Monday, March 9, 2009

CQ Politics on Nonprofits and Campaign Cash

We previously blogged about the Campaign Finance Institute's study on the more than $400 million in campaign spending by non-charitable nonprofits that are tax-exempt under sections 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), 501(c)(6) and 527 of the Internal Revenue Code.  Following up on this study, a CQ Politics' article focuses on the nearly $200 million spent during the 2008 election cycle by the 501(c)s alone, which was greater than the amount spent by the Democratic Congressional Committee and triple the amount such groups spent in the 2004 election cycle.  The article notes that reactions to this level of spending vary, with a spokesperson for the Campaign Legal Center quoted as stating that data from the 2008 election still needs to be evaluated before any legal changes are considered, other groups calling for investigations of specific 501(c)s for alleged violations of federal election or tax laws, and at least one candidate targeted by a 501(c) raising concerns about the lack of donor disclosure for such organizations under existing law.


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