[Foundation-l] Politico: "Wikimedia foundation hires lobbyists on sopa, pipa"

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Sun Jan 22 19:30:00 UTC 2012

On 22 January 2012 19:24, Gregory Varnum <gregory.varnum at gmail.com> wrote:
> Basically a charity in the USA can spend up to 20% of its expenses on "direct lobbying" of related issues.  Basically that means they can say "this is good and that's good" - but they can't actually endorse a party or individual.  They can educate on that person - "so and so wants to do this" - but they can't then so "so vote for ABC instead" or anything along those lines.  It can get a little trick if an org speaks on an issue that is in no way connected to their mission - but SOPA/PIPA and just about any technology related legislation falls within WMF's mission.

Geoff, the WMF General Counsel, was advising everyone involved in the
media work surrounding the blackout to be even more careful than that
and stay well clear of mentioning any individual politicians to avoid
any possibility of trouble.

Given the overabundance of caution that was shown during the whole
thing, I don't think we need to worry.

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