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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Truthout: ALEC Accused of Violating Its Tax-Exempt Status; Will the IRS Take Action?

-By Jason Leopold

July 5, 2012- Will the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launch an investigation into the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the corporate-backed "nonpartisan" "stealth business lobbyist" group that has been accused of flouting civil and criminal tax laws?

That's the obvious question to ask after a prominent Washington, DC-based tax attorney, acting at the behest of one of his clients, sent the IRS a 30-page complaint two weeks ago, following a months-long exhaustive study of ALEC's tax filings, expenditures and public reports about its political activities. The study contained dozens of new examples of how ALEC, whose board is made up entirely of Republican lawmakers, has violated its tax-exempt status.

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ABC News: What Romney’s Donors Heard at This Weekend’s Retreat

-By Arlette Saenz and Shushannah Walshe

June 24, 2012- Mitt Romney’s donors attended a golf outing today at the Red Ledges Gold Club in Heber, Utah, but the excitement was really what went on Friday and Saturday at the events and panels. Romney’s top donors were treated to panels on specialized policy topics, such as healthcare or the financial services industry, heard speeches from stars of the Republican Party, such as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and were granted access to the presidential candidate’s senior advisors for information about the inner workings of the campaign. All events were closed to reporters, but ABC News has the rundown of some of what these donors were privileged to hear.

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Huffington Post: Bob Bauer, Obama Campaign’s Top Lawyer, Demands Retraction From Karl Rove

-By Sam Stein

June 21, 2012- The Obama campaign's top lawyer fired off a letter to Karl Rove Thursday, demanding a retraction of a "mystifying" comment Rove made and raising questions about his upcoming appearance at a Mitt Romney campaign event.

The letter is the second that Bob Bauer has sent to Rove this week. The first argued that Rove could no longer insist that his advocacy group, Crossroads GPS, was policy oriented — a distinction that allowed it to shield the names of its donors. The follow-up letter, obtained by The Huffington Post, makes that same point, arguing that there is no "social welfare" component to the group's operations.

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Huffington Post: Sheldon Adelson To Lavish $71 Million In Casino Money On GOP Super PACS, Nonprofits

-By Peter H Stone

June 16, 2012- Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, whose net worth makes him one of the world's richest men, is on a check-writing spree that will soon bring his total political contributions in this election cycle to at least $71 million, according to sources familiar with his spending. That money is spread across the spectrum of GOP super PACs, which are required to disclose donors, and nonprofits, which are not.

Adelson and his wife, Miriam, along with other family donations, have already reached $36 million, including $10 million to the Romney-backing super PAC Restore Our Future that was reported this week. But two GOP fundraisers familiar with his plans say that Adelson has given or pledged at least $35 million more to three conservative nonprofit groups: the Karl Rove-linked Crossroads GPS, another with ties to billionaires Charles and David Koch and a third with links to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

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The Nation: Resolve to Overturn ‘Citizens United’ Spreads Through the States

-By Katrina vanden Heuvel

June 12, 2012- Writing for the majority in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that independent expenditures by corporations “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

Since then, Super-PACs and corporations have spent record amounts of money in elections nationwide. Corporate spending soared during the 2010 election cycle to $294 million, 427 percent over the previous midterm elections in 2006. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer both suggested that given these “huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance,” Kennedy’s assertion doesn’t hold and the court should reconsider its ruling.

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