Mueller-Robak, Epworth Village, the “Children & Family Coalition” of Nebraska & Truthful IRS Form 990’s

August 7, 2012


WASHINGTON, D.C. (exclusive) by Ivy Harper

An analysis of the York-based Epworth Village’s IRS Form 990 reveals several cases where answers that are given stretch credulity.

For example, under Part IV, Question 4 is framed this way: “Did you engage in any lobbying?”

Tom McBride, President & CEO of Epworth Village, checked “No.”

However, a review of the Nebraska Accountability & Disclosure Commission (NADC) reveals that the “Children & Family Coalition of Nebraska” is headed up by none other than Epworth Village CEO, Tom McBride, who lists as the “Coalition’s” address: 620 North 48th Street, Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68504, and Tom McBride’s name is cited as the only contact.

The “Children & Family Coalition of Nebraska” gave the Mueller-Robak, LLC lobbying firm $47,000 dollars in 2011 and Mueller-Robak has received $23,852 dollars in 2012; thus, the “Coalition” appears to be on schedule to give Mueller-Robak the same lavish lobbying compensation for 2012 as the firm received for 2011: $47,000.

So, an organization that gets almost all of its funding from the government – Epworth Village – is on track to give what appears to be $100,000 taxpayer dollars to a well-heeled lobbying group for….what?

I mean does the “Children & Family Coalition of Nebraska” even have $100,000 thousand dollars to spare for lavish lobbying. Perhaps they do. We need to see the books of the “Children & Family Coalition of Nebraska” which are held and overseen by Epworth Village CEO Tom McBride.

If the “Coalition” does not have that kind of money to spare then the $70,852 thousand dollars that went to Mueller-Robak came from Epworth Village; ergo, Mr. McBride should answer the IRS Form Question 28 with an unqualified, “Yes.”

Which begs another question.

What’s all that – ostensibly –  federal money going for? Of course, if it’s been given to Mueller-Robak – for goodness sake – it’s for lobbying. And does Epworth Village President & CEO Tom McBride really think that by creating a “separate” “Coalition” that he can truthfully answer the IRS question about whether Epworth Village engages in any lobbying, “No” when he heads up both Epworth Village and the “Children & Family Coalition of Nebraska?”

Does anyone actually believe that Mr. McBride would ask Mueller-Robak to lobby only for the generic “Children & Family Coalition of Nebraska” and not his own Epworth Village that received almost all of its funding from Medicaid and the state.

Come on, people. It’s precisely this kind of disingenuousness that gives lobbyists and their “Principals” a really bad name whether they reside in Lincoln or Washington, D.C. It’s the same old shell game.

Money is fungible. Sure. That’s a given. So “Non-Profit” heads can always dodge things by saying that the lavish lobbying fees sought by Mueller-Robak came – not from federal Medicaid monies – but from private donations given to the “Children & Family Coalition of Nebraska.” Okay, let’s see the books of the “Coalition” to see just how flush they are; and to make certain that they’ve got the bucks to hand out lavish lobbying fees to Mueller-Robak.

Remember, Mr. McBride cannot say the Mueller-Robak lavish fees came from “private” donations/contributions to Epworth Village because he checked the “No” box on the IRS Form 990 that said Epworth Village did not engage in any lobbying.

This matter must be settled. Pronto. The public is waiting.

Epworth Village: Part III, later today.

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