Friday, March 11, 2011

Tobacco Free St. Louis a Tax-exempt 501c3

Tobacco Free St. Louis is not allowed to lobby due to its tax-exempt 501c3 status, yet it accepted a half million dollar contract to lobby the County Council for a strict smoking ban. Pat Lindsey has not returned the RFT reporter's phone call concerning this contradiction.

From the RFT article: In late 2010, the county department of health inked a contract with Saint Louis University for the services of Tobacco Free St. Louis, a nonprofit anti-smoking organization based on its campus. But the scope of work included in the organization's $545,000 contract -- which Daily RFT obtained this morning via a public records request -- includes a component directed at the county's own elected officials.

The contract calls for the Tobacco Free Coalition to "develop and implement an education and advocacy plan to educate St. Louis County Council members about the need to remove exemptions from St. Louis County's current smoke-free ordinance."