A group advocating for an overhaul of the Supreme Court may have torpedoed its own organization after one of its staffers accidentally emailed its donor list to the press.
Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court, an activist organization linked to ongoing efforts to reform the Supreme Court, sent confidential tax forms to the Washington Examiner after an inquiry into a previous failure of the organization to file its Form 990 in 2021. Roth said that he had “misunderstood the filing instructions” and sent the outlet copies of the organization’s Schedule B 2021 and 2022 forms.
Almost immediately, Roth realized his mistake.
“S***, I’m not legally allowed to send you those,” Roth replied one minute later. “I really messed up. Can you call me now?”
NEW: Fix the Court, an Arabella Advisors-linked group demanding Supreme Court “transparency” for financial disclosures, is in complete disarray after unwittingly leaking its donors to @dcexaminer
“I just fucked up,” its director Gabe Roth tells me. https://t.co/L5MCNIAyFE
— Gabe Kaminsky (@gekaminsky) May 17, 2023
According to several tax lawyers, it is not, in fact, illegal to disclose donor lists to the public.
“It’s a mistake,” Alan Dye, an attorney who has specialized in nonprofit tax law since 1975, said. “It’s been made before by a lot of organizations. Overdisclosure is not a crime.”
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According to their website, Fix the Court advocates for 18-year term limits for Supreme Court Justices and for greater transparency and accountability at the highest court in the land. The organization circulated spurious sexual assault claims against then-prospective Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, and reportedly purchased the domain names Brettkavanaugh.com and Brettkavanaugh.net for that purpose. Fix the Court has also blasted Justice Clarence Thomas for not formally disclosing certain gifts he received from billionaire Harlan Crow.
The forms revealed that the group brought in $290,000 in revenue in 2021, primarily from two other left-leaning non-profit organizations: the New Venture Fund and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
“As you can see if you’ve reviewed the forms, I’m not a good fundraiser,” Roth said. “I’m not a good CPA. I’m a klutz.”
Roth was paid $162,138 by Fix the Court in 2022.
“I have only two foundations that give me money, and if their names become public, they’re never going to talk to me again,” Roth lamented. “Fix the Court is over. My screwup this morning probably cost me my job.”
Roth also told the Examiner that he “wanted to fix the mistake as soon as possible” as his “donors don’t want their names out there.”
Parker Thayer, investigative researcher at Capital Research Center, a conservative think-tank, said that Roth’s reaction reveals that his group is “not serious about transparency.”
“They have attempted to smear honorable men like Justice Thomas over his own financial disclosures but are apparently terrified at the thought of someone obtaining their own,” Thayer said.