The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission challenging the tax exempt status of conservative groups that are engaged in political activities.
In the rules, under section 501(c)4 of the tax code, a group is tax exempt if it is a “social welfare” group. Among the group’s claiming that status are Karl Rove’s Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity and the 60 Plus Association. All are heavily involved in political activity and the creation of political advertising. The law says that they cannot engage in political activity as their primary function and can accept unlimited secret donations.
The DSCC argues that these groups are in violation of the limitations on political activity and should be stripped of their tax exempt and disclosure secrecy status. The complain specifies, “Respondents are raising and spending millions of dollars to accomplish their major purpose of influencing federal elections, while hiding their funding sources. By operating in secret, they have violated and continue to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act. Accordingly, Complainant Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee respectfully requests that they be enjoined from further violations and fined the maximum amount permitted by law.”
Crossroads GPS spokesman Jonathan Collegio called the complaint part of a series of “publicity stunts to promote partisan causes.” Well, duh. It’s an election. Of course it’s partisan. James L. Martin, chairman of 60 Plus Association, said the complaint was “naked politics, pure and simple.” Second duh.
After the Supreme Court ruling about the Affordable Care Act, Americans for Prosperity announced a $9 million campaign opposing the law. Crossroads GPS, part of the America Crossroads group, is spending $25 million in anti-Obama ads. If the political activities shoe fits, you don’t deserve the tax exempt status.