In the News: Center for Public Integrity: IRS sets its sights on political ‘dark money’

By Michael Beckel

… Such nonprofits organized under Sec. 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code must be “operated exclusively to promote social welfare” and function “primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community,” according to the IRS.

… The IRS is calling for the creation of a new legal term known as “candidate-related political activity,” which would not overlap with activities for the “promotion of social welfare.”

David Keating, the president of the Center for Competitive Politics, said the proposal went “seriously off track” by including “electioneering communications” as “candidate-related political activity.”

He argued that groups may be compelled to run issue ads on controversial legislation in the two months before Election Day because of the timetable under which Congress decides to act.

… “It is absurd to categorize ads on such legislation as per se political activity simply because an incumbent is mentioned in the communication,” Keating said. “Many social welfare groups are active on a single issue and are at the mercy of the congressional schedule.”

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The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.