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Is Free Republic a commercial operation or a charity?
Free Republic | 12/08/01 | Jim Robinson

Posted on 12/08/2001 12:25:12 AM PST by Jim Robinson

Is Free Republic a commercial operation or a charity?

Well, here's the way I see it. Free Republic is neither a charity or a commercial operation. It is simply a website. A public political bulletin board, just like thousands upon thousands of other non-commercial, not for profit, public political bulletin boards, only larger.

Our participants post and discuss political topics, government topics, constitutional issues, current events and other miscellaneous topics. I operate it as an avocation (a hobby). I was sued by a couple major media players, so I filed as an LLC to gain at least a small amount of liability protection in case others want to jump on after the LAT/WP or in case some wild-eyed poster comes in and posts a bunch of crap that brings lawsuits my way.

In the beginning, I paid all of the expenses of operating the website out of my own pocket. But as it grew and the expenses grew, and I went broke, I could no longer afford the bills. Free Republic has tens of thousands of participants and is steadily growing. Because we are posting under the fair use provisions of copyright law, I cannot charge a membership fee, I cannot sell merchandise, I cannot sell advertising, and I cannot enter into any commercial business. I simply cannot earn money on Free Republic as a commercial operation.

And, because of the fact that we advocate various political positions and even support (by arguing for or against) various political candidates and or conservative issues or causes, I cannot qualify as a public benefit non-profit charity (501C, etc.).

Because I have no personal capital or resources, and I cannot seek outside investors or capital (that might be construed as being commercial), and I cannot charge for services or products (that may also be construed as being commercial), I'm pretty much stuck with the choice of folding up the public political discussion board (thus depriving myself and thousands of others this obviously effective and established opportunity of exercising our first amendment rights to political free speech), or allowing others to voluntarily donate money as gifts to pay the expenses. There is not much room to do anything else.

All we (our participants) want to do, both as individuals and as a group, is to be able to exercise our first amendment rights to criticize the illegally expanding government and its chief advocate, the mainstream media. This is our right under the Constitution. And we do this by posting news articles and other public information to use as a base of comparison and basis for for critique and political discussion.

Because we cannot be commercial and we cannot be a public charity and I do not have the financial wherewithal myself to fund it, the readers and participants willingly chip in to keep the website going. There is no way this giving is commercial and there is no way that it is a public benefit charity. It is simply a relatively small number of the total readers and participants willingly taking it upon themselves to gift money to Free Republic to keep the discussion board from going broke. No one is forced to contribute to Free Republic and, in fact, the vast majority do not. No price or fee is charged to anyone to read Free Republic or to participate in the discussion. It is totally free.

We do not engage in commerce. We do not sell anything. We do not have customers. We do not have subscribers. We do not have a paid membership. We do not have investors. We do not purchase anything, other than bandwidth and equipment to keep the discussion board operating. There is no inventory, no manufacturing, no sales, no services rendered, no investors, no stockholders, no board of directors, no outsiders, no sales people, no employees, no payroll, no payroll expenses, no payroll taxes, no employee benefits, no nothing. There is no commercial business taking place here. There is nothing commercial about Free Republic.

A commercial operation would be doing some kind of business. It would have a price list or rate book and or a catalog or product sheet or a description of product or service or some other communications vehicle that would allow potential customers or clients or subscribers or members or investors or whomever to see what is offered, what he is purchasing, and how much he would have to pay for it, and how it compares to the competition. There is no proposal or sales order or contract or agreement that describes a product or service to be delivered for a fee or a price and there are no contractual documents or agreements between buyer and seller describing how money or goods or services are to change hands. There are no guarantees or warrantees for fitness or suitability. Nothing. No commercial business is transacted.

Free Republic is not a commercial operation, period.

So, then, is it a public benefit charity?

Free Republic does not fit within the definition of a public benefit charity or professional fundraising operation. Participants willingly give to keep the lights on and the board operating, but Free Republic is not a registered public benefit charity or church or any other such operation. It is not a 501C non-profit organization, in fact, because it engages in politics and supports and promotes various conservative political issues and causes, it cannot qualify as a public benefit charity.

Free Republic's legal and tax status is a California Limited Liability Company filing with the IRS on form 1065. The excess of receipts over expenditures for an LLC, such as Free Republic, LLC, flows back to the members (mainly me in this case) and is reported as income on our personal tax returns.

There is no money paid out to outsiders or investors or charity seekers or beneficiaries. We do not raise funds to be used for public benefit. We do not raise funds to be given to others. We do not take on charitable causes. We do not offer charitable services.

The gifts we receive are not charitable giving in the sense of a 501C or other state or federal chartered public benefit charity. There are no beneficiaries. We are not a church, not a hospital, not a foundation, not a trust, not a fund, not a school, not a library. not a public benefit corporation and we are not tax exempt. The givers do not receive a tax deduction for their gifts. There are no strings attached in exchange for the gifts. Once the gift is given the giver no longer controls the gift. We have no financial or fiduciary duty to the giver.

We are simply not subject to the corporate charity or public benefit laws of the various states and we are not a public benefit charity.

Is it a tax exempt operation?

No. We pay taxes on the excess of gifts received over funds paid out, because we have to in order to comply with the IRS regulations for hobbies, but that does not make us a commercial business. Again, we do not manufacture, purchase for resell, or provide a service in return for pay. We do not sell memberships, or advertising or anything else. We do not operate a business. Any cash received is received as gifts. The givers are not promised anything in return nor do they receive anything. No one must give to use Free Republic. The website is free to all participants. It is simply a public political discussion forum that I operate as an avocation and people are willing to freely give in order to keep it alive and on the air, because they love it.

What is Free Republic then?

So, Free Republic is not a commercial operation nor is it a charity. What is it then? It is simply what it is, a non-commercial, not for profit public (decidely for conservatives) electronic townhall meeting and bulletin board discussion forum operated as an avocation with its expenses paid for in the form of taxable gifts from some of its fans because they love it, and they do not want it to die.


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KEYWORDS: adminlectureseries; faq; fr
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1 posted on 12/08/2001 12:25:13 AM PST by Jim Robinson
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To: Jim Robinson
It happens to be the best darn place in the world to find out what's going on.
2 posted on 12/08/2001 12:31:58 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: Free the USA; GovernmentShrinker; ChemistCat; CommiesOut; toenail; pcl
fyi
3 posted on 12/08/2001 12:34:39 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: Jim Robinson
"What is Free Republic then?"

Its the voice in the wilderness crying.......!

4 posted on 12/08/2001 12:43:32 AM PST by brat
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To: Jim Robinson
Say that again ... just kidding! Free Rebublic is the best site on the net. It sure helped me keep my sanity during the election and aftermath.
5 posted on 12/08/2001 12:52:48 AM PST by LouisianaJoanof Arc
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To: Jim Robinson
it is a 501c3 EDUCATIONAL institution, similar to a religious, liberal arts college.... 100 years ago. Current topics are discussed, topics presented with research, papers are written... IN FUNCTION that is what FR does.

In that to "government" types, any idealogically driven organization is "political", good luck to actually proving it, but if you were to present a staff of ph. d's and divide the topics into majors... a sharpie could probably pull it off.

Testing, matriculation, AND a credit hour, or semester hour fee... even miniscule would do... since you don't actually charge, but RAISE donations for the LLC you currently operate, THE lack of tuition is probably the biggest hurdle.

BUT despite the legal classifications, the EFFECT and the bonafide operation of the non-profit, research and educational corporation is probably a loophole you SHOULD be looking into.

We have computer technology majors teaching here, psych professors, religious ph. d.'s, med researchers and doctors, clinicians, research biologists, cultural anthropologists, biologists majoring in macro cellular physics, english majors, HISTORY lecturers, quantum physics doctors... What the heck do you need to figure out what is being done here... Mr Computer Science instructor, robinson?

Were all the energy being spent on "home room monitors" directed towards twenty or thirty syllabi, with term papers due every thirty days from "students who pay tuition via the internet," I don't see much difference between this an a few other "distance education" graduate schools on the net today.

The educational nonprofit, slips between the categories of charity and business nicely.

FWIW.

6 posted on 12/08/2001 1:02:35 AM PST by Robert_Paulson2
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To: Jim Robinson
bump and bump to #2 too! Here! Here!.... Thank you :o)
7 posted on 12/08/2001 1:12:46 AM PST by runningbear
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To: Robert_Paulson2
Well said.
8 posted on 12/08/2001 1:14:54 AM PST by DB
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To: Jim Robinson
What can i do to help JR.


9 posted on 12/08/2001 1:15:16 AM PST by Bad~Rodeo
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To: brat
The only voices in the wilderness crying at this moment friend... are those of Al queda and talibunnies, as our military might sends them to meet "allah," faster than you can bake a betty crocker bisquit in your easy bake oven...

May they rest in pieces.

10 posted on 12/08/2001 1:21:51 AM PST by Robert_Paulson2
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To: Jim Robinson
You're a hero. You have established a means for men (and wimmim!) of like mind - i.e., other heroes - to post, discuss, learn of and contribute to news of the day, whether political, ideological, theological, or mundane.

Mr. Robinson, when you are being attacked, praise the Lord, for He has said, "All who live godly lives will be persecuted," and, "The servant is no better than the Master: if the Master is persecuted, the servant will certainly be also."

To quote another (more wordly) encourager, Sir, "Never, never, never, never, never give up." [Winston Churchill]

Amen. God bless you.

11 posted on 12/08/2001 1:30:47 AM PST by .30Carbine
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To: Jim Robinson
Thanks Jim. I think this will help well meaning individuals to understand why we don't enter into some financial agreement to avoid have to hold Freepathons. Personally, I'm more than happy to throw a few bucks your way in order to keep this fantastic resource humming along.

I've bookmarked this baby. It'll come in handy.

12 posted on 12/08/2001 1:31:46 AM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: Jim Robinson
How about a few words on the status of the lawsuit and the legal defense fund?
13 posted on 12/08/2001 1:36:17 AM PST by snopercod
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To: Jim Robinson
I am in awe of your patience, and appreciate how thoroughly over the last week or so you have explained how FR operates.

Although there may be a handful here who, for some reason, just have to keep running around this same tree, please know the overwhelming majority of Freepers know precisely what FreeRepublic is and what it takes to operate it.

Thank you so much for FreeRepublic and all you put up with to keep it going.

14 posted on 12/08/2001 2:11:51 AM PST by LurkerNoMore!
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To: LurkerNoMore!
Although there may be a handful here who, for some reason, just have to keep running around this same tree, please know the overwhelming majority of Freepers know precisely what FreeRepublic is and what it takes to operate it.

I doubt if most of us understand just how much time, emotion and treasure Jim has given just for us to have FR.

FR is like a child that is still in its infancy. It has already shown its promise and what it can become, but it requires constant care, has forces continually attacking it and the caregiver, and seems to live on a knife edge between life and death.

I have friends who have a manac-depressive child who needs constant care. What they are going through has drained them physically, emotionally and financially. I can see what they are going through, but I cannot really know it since I have not lived it, nor do I ever want to.

15 posted on 12/08/2001 2:42:49 AM PST by beekeeper
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To: Jim Robinson
FR would seem to fall under the "not-for-profit educational corporation" category. This, of course, depends on the particular state "definition" of such. The California Code is at this link.

An educational corporation simply provides some type of "educational purpose"; information dessimination is usually one such purpose.

Additionally, a corporation can be "initiated" in any state (preferrably one most accommodating) and then "registered" in the state where the actual "head quarters" or operation takes place. The two primary codes are the State corporation code (where the corporation is born) and the IRS Corporation Code for tax/tax-exempt status.
16 posted on 12/08/2001 2:51:12 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: Robert_Paulson2
May they rest in pieces

LOL!

17 posted on 12/08/2001 3:05:45 AM PST by Samizdat
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To: Jim Robinson
Kudos, Jim. Do you realize that during the election last year, words posted here ended up in George W. Bush's mouth a few hours later? Specifically the one about the Florida Supreme Court rewriting the law after the election. I couldn't figure out the connection until I found out that Barbara Olson was BKO and that she was a FR regular. Knowing how close she and Ted were to the Bush camp down there in Florida, I think I can make the leap that it was her giving him tidbits off this site. So, extrapolating that out, I would say Free Republic saved the election for GWB and for this country and I don't think I would be exaggerating too much. Vive las Free Republic!
18 posted on 12/08/2001 3:12:28 AM PST by Samizdat
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To: TomGuy; Jim Robinson
Having run two non-profits, I would say your information is right on target.

"Education of constitutional and conservative principles" would pass muster as a mission statement for the IRS as a non-profit. Just check the box on the IRS form that says: "Educational," and provide a one-paragraph narrative of the mission statement. The downside to a non-profit is the requirement of a elected board of directors, and so on...

19 posted on 12/08/2001 3:18:05 AM PST by Rudder
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To: Jim Robinson
"It is simply what it is, a non-commercial, not for profit public (decidely for conservatives) electronic townhall meeting and bulletin board discussion forum operated as an avocation with its expenses paid for in the form of taxable gifts from some of its fans because they love it, and they do not want it to die."

JR, And as far as "inventions" that give freedom to peoples and individuals, it ranks right up there with Henry Fords assembly line for automobiles. FREEDOM!!! Thanks. Peace and love, George.

20 posted on 12/08/2001 3:18:28 AM PST by George Frm Br00klyn Park
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To: Jim Robinson
Is Free Republic a commercial operation or a charity?

Neither. A not for profit does not have to be a charity.

Man, you must have a full wardrobe of teflon suits ;)

21 posted on 12/08/2001 3:22:41 AM PST by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Howlin; BADJOE; Texaggie79
FYI
22 posted on 12/08/2001 3:24:35 AM PST by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Rudder
"Education of constitutional and conservative principles" would pass muster as a mission statement for the IRS as a non-profit.

I was on the board of a nonprofit conservative business club. We did fine until it came to supporting candidates. We got around that by saying we were only supporting candidates who were members of our club. We thanked our members for stepping up to the plate and running for office. But on this board, with no controls, I don't think we could get away with supporting GWB, etc. and still maintain our nonprofit status.

23 posted on 12/08/2001 3:26:42 AM PST by Samizdat
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To: Jim Robinson
It is simply what it is, a non-commercial, not for profit public (decidely for conservatives) electronic townhall meeting and bulletin board discussion forum...

Which also happens to be one of the most interesting sources of news ANYWHERE on the net! Thanks JimRob for keeping it going for us!

24 posted on 12/08/2001 3:28:05 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: Jim Robinson
Because we are posting under the fair use provisions of copyright law, I cannot charge a membership fee, I cannot sell merchandise, I cannot sell advertising, and I cannot enter into any commercial business. I simply cannot earn money on Free Republic as a commercial operation.

And, because of the fact that we advocate various political positions and even support (by arguing for or against) various political candidates and or conservative issues or causes, I cannot qualify as a public benefit non-profit charity (501C, etc.).

You know you can write that a million times and still some people don't want to understand

Amazing.

God Bless you.

25 posted on 12/08/2001 3:34:17 AM PST by JZoback
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To: Samizdat; Jim Robinson
A simple disclaimer that states the host (FR, Inc. etc) does not necessarily endorse the views, etc., etc. would suffice.

The host performs its task of providing educational forums according to a theme (that's the non-profit's sole function vis a vis the IRS) and does not endorse the content expressed by invited guests.

I guarantee this will work.

But, there are downsides to non-profits. If I were Jim I would know both sides or, since going non-profit would appear to have many advantages, become thoroughly famliar with non-profit administration and regs by asking those among his friends and contacts who have done it before.

26 posted on 12/08/2001 3:48:48 AM PST by Rudder
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To: Jim Robinson
FR is a beacon of light for the country. Without FR, I have no doubt but that algore would be president.

FR is not just your avocation, Jim. It is the avocation that we FReepers all share.

I don't look at my monthly contribution as a gift, nor a requirement. I look at it as an investment. My concern is for my children. Seeing the direction the country was going, especially during the clinton years was what turned me from a mere political junkie to a sign-carrying protestor. FR provided the rallying point for all of us to band together and accomplish a LOT in the past 4 years!

I sincerely thank you and John for FR. The country is a better place because of FR, and the Robinsons!

27 posted on 12/08/2001 4:27:31 AM PST by mombonn
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To: Jim Robinson
A very enlightening post.

FR is what it is, but it also seems to have a life of its own that may not be as controlable as desired. No doubt much legal advise will be offered that may help you and us.

Thank you Jim.

28 posted on 12/08/2001 4:55:56 AM PST by Buffalo Head
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To: mombonn
FR is a beacon of light for the country. Without FR, I have no doubt but that algore would be president.

Through FReep Mail, Grampa Dave and I expressed the same sentiments. Our country would be leaderless at this stage if it weren't for Free Republic.

29 posted on 12/08/2001 5:05:54 AM PST by Conservative independent
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To: Jim Robinson
I'm pretty much stuck with the choice of folding up the public political discussion board (thus depriving myself and thousands of others this obviously effective and established opportunity of exercising our first amendment rights to political free speech), or allowing others to voluntarily donate money as gifts to pay the expenses. There is not much room to do anything else.

And that right there, is how I have viewed each of my contributions to FR. Anyone who sends FR a donation (or gift) expecting to have control over the system, special "access" or favors granted, special treatment in any way, or somehow thinking that they can demand "financial accountability" is seriously mistaken.

Donations are "gifts" and go with no strings attached.

Just my view.

30 posted on 12/08/2001 5:19:08 AM PST by usconservative
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: GalFromTheBay
Sorry for the confusion. If Algore was elected, we would be leaderless.
32 posted on 12/08/2001 5:22:44 AM PST by Conservative independent
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To: Jim Robinson
There is no inventory, no manufacturing, no sales, no services rendered, no investors, no stockholders, no board of directors, no outsiders, no sales people, no employees, no payroll, no payroll expenses, no payroll taxes, no employee benefits, no nothing. There is no commercial business taking place here. There is nothing commercial about Free Republic.

Au contraire. FR provides one of the most valuable services on the 'net, IMO. It is the only forum that I am aware of, where Conservatives (and non-Conservatives) can get together and have the conversations that we do, right here.

FR has been my "lifeline" at times over the past few years that I've been here. It is the first place I come to for news and opinion on a variety of topics. Often, my own opinion is either validated/solidified or swayed based on the intelligent, cogent opinion of others that I have read here.

I challenge ANYONE to name another website like FR. There is none. And that's why IMO FreeRepublic provides a very valuable service on the 'net.

You are far too humble Jim. :)

33 posted on 12/08/2001 5:26:25 AM PST by usconservative
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To: Jim Robinson
BTTT
34 posted on 12/08/2001 5:29:59 AM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: Samizdat
I couldn't figure out the connection until I found out that Barbara Olson was BKO and that she was a FR regular. Knowing how close she and Ted were to the Bush camp down there in Florida, I think I can make the leap that it was her giving him tidbits off this site.

It's not much of a leap at all. Think about this for a moment. From Barbara Olson's comments (God rest her soul) to Registered's "Sore/Loserman" graphic to the recent "Lets Roll" campaign (which also originated here on FR) it's probably safe to say that FR is "monitored" by both political camps.

Time and again, I've seen & heard "one liners" quoted directly off of FR on Rush, some of the Sunday Talking Heads shows, Sean Hannity reading directly off of FR, and even the democRATS themselves trying to refute the comments made HERE, without anyone in the Republican Party saying nary a word.

It's a beautiful thing. I find myself often commenting to my better half "we said that on FR!" when the lamestream media finally catches up to US!

Often the best comments posted here are biting, hard-hitting, incisive and cutting edge. This is when FR is at it's best, IMO. The impeachment of Clinton was one of FR's hilights, since so many here were so active in that effort, and the Florida Election debacle was another. I continue to believe to this day that without FR, Republicans & Conservatives (the two are not always the same) wouldn't have stood up and done what we did in Florida, to secure the rightful victory that was President Bush's.

FR's influence is far and wide. Our only "problem" is that we do not measure that influence, and exercize it as much as we can and should. We need to find a tool with which to measure and document FR's successes. We "know" what they are, we just don't measure, document, and credit ourselves for them as much or well as we should.

( /soapbox)

35 posted on 12/08/2001 5:35:13 AM PST by usconservative
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To: Jim Robinson
Your invention, Free Republic, is, IMHO, a new kind of entity, uniquely American, that allows like-minded INDIVIDUALS to comment, debate, and converse about the body politic of our nation and the world. It is the electronic version of Hyde Park in London, where anyone can get on a soapbox and talk about what they will. But even this description falls short.

Free Republic is something new, both in scope (world-wide) and application (letting total strangers converse and debate).

It's kind of sad, really, to think about a government, or any regulatory body, that through its bureaucracy would try to impose rules and regulations based on OTHER THINGS that Free Republic is not. Maybe, Free Republic will be gone soon, because of this, or push the government to consider new ideas and ways of defining things. So right now, we may be in a golden age that some will look back on as the beginning of the common man's participation and control of his own life.

At least I hope so.

36 posted on 12/08/2001 5:46:31 AM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: usconservative
It might be worth considering that everyone making a donation designate it as a personal gift to Jim Robinson. Since everyone is entitled to gift up to $10,000 per year to a person tax free, any excess should be able to be free of any income taxes on the LLC participants, mainly Jim Robinson.
37 posted on 12/08/2001 5:48:40 AM PST by dalereed
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To: Jim Robinson
I'm going to assume that the reason you are so careful about distancing this forum from a commercial enterprise is the litigation. Jim, if there is any possible way, settle the lawsuits. ASAP. The lawyers are in a robotic groove of indifferent complacency here - they're not going to act. Look, we'll link to the source documents of the outlets that require it, no problem. Jim, we've been doing it for a year now with the LAT and Post articles. Any accommodation - capitulation - is well worth it if you are unchained from that burden. If the Times and Post are going to be dicks, you've got a state-of-the-art BBS software platform, attractive to any media website, that you can bargain to settle any financial damages alleged - any judge would settle this thing fairly. The Post and Times have bigger fish to fry - let them win a fair use skirmish that you can't afford to wager.

Once you settle, make this a subscription site. You've got 70,000+ registered users here, and who knows how many regular users, yet less than 1000 Freepers contributed to the last fundraiser here. Ditch the leakers. The network overhead needs to be plannable and affordable to the number of anticipated users. That truth is the legacy of all the dead dotcoms. Hey, make everybody who uses this site invest in this site. If they're not willing to pony $20 annually for access here, they don't value this resource and they shouldn't be using the forum in the first place.

Just my $.02 from someone who cares about this joint.

38 posted on 12/08/2001 5:51:37 AM PST by ArneFufkin
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To: Jim Robinson; JohnHuang2; Cool Guy; 1John; A Citizen Reporter; ABG(anybody but Gore); arazitjh...
Outstanding, Jim!

Thanks for letting us share in your hobby!

God bless you and God bless America!


39 posted on 12/08/2001 5:54:19 AM PST by kayak
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To: dalereed
It might be worth considering that everyone making a donation designate it as a personal gift to Jim Robinson. Since everyone is entitled to gift up to $10,000 per year to a person tax free, any excess should be able to be free of any income taxes on the LLC participants, mainly Jim Robinson.

Good point, and that's what I do with mine. In the "comments" section I say it's a gift to be used however JimRob deems necessary. That means he can use it to help pay the mortgage, put food on the table, run FR or pay down some legal bills, I don't care.

Which brings me to the larger point that you touch on: If it's specified as a GIFT to JimRob, up to $10,000 is TAX FREE for Jim. That means he doesn't have to pay taxes on it, and it gives him more "income" with which to support FR or himself. Perhaps we should change the donation screen and add a check-box to specify "gift" for the next fundraiser to help make this easier.

40 posted on 12/08/2001 5:57:18 AM PST by usconservative
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To: Jim Robinson
Jim, Just for the record, I don't care if you make a billion dollars or lose a billion dollars on Free Republic. It's your baby. If I contribute, and you spend my money on strippers, more power to you. Some may whine, but in any group, there will always be a few whiners. Even amongst conservatives and libertarians. Ironic isn't it? Thanks for the site, it's become a big part of my day. Dave
41 posted on 12/08/2001 6:08:32 AM PST by Republic of Texas
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To: Jim Robinson
I think that most would recognize "a labor of love" when they see it.
Of course, they first have to have open eyes.
Too many wish to go through life blinded, having voluntarily closed their eyelids.
"I don't want to see and you can't make me."
42 posted on 12/08/2001 6:13:28 AM PST by philman_36
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: GalFromTheBay
Bit of a streatch, ehh?. One must STILL go out and vote
44 posted on 12/08/2001 6:38:45 AM PST by Bad~Rodeo
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To: Sabertooth; 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub; JohnHuang2; Grampa Dave; WIMom
ping
45 posted on 12/08/2001 6:44:55 AM PST by RonDog
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To: GalFromTheBay
Your question has been answered above by usconservative.

I continue to believe to this day that without FR, Republicans & Conservatives (the two are not always the same) wouldn't have stood up and done what we did in Florida, to secure the rightful victory that was President Bush's. 35 posted on 12/8/01 6:35 AM Pacific by usconservative

46 posted on 12/08/2001 7:38:11 AM PST by Conservative independent
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To: Jim Robinson; RonDog
Would now be a good time to post a fundraiser link? LOL!
47 posted on 12/08/2001 8:04:33 AM PST by WIMom
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To: Jim Robinson
Very well said and very succinctly put.

I was just wondering ... here's a hypothetical.

Let's say a group of people got together, or an individual for that matter, and announced that each day over at some property owned by this individual or group, people were invited (absolutely free of charge) to gather to discuss the news of the day with a goal of discovering and pointing out inaccuracy in print. Let's say these people decided to give themselvers a name and called it the, uh ... "Free Town Crieres" for want of a better term.

All were invited to bring their newspapers and magazines and share them and their content with each other. All were invited to then discuss those articles from the various Newspapers and magazines. Some folks would bring their own magazines and newspapers that they susbscribed to. Others would bring ones they found in the trash, on counter tops or that were given to them by friends.

Overtime, more and more people come. More and more variety is discussed. Some of the folks pare off or group together on their own and become activists regarding what they had discussed and discovered. Some form separate "chapters" of the "Bohemia Free Town Criers" or the "Anytown USA FreeTown Criers". The phenomenae spreads but there is never any required fee or membership or any "service" rendered.

Would there be any avenue or cause for the newspapers and magazines to sue these people and try and force them to stop gathering and discussing? I think not.

In essence, isn't FreeRepublic just an electronic version of this very same priniciple?

If it is, and I believe it is, then it would seem that some defense, some brief could be filed from this perspective.

Anyhow, just a thought.

Either way, great post and God's richest blessings to you and yours Jim for the holidays and always.

FRegards!

48 posted on 12/08/2001 8:23:03 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Jim Robinson
Thanks and God bless. The idea of a FRee Republic institution of higher learning is something I've heard some respectable academics (yes, there are still a few left) put forth in a few other forums. Very feasible, but frought with the pitfalls of any formal "organization" re officers and accountability.

Perhaps the fledgeling FRee Republic Institute might give it a shot.

49 posted on 12/08/2001 8:28:12 AM PST by Harrison Bergeron
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To: Jim Robinson
It's the only good reason why Al Gore invented the internet.
50 posted on 12/08/2001 8:34:29 AM PST by RWG
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