Nonprofit Event with Mayoral Candidate Canceled After Brad Hart Threatens Fund Withdrawal
The mayoral race in Cedar Rapids is getting heated, after the nonprofit group, CSPS was urged by the current mayor to cancel an event featuring his opponent.
According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Mayor Brad Hart sent a voicemail to CSPS director Taylor Bergen, explaining that to hold the event "Improv Incubator" with candidate Amara Andrews would jeopardize their receipt of hotel-motel tax revenue from the city. Only, Hart was allegedly a little less polite:
Taylor, this is Brad Hart. This event you are having on Friday is a violation of your 501(c) (3) status, and it significantly damages any possibility of CSPS getting any hotel-motel tax funds from the city in the future. It’s complete (BS) and if you don't know that you have violated your 501(c) (3) status, you should not be in the role you’re in
The group did their due diligence on its Facebook event page, saying "CSPS, the 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, does not endorse any political candidate. We do, however, encourage every person who is able to vote to participate in the democratic process." That, apparently, was not good enough for Hart.
A new location has been selected for the event (2107 Aspen Ridge SE), according to a Facebook post with the following description: "bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket - this evening is sure to be full of belly laughs! BYO drink & food! Suggested donation of $50 will go help fund the Amara4CR campaign."
Meanwhile, you can hear Hart's recorded tirade in full here, and decide for yourself if sticking to the letter of the law was necessary or if one could have looked the other way in this instance.