TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, December 29, 2011

NY Times Calls for IRS Crackdown on Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, Other § 501(c)(4) Groups

New York Times editorial, Whose Welfare?:

When will the IRS crack down on the secret political money already flooding the 2012 campaign from partisan operatives ludicrously claiming to be “social welfare” activists under the tax law?

Offshoot groups created by partisan gurus — Karl Rove pioneered the practice — claim the 501(c)(4) status as do-gooders that allows them to keep the names of their donors secret, unlike traditional political operations. Democrats are hard at this secret megamoney race, too, with Obama campaign veterans politicking as the supposedly independent and socially minded Priorities USA.

The need for the IRS to curb this abuse is vital, especially with the Federal Election Commission paralyzed by its Republican members.

The American Action Network run by veteran Republican campaigners spent 87% of its total $30 million on campaign-related expenditures last year, according to the watchdog groups Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center. Mr. Rove’s Crossroads GPS and its affiliates are reportedly aiming to spend $240 million or more on their candidates in the presidential and Congressional races. ...

(Hat Tip: Ann Murphy.)

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Shouldn't even be on the top fifty list of things to look at until the special privileges of unions are clawed back. Until that distortion is removed, the rest doesn't matter.

Posted by: Ryan M. | Dec 29, 2011 10:14:28 AM

The Democratic 501(c)(4)'s and their supporters complain about the Republican 501(c)(4)'s.
The Republican 501(c)(4)'s and their supporters complain about the Democratic 501(c)(4)'s.

Heaven forbid donors have to reveal their identtity (527)!!!!

Gee, like big corporations and rich people who support Republicans are going to be on the Republican list and big corporations and rich people who support Democrat list. Oooooh. I'll be shocked, shocked to find out these names.

If people don't get the fact that the wealthy rule and pay for the privilege to influence them, then they need to start taking a look around. Can you run for a Congressional seat, or to be a Senator, or to be President. These are multi-million $ operations. Tens of Millions of $$$. John Doe does not have this or access to it. This was well known 2 centuries ago:

I grew so rich that I was sent
By a pocket borough into Parliament.
I always voted at my party's call,
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.

CHORUS: He never thought of thinking for himself at all.

I thought so little,
they rewarded me
By making me the Ruler of the Queen's Navy

Gilbert & Sullivan, H.M.S. Pinafore

Posted by: tax guy | Dec 30, 2011 5:44:40 PM