Monday, January 2, 2012
The New York Times published an editorial on December 28 entitled "Whose Welfare?" calling for greater IRS regulation of politically-centered 501(c)(4)s. Here is a portion of that editorial:
When will the Internal Revenue Service 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 I.R.S. 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 percent 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: TaxProf Blog)