San Francisco Sons of the American Revolution

Founding Chapter of the SAR

SAR Prohibits Partisan Speech

Compatriot Stephen Renouf (Vice President General - Western District) has, in recent emails, identified the areas where “self-censorship” is required and appropriate, namely (in his words):

[1] "Many of us object to censorship, except in the areas of partisanship or character assassination, which must be prohibited."

[2] ". . . there is some censorship that we must impose to protect our tax-exempt status. When the SAR was formed, there was no income tax.  Now that there is, we must impose some self-censorship.  . . . The speech that we must self-censor to protect our [tax-exempt] status is partisan speech.  The IRS rules do not permit us to participate in political campaign activity by supporting or criticizing a partisan candidate or party.  . . .  We have the freedom to take a stand on issues relating to the [SAR’s] mission in the charter independent of what political parties do."

The speech to which Compatriot Anthony Bothwell (President, San Francisco Chapter) objected lies in both areas identified by Steve ("partisanship or character assassination" and "criticizing a partisan candidate or party"), namely, State President Dodd's use of pejorative terms and phrases such as Tories and European values* that are patently partisan. This is the ONLY issue that Tony raised. An SAR officer, or any SAR Member, may not use partisan terms when representing the SAR. See President Bothwell's email of 19 June 2011.

                                                                                                                      -- Jon Miller

*President Dodd's comments can be found in the Summer 2011 California Compatriot on page 9 of the printed version; this page is missing from the online version.