Is “The House” Breaking the Law?
During The House’s church service on October 1, 2017 Pastor Glenn Berteau took a few minutes at 36:30 into the service to allow Stu Gilman to ask for the congregations’ support and vote. Pastor Berteau acknowledged he wasn’t aware that MID had a Board of Directors that the public voted on. He reminds the congregation Stu is a personal friend of his and a friend of The House along with being a board member of The House.
The church has a large beautiful stage and video system with huge screens which works well for power point presentations in their sanctuary. During the church service, Stu was invited up on the stage where Pastor Berteau said Stu deserves our support.
One of the first comments out of Stu’s mouth is to say “No one else is running for MID seats this year”. Which is an outright lie, but hey lets cut him some slack, after all he wants to be a politician. The Pastor uses Modesto Bee Videos to attack MID employees’ high rate of pay across the board but then claims not to be going after the working man just the Staff and Board. But in reality the numbers cited in the video are bolstered by the working man, especially linemen, while the Board makes only $1,000 a month. I guess it shows Stu’s supporters can talk out of both sides of their mouths too.
Stu offers ratepayer rebates (just pie in the sky) but isn’t willing to simply offer lower electric rates. When pressed, Stu admits to having NEVER attended a MID meeting. Now we realize working your schedule around meetings can be tough but come on, Stu owns his own company so it begs the question, not even one meeting? Why do people keep recruiting members of the public to run for the MID Board that don’t have a clue about what MID does but still think they know how it run it better? So at the end of his political commercial in the middle of the weekly meeting Stu asks for volunteers to make phone calls and knock on doors and would they please join him at his table at the back of the room.
The big sendoff: Pastor Berteau says “This is church. Is this a church you say? Absolutely! It’s not just in this building. We care for our city and the people in our city. I tell politicians that as a Pastor, I know more about this city than you do.” He goes on to ask Stu to let him know when the other districts come up for a vote so he can let the congregation know so we can get the right people in there.
I don’t know about you but we don’t like non-profits to be telling people which candidate to vote for. If they want to support a cause that’s fine but if you want to run a candidate or a slate of candidates then start by giving up your non-profit status and start paying taxes.
In the video the Pastor says he doesn’t shy away from controversy. But unfortunately Pastor Berteau was did not return our calls for comment regarding this article. We will follow-up if he has anything to say.
Addendum 10/18/2017: The Freedom from Religion Foundation has been contacted and they will be filing a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ). So yes what The House and Pastor Glen Berteau are doing IS illegal.