Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Official Non-Existence of CAIR

CAIR logoIt’s been a rough week (so far) for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a.k.a. CAIR. As we reported at the time, on Sunday night at its annual banquet the executive director of the Islamic advocacy organization was served with a summons on a federal fraud and racketeering complaint. Yesterday the Holy Land Foundation — a CAIR-affiliated charity — was convicted on 108 counts of funneling money to Hamas.

And today comes the biggest surprise of all: legally speaking, CAIR doesn’t even exist.

That’s because the organization failed to file the proper paperwork this past September to renew its charter as a non-profit corporation in the District of Columbia. Jihad Watch and WorldNet Daily have reported that David Yerushalmi’s lawsuit — the same one that named Nihad Awad when it was served on Sunday evening — demonstrates that beccause its registration has lapsed, CAIR is officially non-existent.

“The organization is no longer a valid corporation,” Yerushalmi revealed on the program. “The District of Columbia delisted it on Sept. 8, 2008.”

He said the organization failed to file its paperwork to continue to exist.

“They are not allowed to be operating, according to the law,” he said.

And yet CAIR continues to function as if it were a corporation, lobbying, fundraising, and engaging in political advocacy. Considering that the organization has insisted on the prosecution of misdemeanors and full penalties applied to anyone else, it’s only fair that the D.C. government throw the book at it.

And what does the book say? According to the District of Columbia Official Code — under which CAIR was incorporated while it still existed — the offense is a misdemeanor, and penalties may include a $500 fine and a possible one-year prison term. Here are excerpts from relevant sections of the official code:
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§ 29-301.85. Two-year report of domestic and foreign corporations—Effect of failure to pay or file.

If any corporation incorporated under this subchapter, or any corporation which has elected to accept this subchapter, or any foreign corporation having a certificate of authority issued under this subchapter, shall fail or refuse to pay any report fee or fees payable under this subchapter, or fail to file a report as required by this subchapter, then, in the case of a domestic corporation, the articles of incorporation shall be void and all powers conferred upon the corporation shall be inoperative, and in the case of a foreign corporation, the certificate of authority shall be revoked and all powers conferred pursuant to it shall be inoperative.

§ 29-301.86. Proclamation of revocation; effect of publication.

(a) On the second Monday in September of each year, the Mayor shall issue a proclamation listing the names of all domestic corporations and all foreign corporations which have failed or refused to pay the 2-year report fee or fees or failed or refused to file the 2-year report as required by this subchapter for a reporting period next preceding June 30th in the year in which such proclamation is issued and upon the issuance of such proclamation the articles of incorporation or the certificate of authority, as the case may be, shall be void and all powers thereunder inoperative without further proceedings of any kind.

§ 29-301.87. Penalty for conducting affairs after issuance of proclamation.

Any corporation, person, or persons who shall exercise or attempt to exercise any powers under articles of incorporation of a domestic corporation or under a certificate of authority of a foreign corporation which has been revoked shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 1 year, or both. Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of the provisions of this subchapter, or any rules or regulations issued under the authority of this subchapter, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2. Adjudication of any infraction of this subchapter shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.

Now, we all know that CAIR is too big and too powerful to have to answer for something that will undoubtedly be described as a “minor technical infraction”, a trivial matter to be brushed away like an annoying gnat. That’s why they pay their lawyers all those millions of dollars in retainer fees. It doesn’t require the accession of Barack Hussein Obama to protect them from niggling disputes such as this.

Still, it would be refreshing if the D.C. government were to demonstrate that the law is the same for both the princes and the serfs. We all know what would happen if the Heritage Foundation made a similar mistake. The same rules should apply to CAIR.

But don’t hold your breath.

Thanks to Frontinus for both the original tip and the legal research.


Henrik R Clausen said...

Who is to deal with this, actually? The executive branch of government, I'd guess?

That'd be Bush and his administration. I hope Bush will take action in time.

heroyalwhyness said...

Quote: ". . .failed to file the proper paperwork this past September to renew its charter as a non-profit corporation in the District of Columbia."

Whether this has anything to do with it or not, I recall there was some controversy brewing over CAIR's 501 (c)(3)or(4) status over a year ago.

501 c status


Baron Bodissey said...

Henrik --

It gets a bit dicey. It's a local municipal law dealing with the status of a non-profit corporation, but since D.C. is a federal enclave -- not part of any state -- that may make Congress (not the President) the relevant authority.

We need a lawyer to venture an opinion.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 11/26/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

James Higham said...

$500 fine? The case rests.

USorThem said...


It may be a matter of simply failing to submit a rather staightforward form and returning it with a small check to the State Division in charge of licensing corporations. I had a small corp. once and failed to file the form and submit my check. I cleared it up months after the deadline when I received another notice and the matter was resolved. Technically CAIR is probably not duly incorporated, but it can be cleared up with a form and a check in a matter of days or weeks.

At least that was my experience.