Family Fight: Lib Groups Suing IRS Over Tax-Exempts’ Campaign Spending
August 21, 2013 - 2:12 pm
Advocates for campaign finance transparency sued the Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday to force it to deny tax-exempt status to groups spending funds on political activities, launching a legal case that tax lawyers said faced long odds.
Ahead of the 2012 elections, liberal and conservative tax-exempt groups raised hundreds of millions of dollars from anonymous corporate and individual donors, then spent the money on political advocacy, usually negative television ads.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court, centers on the tax code’s definition of political activity for these tax-exempt, 501(c)(4) groups. The law says they must operate “exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.”
But the federal regulations the U.S. Treasury wrote to enforce the law says the groups must spend their time and money “primarily” on social welfare causes.
Obviously, they want to create a situation where they have free-flowing cash from Big Labor and the other side is scrambling for individual donors. They often counter with, “But your side gets all the corporate cash”, which isn’t really true since most smart corporations and business people spread their political donations around to both parties to hedge their bets.
Most interesting here is their contention that spending money on politics isn’t engaging in “the promotion of social welfare”?
Isn’t that precisely what leftists think politics is all about?