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LETTERS/  Re: Published Letter from Mr. Joseph Amoroso

Dear Mr. Garrett:

This firm represents Blowing Rock Civic Association (hereinafter “BRCA”). This letter is in response to a letter from Joseph A. Amoroso entitled “Blowing Rock Civic Association Pretends to Have Your Interest at Heart,” recently posted in the High Country Press. 

BRCA has operated as a valid educational 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization since April 30, 2015. Therefore, Mr. Amoroso’s letter is troublesome to BRCA. It is particularly troublesome because the statements made in the letter are inaccurate. The letter states that BRCA is “involved in elections.” This is incorrect. BRCA does not promote or oppose candidates for election; BRCA does provide education on issues important to the Blowing Rock community. The letter’s suggestion that encouraging voter registration is contrary to its 501(c)(3) status is simply false; such activities are clearly allowed. The letter states that “501(c)(3) organizations are specifically forbidden to lobby” and that “BRCA engaged in lobbying on at least three occasions.” Both statements are false. First, 501(c)(3) organizations may engage in some level of influencing legislation (lobbying). That said, BRCA has not engaged in lobbying, and certainly not on three occasions. The letter states that BRCA has “cavalierly ignored the mandates of the Internal Revenue Service.” This is false and Mr. Amoroso provided no evidence of such. These allegations are false statements made recklessly and without reasonable care as to the statement’s truth or falsity. The statements are injurious to BRCA’s goodwill and BRCA felt compelled to provide a formal response to set the record straight. Thank you for that opportunity.

Sincerely, 

JOHNSTON, ALLISON & HORD, P.A. 

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Jon T. Coffin