Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Is CLAM a Sham?

Into the void, C.J. Doyle bellows, "Follow me!"

Neither on the battlefield of his mind nor even at the buffet table does anyone seem to stir. Is there in fact a Catholic Action League of Massachusetts?

As a PR-release machine, this Massachusetts corporation is at its finest. The major dailies run the self-described executive director's predictably reactionary pronouncements. So do such niche interest groups as The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Crusade of Saint Benedict Center.

Rights — reproductive, gay, adoption, marriage — pick 'em. He's agin 'em. (That's he, right, from a George Rizer AP photo.)

He and his phantom organization came to mind this week during the Boston City Council elections. The CAL (or is that the CLAM?) apparently released its own candidate questionnaire.

Note: I was in a cleverness fit with CLAM. In this post at Blue Mass Group, someone pointed out that CALM would be accurate. In my puerile way, that doesn't suit me or lead to a decent graphic.

For some reason, Doyle didn't send one here, although I would have gladly run it. As one might suspect, MassResistance got it and featured it. See the PDF file of it here.

This is even dumber than the usual. It shows that one fringe candidate (who came in at the bottom of yesterday's at-large slate) supported CLAM's extreme positions (life at conception, no condoms available for school kids, et alia). In other words, the entire City Council, mostly Roman Catholics, disagrees with Doyle. Follow whom?

As it turns out, there doesn't seem to be a CLAM at all. To wit:
  • The Secretary of State's records show a non-profit incorporation in 1995 and a name change a year and one-half later.
  • Doyle is not listed in the officers, who were Daniel T. Flatley (Canton), Frederick M. Kelley (Belmont), and Robert C. Almond (Belmont).
  • The listed address is not any of theirs, nor Doyle's. The more recent Massachusetts Catholic Conference listing has yet another CLAM location.
  • That also lists the defunct CLAM website. You have to be pretty lame not to afford and put up a $100 a year web presence.
  • Far more telling is that the organization appears never to have filed its annual report, with financials. These are required by state law and regulation. Not filing for a single year could mean pulling of your incorporation and any tax benefits from funds raised. Not doing it for 12 years should mean that for sure.
  • A message on the phone that answers for CLAM claims they are busy at 8 a.m. There was no return to the message I left. The reverse look up for the number shows only Dedham with no mailing or street address.
A clerk at the Secretary's office said many tiny non-profits don't file their required annual reports, but that eventually it catches up with them. Both state and federal tax agencies are more likely to pay attention and demand accounting.

Under the name, Doyle has made numerous donation requests. The Boston Globe reported at the end of 2005:
A conservative advocacy group, the Catholic Action League, says it is receiving regular donations from about 1,100 Catholic families and has an advisory board packed with politically connected Catholics like former governor Edward J. King and former state Senate president William M. Bulger.
For a list of those advisers, officers and such as of 2003, see the letterhead on the message to the Bishop of Worcester. It would be fun for the MSM or someone else with resources to call these folk and ask about their involvement, financial and otherwise.

As for fund-raising, there is no way from the outside to know what's gone on or going on with CLAM. It could well be that Doyle's buddies at bars or a KoC hall provide what they need. Doyle may front it on his own. After all, there is no office, no website (or phone?) expenses, and no overhead, and electrons are basically free.

He could be stealing from you and me in state or federal tax evasion, or not. We can't know unless CLAM files accounting reports.

From the outside, this certainly looks like a one-man show, maybe like a blog. Doyle is publicly against all manner of personal freedoms and choices. He has the right to have an avocation of proclaiming his opinions, which is in the long-standing American tradition of pamphleteering. However, creating an apparently sham non-profit and benefiting from it without filing true contacts, officers and financial reports s not in Tom Paine's example.

I say that the MSM who want to quote the provocateur pronouncements from the CLAM should report it as it is — "Local attorney C.J. Doyle, who calls himself the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, said..."

We should know it's one guy with a figurative bugle shouting to follow him. Yawn.

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Ryan said...

Mike, you're a hoot. I can't believe you actually called CLAM. LOL.

Mark D. Snyder said...

CJ Doyle said he was going to press hate crime charges against me for protesting at the Catholic church. It never happened, but our hilarious debate on the Laura Ingrahm show did. He's a joke.

Anonymous said...

This nothing persion isn't much different from Brian Camenker or Amy Contrada. Both run the MassResistance Blog and Web site which can't be made up of more than a handfull of supporters. To listen to them they have hundreds of members but I seriously doubt they have more then 10 active members. Hell the rest of the "main stream" anti gay groups totally ignor them. The Mass Marriage site does not even have a link to them.