President Obama’s team is gearing up for a push to pass the minimum wage increase he proposed in this year’s State of the Union address, hosting a “strategy meeting” with ideological allies at the White House last week.
“[W]e were invited yesterday to a strategy meeting at the White House and so we decided that she should participate and so she flew down early this morning to participate in that,” Teófilo Reyes, program director at Restauraunt Opportunities Centers United, said during a Research Justice webinar on increasing the minimum wage last Wednesday (May 29). Reyes was explaining why he was in the webinar rather than ROC United executive director Saru Jayaraman, who had originally been scheduled to participate.
ROC United grew out of a small group founded by a New York union on behalf of the restaurant workers affected by the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. It’s mission now is “to improve wages and working conditions for the nation’s restaurant workforce.”
The existence of ROC United has given rise to ROC Exposed, a group that opposes the minimum wage increase and represents restaurant owners’ interests. ROC Exposed recently pointed out that the ROC United told the IRS that it doesn’t lobby even though approaches Congress about particular policy initiatives, as the Washington Free Beacon (WFB) notes today. ROC Exposed filed a complaint with the IRS, which is under fire for unfairly targeting conservative groups for audits and questioning.
From WFB’s Bill McMorris:
IRS spokesman Anthony Burke said 501(c)(3)s are permitted to engage in issue-based advocacy under the tax code, though they are not allowed to campaign for specific candidates. He could not comment on the status of ROC Exposed’s complaint.
“If there’s an exempt organization and someone files a complaint … we can’t as an agency comment on a specific case because federal tax law prohibits us from doing so,” he said. “We can neither confirm nor deny.”