And by “overwhelmingly negative” I mean 0 1 positive out of 717 comments, thus far. Where are the tea- party haters – the anti-Koch brothers paranoids spewing their hate? I
see nothing but overwhelmingly intelligent, literate, well-reasoned comments.
The proposed rule, “Guidance for Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Organizations on Candidate-Related Political Activities” does not impact labor unions or the Chamber of Commerce, but does impact the Tea Party and other conservative groups.
It is out in the open that the IRS is targeting perceived political opponents, but this truth is frustratingly not being shouted from the rooftops by the mainstream media or the Republican establishment, who have been quite clear in their disdain for the Tea Party.
Speaking of the proposed rule, professor of law at the University of Tennessee Glenn Harlan Reynolds, wrote an article for USA Today yesterday saying in part,
“…the Obama administration is currently changing IRS rules to muzzle Tea Partiers.”
In fact, it is believed that this rule has been “reverse engineered” in such a way to specifically target common activities among Tea Party groups and recategorize them as “candidate-related political activity,” as reported by Kimberley A. Strassel of the Wall Street Journal.
Tea Party activities oftentimes include issue advocacy, candidate forums and voter registration drives, but Strassel reported that the rule would effectively
“…shut up hundreds of groups that pose a direct threat by restricting their ability to speak freely in an election season about spending or ObamaCare or jobs.” [emphasis added]
Not one of the 686 (out of 9,532) comments currently available for viewing is supportive of the measure.
It’s 717 comments, as of this writing, and before I could post, one anti-Koch brother moonbat appeared (probably via Instapundit’s link.) And true to form, the lib is a lofo with no idea what he/she is talking about.
More effective regulation of political activities by 501(c) groups is long overdue. People like the Koch brothers, and the groups they fund such as “Americans For Prosperity” have demonstrated how ineffective current regulations, and their enforcement, are in preventing 501(c) groups from being used to avoid taxes and to engage in obviously political activity.
Regulations and enforcement need to cover ANY politically- or financially-motivated activities such as Americans For Prosperity placing fake eviction notices on homes in Detroit, mailing “We know you didn’t vote” correspondence to people and threatening to tell their neighbors you didn’t vote, and making awards or special recognition to politicians who promote the group’s political agenda.
The Kochs, other plutocrats, and corporations should not be allowed to hide their political funding by funneling it through 501(c) groups. Consider requiring that all groups designated as nonprofit make available a complete disclosure of contributions and from whom they were received.
Why do these people never mention George Soros, or liberal groups like Media Matters and the Tides Foundation, I wonder?
The proposed regulations do not affect 501(c)(3) nonprofits, they “provide guidance under section 501(c)(4) relating to the measurement of an organization’s primarily activity and whether it is operated primarly for the promotion of social welfare, including guidance relating to political campaign intervention.” Via Regulations.gov(complete with gaffetastic misspelling of primarily.)
In one comment, the left-wing Bauman Foundation demanded public hearings on the rule. Interestingly, the rule would not apply to them as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, but they were concerned that the rule for 501(c)(4)s would confuse their donors.
501(c)(3) organizations are either a public charity, private foundation or private operating foundation with open membership whereas 501(c)(4) organizations are civic leagues or associations operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare or local associations of employees with limited membership.
When it comes to lobbying and political activity, 501(c)(3) organizations can appeal directly to legislative bodies and representatives and may support issue-based legislation. However, they must notify the IRS of their intent to lobby by filing form5768, which formally informs the federal government that one has elected to use the expenditure test to have the organization’s lobbying activity measured. Under this test, lobbying capacity is typically limited to spending less than 5 to 20% of the organizational budget on lobbying activities, depending on the size of your organization.
501(c)(4) organizations can engage in unlimited lobbying so long as it pertains to the organization’s mission. 501(c)(3) organizations are not permitted to engage in political activity, endorse or oppose political candidates, or donate money or time to political campaigns, but 501(c)(4) organizations can do all of the above.
The Obama IRS is changing the 501 (c) (4) rules so the IRS can continue targeting conservative, libertarian leaning groups legally.
Here is tea party atty Cleta Mitchell explaining the proposed IRS rule changes.
The House Ways and Means Committee chair wants more time to investigate the agency’s targeting of conservative groups and to review potential rule changes.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced legislation (H.R. 3865) last week to block the Internal Revenue Service from finalizing new restrictions on the political activities of 501(c)(4) social welfare groups.
Camp, who led an investigation into the IRS’s targeting of organizations seeking 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status, said that the investigation is still ongoing and that the committee needs more time to review documents they are still waiting to receive. His bill would delay implementation of the new rules for one year to allow the committee to complete the investigation and review public comments on the proposal.
“It is premature to publish new rules before getting all of the facts,” Camp said in a statement. “The administration’s proposed rules openly target groups that are exercising their First Amendment rights. We cannot allow these draft regulations to go into effect. Congress must make sure every American’s right to participate and engage in civic debate is protected, and this legislation will provide some much-needed assurance that IRS targeting and surveillance will not continue.”