breeding”] habits, then a whole other demographically-defined set of issues comes with ethnic/racial categories of so-called problem-solving: income disparities, disproportionate incarceration, unequal health outcomes, disparities in educational achievements and access to housing and healthcare… If I were to condense the two most entrenched and typically addressed the handiest words would be racism and sexism.  Add immigration/citizenship status and religious prejudices, how much public/private activity might this address?

Meanwhile, generations of the public (consumers, most people) are socially engineered to acknowledge the problem by TYPE (cause).  The systems are engineered to address each cause, or combined causes, by throwing more money and sponsored professionals’ time at the problem.

All of this fails to encourage and support mass public comprehension of basic operating systems as ebb and flow, transfer and control of finances, and resources within the tax and tax-exempt systems…  and I haven’t even mentioned “currency” and the Federal Reserve supply and demand factor yet, at least on this  post.


In addition to the networks of tax-exempts organized by cause (with shared rhetoric and downloadable resources, and some, with oft-changing entity names and formats), there are — separately — OTHER networks of tax-exempt entities less visible to the average person except as occasionally quoted in some news article.

Those networks seem systematically organized  and named around government entity function:  whether governors, lieutenant governors [2nd in command, state-level], district attorneys [typically refers to the county level of government in the US system, as acknowledged in the person’s title:  such and such county district attorney. ] , FAMILY and JUVENILE COURT JUDGES, City Attorneys, City Managers, State Directors of Mental Health Programs, etc. I’ve been posting about it for years now.

Across this blog I have often named and explored them, on social media (only Twitter for me) I often refer to them, and for a long time had several acronyms pinned to my profile.  Periodically in re-posting, I’ll cite the former posts (with drill-downs at least as of the date published, which — where EIN#s are provided — could then be updated by new searches on the same databases — but these databases over time change in quality ,currency, and in how much information is provided relative to how much digging (how many different searches, how many layers down on those websites are the basic facts buried; are they provided in any format that could be quickly communicated to other people — generally, my exposure says, less and less so.

If you want a clue to “shadow government” (so to speak) this type of tax-exempt organization, often with the word “National” “International ” (as in “ICMA”, searchable on this blog) or sometimes “American” would seem to be one good example of it — the private associations “shadow” (in the background) existing governments and are named after them, it would seem with an intent that most people won’t notice the difference, although one is public and the other private, and although both are interacting financially, year after year, with varying degrees of accountability as to filing their financial and corporate (as required in varying frequency depending on the state of legal domicile) — some are annually, but not all are.

Conclusion  To Post Added Two-And-Three Quarter Years Later.

Any paragraphs below here, I wrote added Sept. 2022 (I was reviewing my Draft posts, looking for one which might contain some new information on another database shutting down (Open990) I ran across.  This one wouldn’t, but it’s simple (few exhibits and internal links) and applicable. Most of it, above, I wrote January, 2020.  Between then and now, there were some issues with a high-rise management company (specifically, its, and its utility billing services company, which was switched AFTER I’d made a security deposit to move internally, but before I moved in, i.e., within 30 days. Eventually, I refused to sign a lease without protection from the ongoing fraud which I’d had to document month after month (another unpaid job just to live there) and most of which wasn’t ever addressed. There were no real protections from tenants; I couldn’t live with that, resolution wasn’t obtained, so I was thrown out.The first place I’d intended to stay (meanwhile) fell through — I couldn’t get to it in time, and so I’ve been essentially homeless (hotel-based) ever since, and time and funds aren’t perpetual. This is my third month in this condition (no kitchen (freezer, barely a refrigerator, no kitchen sink or prep area, no secure garage and no secure mailing address; I try to minimize any paperwork which might be coming, and secure housing four or five day (maximum) at a time), because “securing housing” in a hotel means it can grab substantial extra funding up front, which is then released only on checkout.

SUMMARY, I guess:

Gradually, over time, this increasingly nationalizes (federalizes and privatizes) the country, making LOCAL representative government less relevant to most people living in those locales.

I understand that people have mobility — they travel, they can have job transfers, they move from one state (or within a state) to another, or one country to another — but not all do.  Some own homes, live moderately (can’t afford the travel, whether it’s because of time off work, or just because of the expense, while bills at home don’t stop).

Others, single parents, or at least separated from the other biological parent of their children if re-married or rep-partnered, are prevented from traveling and moving far away IF they expect to see retain custody of (continue raising) their children again, by family court orders.

Do we NOT deserve to have at least our elected representatives maintain transparency about how many national PRIVATE organizations drive their polices locally? Shouldn’t our elected representatives point people to the financial pages of their state (and county, etc.) governments and promote distribution of and direct viewers towards those audited financial statements (“CAFRs” or “CFRs”)?  Shouldn’t WE be talking about these — and, where applicable, tax returns (present, absent, current or not, filled out properly or not, and corresponding to the public claims about any organization’s scope and influence?  Those two forms of accountability are only SOME of the basic forms (but two major ones, and with specific parts to refer to each other:


An IRS Form 990 Part XI (currently) refers to differences with the (same year’s) audited financial statements; An IRS Form 990 Part VI-C is about “Disclosure (Yes/No questions to be answered on “Schedule O”). Private Foundations  that file Form 990PF (because they’re private) are supposed to display in what specific securities they are invested; public ones (Forms 990) have to show amounts, but not exact investments — only types of investments.

I have been mentioning this recently ( a bit more) on Twitter (@LetUsGetHonest), there are some long threads.  Twitter flags most of my content (anything retweeting another’s work, or with images), especially but not only if sent from my phone, with a “Warning: May contain Sensitive Content.”

Recently I simply tweeted a New York Times article announcing the death of Queen Elizabeth. It was flagged by Twitter; the one right below me, by another (I believe but am not 100% sure) mother who’d gone through the family courts (earlier than me) and says she has a book coming, also tweeted an article from another source — same topic, a major world event, right? — and it was not flagged.

So my motivation to connect WordPress to Twitter threads may not be what it used to be, or could be.  One is much easier to compose, but probably less effective (Twitter) and in my case — who knows how many others — probably being artificially or “algorithmically” suppressed.  (I’m not buying sponsorship).  The other, this blog, I am having a hard time putting out posts fast enough.  It’s not only the content, it’s that the media has to also be incorporated (uploaded, captioned, captions formatted, sometimes an image annotated, and all that), and it’s hard to get a sense of the whole effectively while composing direct onto the blog, so publishing is delayed, sometimes for months, other times, if it falls below priority-level, years.

Meanwhile, I continue to research and tune into developments in these fields, which also takes time.

 

Footnote “For example in Milwaukee” (Housing First and Overlap/Confusion (Obfuscating the existence of certain nonprofits with municipal government districts, interacting with parts of municipal government). (Really, this is an example of what may be found once you start looking closely to nail down the exact type (public or private) (it may be both) of entity from a website which emits mixed signals about which it is, and (on closer look) the area contains more than one subterranean (not exactly advertised) nonprofits.

This is common I’m sure, to many downtown business districts, and not really new.  I’ve lived in cities where you can see this taking place, and I’ve looked into some in other major urban areas from time to time.  The “phenomenon” (practice) exists.

Separately, “Housing First” (as a policy approach, and it relates nationally to HUD) is worth another study and investigative report — from my perspective here of public vs. private.  The nature of HUD leadership (especially in the 1990s and since) is also relevant. I’d like to keep this post relatively short and so won’t go into that.  More links to extended details may be found in one of the embedded tweets above (the one with numbers, not letter, from Sept. 8, 2022) as I reviewed a VERy old post (or maybe it was a PAGE) which linked to investigative reporting 2006 on (not by) HUD and attempts to publicize the financials, by Catherine Austin Fitts:

https://tinyurl.com/LGH-FCM-PAGE-Jun-11-2014  Links to my page, of which large (but not the only) parts qre quoting Fitts’ own writing, but the first link is to a 2006 report by Lucy Komisar (I do not know who she is, really), also on the “Fees for Friends” as it works out in terms of real estate, defaulted mortgage portfolio that the FHA (under HUD) held, and specific leadership, and (of course) contracting companies to manage that porfolio and/or sales of the foreclosed properties, or the debts (i.e., mortgage securities) for the friends. Definite conflicts of interest on how to manage the poor, those on welfare ,those who lost their homes — and with personalities who could impact how these were managed.  There was also a Presidential Administration change, and HUD being an Executive Branch Department, which U.S. President (Bush, Senior, then Clinton) of course also made a major difference.  So, three main sources from the tinyurl within this box, which I discussed and included some screenshots of in embedded Twitter thread above:  1) My blog page (from 2014), 2) which discusses and quotes/links to writing by Fitts, and 3) its topmost link is to someone (Komisar, on a different media platform) reporting on her experience (most likely after interviewing her also). Definite food for thought; it was for me then, and it still is.

You wouldn’t believe what I’ve learned and what can be learned by following up (to “look it up, or “do a drill-down” looking for which entity is responsible for a website (which withholds that information, or buries it skillfully) promoting which use — usually, of public resources to solve problems according to their view of how it should be solved — everywhere..)

I have recently (speaking, September, 2022) been considering what it would take (in time and energy) to start another, much less formal blog, to blurt out my findings without trying to keep the documentation so detailed and thorough.  The things I am finding are interesting on their own, and as types of what can and is happening in the name of performing some public good or solving some public problem (I’m thinking of a “Housing First” initiative, one person (on Twitter) referenced its use in Southern California referring to the use in Milwaukee as better for helping the homeless. I am currently homeless (though not cluttering up downtown business districts panhandling, because I still have a place to sleep and a roof over the head), but without any permanency; I was curious if there was such a workable program in my area, which can have some very cold winters and does have plenty of homeless people who must resort to tents. I doubt any such “Housing First” would apply to people who can, for a while, afford hotels, but it might help others more effectively, so I wanted to learn about it.  I also wanted to know whether “Housing First Initiative” was an entity or (as it was more likely) a project.

I did the look-ups and found, predictably, to similarly named but distinct legal entities (sharing the same website such that you couldn’t tell without going for those details).  Moreover, the fine print at the very bottom (I first looked on cell phone, am now reviewing quickly on laptop computer) adds the word “BID”

  • Milwaukee Downtown BID #21, 301 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 106, Milwaukee, WI 53203

Yet the description, which initially sounds like part of government (the term “district” and assessing fees for certain funds) but calls itself an “organization”:

ABOUT US (link: https://www.milwaukeedowntown.com/bid-basics/about-us)

Milwaukee Downtown, BID (Business Improvement District) #21 is an organization established in 1998 to support the interests of the downtown Milwaukee business community. Through BID #21 assessments, Milwaukee Downtown funds specific initiatives aimed at creating a clean, safe and friendly downtown. The district currently manages 150 blocks representing approximately 500 commercial property owners.

It sounds like a hybrid and hasn’t described (though it easily could have) as a BID established under (cite the public, state law, authorizing municipalities (it gives specific political names to who may) to create such districts, and with certain requirements on how they must be run).

On closer look, one entity was a district [“BID” (Business Improvement District)] and the other, “Milwaukee Downtown, Inc.,” a specific, private nonprofit; both were involved with the City Department of Economic Development (as I recall), AND there was at least another nonprofit involved. I began looking, initially, because the word “organization” and (as I recall) “agency” referring to the same thing, were used interchangeably.  Looking at one of the tax return, which had a “Schedule R” (related entity) entry, it called the one I believe to have been part of government — i.e., a specifically named, with street address, business district (i.e. part of government) and gave it an EIN#, called it a “tax-exempt” entity (501©3) in the column designated to identify whether government (or, not), on the Forms 990.

Among all these planning documents (which I browsed) some had referenced “Housing First” and staff outreach to refer the homeless to (others, not their own) services.   The main stated purpose (not that it’s illegitimate — but it wasn’t common concern for the homeless humans) was for better commercial business, and to make Milwaukee a more desirable global destination. The homeless, messy streets, and (assuming this was likely happening) panhandling, or other issues which sometimes go with homelessness, weren’t conducive to the global image, or local patronizing of the downtown district, in particular, Business Improvement District #21.

Specific reference was made into some of the authorizing planning statements (FYI, a Wisconsin state law allowed municipalities to set up such business districts and assess fees, based on specific characteristics (FYI: there, not on nonprofits and not on primarily residential buildings).

Within those definitions (again, several days ago, and by recall only), in naming two nonprofits doing business with the (Business District), it specifically said “unrelated entity, private nonprofit and as such not subject to open meeting laws.  That shows intent.
[End of Footnote]


“P.S.” A note on the tags here:  I chose from among existing tags which contained these words:  “RICO,” “CAFR” “entity” and “non-entity.”  This post doesn’t handle all the topics tagged, but in clicking on them, you can click through to others which do.  Some posts so tagged may be longer or more complicated than this one, or I wouldn’t have tagged them with such detailed names. Other tag names, as you can see, just state principles.  Tags are by definition, gateways to more, related information on the same publication or platform. You can see by the level of specifics, they won’t all be addressed in this (or even one) post.

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

September 10, 2022 at 2:42 pm

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