The revelation that conservative political groups seeking tax-exempt status were singled out for special attention by
The reality is that numerous high-powered political operatives for both Republicans and Democrats have formed 501(c)(4) organizations. The GOP’s most prominent political guru,
After the Supreme Court's notorious Citizens United decision in 2010 that opened the way for corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money in political campaigns, all that new funding needed someplace to go where it would not be easily tracked. In response, the number of groups seeking 501(c)(4) status – which, in addition to the tax break, allows donors to remain anonymous – shot up to 3,400 in 2012.
The flood of applications overloaded the IRS processing system. It may be wrong that, in order to deal with the mountain of paperwork, the IRS functionaries began culling the applicants by looking for keywords such as “
The fact is that none of the right-wing applicants were turned down, even though they are probably as engaged in partisan campaigning as Karl Rove or Jim Messina. A 501(c)(4) group is, by law, supposed to be a social welfare organization whose primary activity is not politics. Can anyone honestly say that about Rove or Messina or any of the many tea party organizations?