Filed under: 26USC501 (c) (4), Anonymous Donors, Attack Ads., False Attack Ads, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, IRS, POLITCAL DONATIONS, Political Attack Ads
INFAMOUS WILLIE HORTON ATTACK AD RUN A FEW DAYS BEFORE BUSH v.DUKAKIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. BOTH BUSH AND DUKAKIS HAD BEEN IN OFFICE WHEN WEEKEND FURLOUGH PASSES WERE IN EFFECT. BUSH UNDER THE FEDERAL PROGRAM AND THE MODEL FOR THE MASSACHUSETTS PROGRAM UNDER MICHAEL DUKAKIS. BUSH CLAIMED AD RUN BY AN UNKNOWN PAC GROUP. BUT FACTS SHOW BUSH”S CAMPAIGN MANAGER LEE ATWATER (MENTOR TO KARL ROVE) WAS THE INSTIGATOR OF THE ALLEGEDLY ANONYMOUS AD THROUGH A PAC GROUP WHOSE FUNDERS WERE UNKNOWN. AD RAN ONLY IN THE SOUTH TO SCARE VOTERS WORRIED ABOUT VIOLENT BLACK CRIMINALS.
After the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission(Citizens United) decision many political advocacy groups sought tax exempt status under 26 USC 501(c)(4.) Which more importantly provides for anonymity of donors?
This would allow people to donate to entities that create false attack ads like the Swift Boat Ads and remain anonymous.
Also This would allow groups with political agendas to solicit money from donors to fund their activities and even hire a professional staff at salary to accomplish their ends. The IRS was inundated with requests to qualify as 501(c)(4) status including a large number of Tea party and related organizations organized for the political purpose of electing and promoting conservative politicians and causes i.e.: interpreting the Constitution and The Bill Of Rights according to their view usually in an ultra conservative manner
26 USC 501(c)(4) was originally enacted for Little League, Parent Teacher Organizations, Scout Troops , and other like organizations primarily devoted to education, social welfare or cultural activities for the benefit of their communities.
However some degree of political activity was allowed for and organizations primarily devoted to other non political non business endeavors like the local Little League petitioning the city council for more fields.
However after Citizens United some saw an opportunity to fund political organizations with anonymous donations to use for unsavory political acts for the election of like minded politicians. As a furtherance to their activities they sought classification under 501(c)(4) of the IRS code as nonprofit organizations primarily engaged in educational, welfare or cultural activities. A large influx of applications by these political organizations seeking cover under IRS Code Sec. 501(c)(4) occurred. Thus the revenue service was inundated with applications from organizations with political clout in Washington because of their primary activity was getting their defenders elected.
We now see a push on now to force the IRS not to weigh the activities of these applicants and waive them through to tax exempt status even though 26 USC 501(c)(4) says otherwise.
However the conduct being looked at is the IRS classification of Tea party and other groups with patriotic words in their name for closer review because it appeared that their main activity was political and therefore they were not covered by the act. When is the the last time you saw a tea party goup have a cook out for the girls scouts.
Karl Rove’ Cross Roads GPS, according to, PRO PUBLICA “recieved $70 million from anonymous donors in the 2012 election and told the Internal Revenue Service that its efforts would focus on public education, research and shaping legislation and policy. This was done in its 501(c)(4) application which has not yet been approved.'” PRO PUBLICA further stated “Crossroads’ breakdown of planned activities said it would focus half its efforts on ‘public education,” 30 percent on ‘activity to influence legislation and policy making’ and 20 percent on “research,” including sponsoring ‘in-depth policy research on significant issues.’
This seems at odds with much of what the group has done since filing the application, experts said. Within two months of filing its application, Crossroads spent about $15.5 million on ads telling people to vote against Democrats or for Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections.”
“American Crossroads (Crossroads GPS sister organization), which does identify its donors, spent almost $105 million on election ads in the 2012 cycle. For its part, Crossroads GPS poured more than $70 million into ads and phone calls urging voters to pick Republicans — outlays that were reported to the Federal Election Commission. It also announced spending an additional $50 million on ads critical of President Barack Obama that ran outside the FEC’s reporting window.” PRO PUBLICA
On the other hand liberal democratic Pac Priorities USA has also applied for 501(c)(4) status It is the sister organization of Priorities USA Action which is not a 501(c)(4) entity and does disclose its donors. It backed Obama in 2012 and aired the commercial by a worker saying that Romney killed his wife by his business activities.Washington Post 5/15/13
The IRS was pushed into a corner on 501(c)(4) classification by powerful political pacts which wanted to secure anonymity for certain donors and also a tax exempt status. Now the temporary director of the IRS has been forced to resign all due to a classification error of entities that were highly questionable as to their ability to qualify for 501(c)(4) status .
TAKE AWAY: 501(c)(4) organizations want anonymity for their donors so they will not be associated with unsavory, false or misleading attack ads televised at the last minute during elections. Strict compliance with the law in regard to all elegible groups might lessen the ability or inclination to air last minute false or misleading political commercials.
Filed under: 9/11, BENGHAZI, CONGRESSIONAL SHORT SIGHTEDNESS, DARRELL ISSA
Darrell Issa : Congressman California’s 49th District
Congress in the form of Darrell Izza, Chairman Of The House Oversight And Government Reform Committee is trying to find out who failed to lock the barn door after the horse was gone in reference to the Benghazi attack where four Americans were killed including Ambassador Stevens. Izza is a self made millionaire and a Republican who when unsuccessful in his 1998 run against Barbara Boxer for Senator in California ran for Congress. He was successful in gaining a seat in Congress in 2000 and has been there ever since. He is generally classified as conservative and has voted with the House Republicans more than 94% of the time.
The State Department’s budget requests for security were cut twice by House Republicans in 2011 and 2012 by approximately 128 million and 212 million respectively. This was at a time when the Arab Spring which began in 2010 caused unrest throughout the Middle East including Libya which was engaged in a bloody civil war for most of 2011. It was difficult to determine what the various factions that conducted the uprising against Gaddafi represented: secular democrats, Islamic moderate democrats , fundamentalist Islamic theocrats, or those who wanted an Al Qaeda affiliated dictatorship according to Sharia law.
Congressional Republicans cut the State Department Security budget anyway even though Secretary of State Clinton publicly protested the cuts and spoke directly with Speaker of the House John Boehner to avoid the cuts. The budget cuts went through. Now Mr. Izza is trying to blame the State Department for an inadequate security response and mis-characterization of the assault as a demonstration against an anti-Islamic film that got out of hand instead of a planned terrorist attack.
Mr. Izza is using the hearing as a political smear tactic against the Obama Administration and Secretary Clinton who may be a candidate for President in 2016.
This is not the first time that Congress has inadequately protected the American people. Before 9/11 Congress turned airport screening over to the Airlines, at their objection, who had been deregulated and were in a economic battle with each other for passengers. This resulted in less income and inadequate screening.
Europe long before recognized that the Airlines were a terrorist target and established a professional police like screening system funded by the state. That was one of the reasons the terrorist involved in 9/11 so easily commandeered the passenger jets they used to bring down the Towers and damage the Pentagon.
So Mr. Izza is looking in all the wrong places for culpability for Benghazi when he should investigate himself and his colleges for their inadequacies and motives in cutting security budgets in turbulent times to save dollars instead of American lives for political reasons
Take Away: Congress is a power struggle between Republicans and Democrats and even within those two groups there are factional disputes. The welfare of the public is second or even third in this struggle over patronage, judicial appointments and who gets to spend the government’s money on what and where. Republicans generally speaking represent the money class from whom they receive campaign contributions. The Democrats represent the working class, the poor and unemployed. There are always exceptions to this general rule. It is not uncommon for middle class or working class people to vote Republican and for wealthy people to support the Democrats.
However Congress must create issues like Benghazi and now the IRS dust up to appear as if they are doing something in controlling the Executive branch. However the real issue is the fight over power and who controls what.