Saturday, March 10, 2012

IRS May Make Political Groups Pay Dearly for Keeping Donors Secret -- And Out Them

For years, the IRS has done little or nothing to check the rise of overtly political groups that claim a special tax-exempt status in order to funnel secret money into election-related advertising. - Huffington Post

"If I thought it was important to remain anonymous for my business reasons or for my personal reasons, I wouldn't take any comfort in any assurances the organization has given me until now," said Karl Sandstrom, a former Federal Election Commission member who now works at the Washington office of law firm of Perkins Coie.

It’s not clear whether any of the major groups that identify themselves as C4s -- and are well on their way toward collecting and spending tens of millions of dollars in this election cycle -- have been the subject of IRS inquiries. The IRS won't say, and it’s apparently a sensitive topic with the groups. Representatives from Karl Rove-associated Crossroads GPS, Obama-backing Priorities USA, and several others didn't respond to requests for comment.