The Claremont Independent has learned that a concerned individual has lodged a complaint with the IRS in response to Pomona College’s promotion and funding of an anti-Trump rally.
As the Independent reported this week, Pomona College’s Draper Center for Community Partnerships may have run afoul of federal non-profit regulations by reimbursing transportation costs to and from a rally against Donald Trump in Los Angeles on November 9th. Draper Center staff also promoted the event on Facebook and organized bus transportation for students who wished to attend.
As a 501(c)(3) educational institution, Pomona College is prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity with tax-exempt dollars. If an investigation is launched, it could lead to the revocation of Pomona College’s tax-exempt status, among other possible sanctions.
In a statement to the Independent, the office of Pomona College President David Oxtoby acknowledged the College’s financial commitment to the rallies but stressed that it did not constitute political activity:
“The Draper Center for Community Partnerships is committed to fostering civic engagement among students, and our students engage in various community based courses, programs, projects and events across Southern California. Transportation is typically part of our support for student engagement, as was the case with the recent rallies. The College does not consider this to be activity in support of a political campaign.”
Maria Tucker, the Director of the Draper Center and an Associate Dean of Students, stopped responding to requests for comment on Monday. As of this morning, she had deleted or made private a November 9th post on her Facebook account discussing the election results:
“I’m always surprised by those who believe in America as a place for pulling oneself up by our bootstraps/hard work wins. They tend to be the folks most reliant on the backs of others to make them win: …racists, misogynists, most especially. Today was a win for both.”
The Draper Center, which Ms. Tucker heads, says its mission “is to foster mutually beneficial exchanges among community members, students, faculty, and staff in order to support educational outreach initiatives, community-based research and learning, and other community engagement activities.”
The Claremont Independent will continue to cover this story as it develops.