LOS ANGELES—If you want to get a glimpse into the soul of AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its president, Michael Weinstein, the press release issued today by the Los Angeles-based entity will help. The PR, titled "AHF: Foreign Tax-Cheat Illegally Bankrolled Opposition to US Porn Safety Law," takes as fact the as-yet unproven claim that Manwin managing partner Fabian Thylmann is guilty of tax evasion, as has been alleged by German authorities.
The purpose of the press release is to keep alive an earlier accusation by AHF that Manwin, which AHF consistently refers to as a "foreign cartel," illegally supported the No on Measure B campaign in violation of federal election laws. AHF is calling for the return of the alleged "illegal contributions of $220,000" by the campaign, but in doing so takes as fact charges that remain allegations at this point in time.
Weinstein is quoted as saying, "It appears that Manwin's Fabian Thylmann, a foreign tax-cheat who until recently was being held in jail in Germany on tax evasion charges bankrolled the opposition to Measure B, the porn safety law recently passed by an overwhelming majority of Los Angeles County voters in the November election.
"We suspected that donations to the 'No on B' campaign from Manwin throughout the election campaign raised serious questions about money from a foreign porn cartel being given to an election campaign in the United States—an illegal act that constitutes a felony. Now, with his arrest and detention in Germany on charges of tax evasion—the first cousin of money laundering—we are renewing our demand that the 'No on B' campaign return at least $220,000 in political contributions that appear to have been made illegally by Manwin."
So, the contributions now appear to have been made illegally, but Thylmann is not given the same benefit of the doubt, and is not only referred to without reservation as a "tax-cheat," but is also saddled with an inference of "money laundering?"
Look, no matter what you think of the rise of Manwin, Thylmann or the charges that have been levied against him, in this country you are innocent until proven guilty, and anyone who leaps to a conclusion before hearing all the facts must have an agenda that precludes the requirement that justice run its course first. Indeed, is there anyone reading this who would want to be proclaimed guilty of a crime before having the opportunity to defend themselves in court?