NAKED TRUTH CALENDAR
What’s the truth behind The Naked Truth Calendar? Are the concerns about the CaRPOC group that produced and sold the clever expose’ on HSUS and PETA valid or just idle gossip?
February 10, 2009 | TheDogPress.com
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
Little Bird did some pecking around on the California Calendar but he had about as much success as pulling a pretzel out of a worm hole. Nobody seemed to know anything but being dog people, they were speculating. So he asked the Editor to write to CaRPOC (California Responsible Pet Owners Coalition) and this is what I found out.
Amused and delighted with the participation of some of the best known people in dogs, I had decided to make a personal donation to CaRPOC and help them reach thousands of other dog owners through free promotion in TheDogPress. Then I heard from Little Bird.
So I went to http://www.carpoc.org/index.html to get information but all I found on the Naked Truth Calendar, other than thanks to the people who helped created it, was how to order or donate. Is CaRPOC a non-profit? I finally found the answer under FAQ. Other information was non-existent or frustratingly vague. Even Operations could find no legislative action by CaRPOC, just promotion about their PET speakers and the same old rehash about fighting bad legislation, all of it provided by AKC or other groups.
So I emailed Blecher, Hope, and Norman, the ladies at CaRPOC, and asked them to fill in the blanks. Dog people know all about PETA and HSUS but the “exposure” was really clever and we heard the calendars sold like hotcakes. The CaRPOC site says excess funds will go into a general fund for lobbying and legislative issues. Several readers wondered how much Naked Truth Calendar income had actually been spent on specific legislative issues. Good question. So I specifically asked CaRPOC how much of the income from the Calendar had been shared and, quoting from their website, which Legislative Groups were they currently funding?
I explained that TheDogPress asked the same questions of AKC (re AB 1634) in 2007 and that had resulted in a wonderful interview with the AKC Legislative Dept. Manager. On the other hand, we made the mistake of supporting an organization which turned out to be less than what it claimed to be and that was a disservice to our readers. I explained this and asked the ladies to reassure us.
We received the following from Florence Blecher, CaRPOC President:
“We’re a relatively new organization, incorporated less than a year ago, so we’re still finding our “sea legs.” Several of us on the board have been actively involved in legislative battles for over a decade, but under the auspices of other organizations. When we hit upon the idea of the calendar as a fund-raising vehicle, we realized the need to incorporate, which in itself, posed a dilemma. We recognized our own limitations in terms of size, name recognition and many other factors, yet also recognized our desire and the potential need to be able to lobby politicians. Ultimately we decided to incorporate as a 501 © 4, which we felt was the best option – non-profit, but unfortunately not tax deductible......
“We’re still actively involved in sales, even though our (calendar) run was relatively limited. We have some definite thoughts about where the proceeds will go, but no checks have been sent out yet. Until we know where we stand, and what our shipping as well as production expenses are, we thought it best to wait a bit longer. Funds will definitely go to other legislative groups large & small, national as well as grassroots, feline as well as canine.
“We also strongly recognize the pressing need to reach the general public to counter the vast & ongoing campaigns of the animal rights extremists. With that in mind, we plan to consult with public relations professionals to get their advice so that we can strategize & develop a game plan for the future. We know that it takes a LOT of money to buy full page ads, & even small ads, in general publications as well as media spots.
“Also, a portion of the proceeds will be earmarked for our next project, which is yet to be determined. There are standard operating expenses and overhead as well as support for our Pet Education Team/PET speakers’ bureau, not to mention lawyers, accountants and taxes.
“Thank you for pointing out that this information needs to be more clearly available on our web site – that’s another venture that we’re new to too.
“If you have any additional questions, we will do our best to answer them.
Thanks again for your support.”
We thank Ms. Blecher for her response. She was a little vague (which could explain the lack of specificity on the website) but she was kind enough to reply. We can understand CaRPOC’s reluctance to mention a specific group under consideration for support. We respect the decision to incorporate as a 501 C4 because it is indeed, simpler and quicker.
They should know what the Naked Truth Calendar production and shipping costs are. Why CaRPOC feels the need to support feline groups is a mystery because TICA and CFA went down in the trenches and fought CA 1634 to a standstill. We didn’t see any cat people on the calendar. We all dream big but her reference to consulting public relations professionals seems like a waste of money when PetPac already has the answers. Florence is right though, full page ads and media spots take a lot of money.
So we are left wondering if the Naked Truth Calendar was a flop or a raging success and if CaRPOC can really help fight the ARA (Animal Rights Agenda). We hope the attorneys and accountants can help the group share information with the fancy and decide how to spend donation income.
One thing is for sure. Everyone wishes CaRPOC the best of success on the calendar and that yet-to-be-determined “next project.”
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