Monthly Archives: July 2012

Huffington Post: ‘Dark Money’ Hits $172 Million In 2012 Election, Half Of Independent Group Spending

-By Paul Blumenthal

July 29, 2012- WASHINGTON — In May, the conservative nonprofit group Crossroads GPS, founded by famed political strategist Karl Rove and other leading Republican operatives, ran a television ad showcasing a fictional mother who had supported Barack Obama in 2008. The mom was disappointed in Obama's performance, saddled as she was with two adult children who had moved back in with her due to the stalled economy. The ad was the centerpiece of a $25 million campaign — one of the biggest ad buys so far in the 2012 election cycle.

Despite the fact that the ad's central message was the failure of the president, it wasn't considered a campaign ad under election laws. Although the group spends tens of millions of dollars on ads targeting Democratic candidates, Crossroads GPS is organized as a "social welfare nonprofit" under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code and therefore not subject to the rules governing political organizations.

RAW Story: Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS faces third FEC complaint

-By Eric W. Dolan

July 25, 2012- A third complaint has been filed with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Crossroads GPS, a group co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, has been unlawfully hiding its donors from the public by masquerading as a “social welfare” organization.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed the complaint on Tuesday, claiming the pro-Republican group failed to report TV ads it ran against three Democratic Senate candidates to the FEC.

“Crossroads GPS wants to have its cake and eat it too. Karl Rove’s secretive 501(c)(4) wants to run political ads without complying with the disclosure rules applicable to such ads,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “By disguising political ads as issue ads, Crossroads is trying to do an end run around the law.”

Huffington Post: Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Files Complaint Over Groups That Shield Donors

-By Amanda Terkel

July 9, 2012- The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is set to file a complaint on Monday with the Federal Election Commission arguing that conservative groups such as Crossroads GPS should not be given non-profit status and allowed to shield their donors, due to the large amount of political advocacy work they are doing.

The complaint targets Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity and the 60 Plus Association, as the New York Times first reported. These groups are classified as 501(c)(4) organizations under the U.S. tax code, which means they can keep their donors' identities private but cannot be focused primarily on political activity.

Crossroads GPS, however, recently launched a $25 million ad campaign attacking President Obama's record on the economy.

Truthout: Thumbing Their Noses at Us: Election-Based Nonprofits Flouting Their Charters (Part One)

-By Dina Rasor

July 5, 2012- We interact with nonprofit organizations every day – little league, Girl Scouts, churches, League of Woman Voters, the PTA, the Rotary Club, volunteer firefighter organizations and veterans' service organizations. The US tax law set up two main types of nonprofit organizations to help the general society. The IRS describes them this way:

501(c)3 non profit organization – Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations.

501(c)4 non profit organization – Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations and Local Associations of Employees

C3 organizations do not have to pay tax on their income, and donors can take a charitable tax deduction. C3 organizations are not allowed to be involved in political campaigns, but can do limited lobbying for legislation that involves their mission.

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