Discussion: How The IRS Gave Up Fighting Political Dark Money Groups

This shouldn’t be the IRS’s job. They are there to collect taxes, not police campaigning.

Six years after it was excoriated for allegedly targeting conservative organizations, the agency has largely given up on regulating an entire category of nonprofits. The result: More dark money gushes into the political system.

Objective achieved


A triumph for our 1st Amendment right of free speech. Thank you, CJ Roberts.

And a look at the real underpinnings of the 501©(4) debacle.

IRC §501©(3) grants tax exempt status to an entity that is “organized and operated exclusively for” certain designated purposes. The corresponding regulation in 26 CFR §1.501©(3)-1 states that an organization will not be regarded as being operated for an exempt purpose “if more than an insubstantial part of its activities is not in furtherance of an exempt purpose.”

IRC §501©(4) has the same “operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare” restriction, but the Regulation states that “exclusively” means “primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community.” The abuse of ©(4) status reached its apex when it made the complete transition from “exclusively” to “primarily” to “more than 50%” and CJ Roberts declared that spending money is functionally equivalent to speech.

Nope. If the nonprofit is being used to funnel money that’s being declared as a charitable writeoff, if falls within the IRS’s purview. That’s what these people are doing: treating the 501©(4) as a shelter to promote their partisan and even corrupt (see NRA / Maria Butina as an example) donations, they are abusing the nonprofit status.

This is a perfect example of working the refs.

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Personally, I think we can make this easier by stating these groups are not protected by “Electioneering” laws as they are not actual candidates or parties, and thus have to meet Madison Avenue Standards for Advertising and Media Messaging, Fines alone would not help, but would indeed open them up to oversight by other agencies.

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Are redistricting, this must be fixed.

Republicans opposed to transparency. Who would have thought it?