Saturday, February 04, 2012

St. Louis County Health Dept & Tobacco Free St. Louis

Dear Mr. Lefebvre,

I am writing to warn you that Tobacco Free St. Louis, a 501c3 nonprofit group directly or indirectly funded by the St. Louis County Department of Health, is currently engaged in a major public lobbying effort to pressure the St. Louis County Council to alter an existing, specific County ordinance, The Indoor Clean Air Code, in clear violation of IRS 501c3 rules.

Pat Lindsey, the Executive Director of Tobacco Free St. Louis, has stated in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the St. Louis County Department of Health is her de facto employer:

Therefore I ask the St. Louis County Department of Health to prevail upon Director Lindsey to keep the activities of her group within 501c3 guidelines.  Mr. Lefebvre, I have no desire to ever stifle free speech, but 501c3 groups that use the majority of their resources to directly lobby lawmakers to alter specific legislation must cease to do so or relinquish their tax-exempt status.

I would also point out that Tobacco Free St. Louis has been previously warned and cited for violating the rules of its 501c3 tax-exempt status through excessive lobbying:


Bill Hannegan 
Home phone: 314.367.3779 
Cell phone: 314.315.3779