As things exist now, in conjunction with the Supreme Court’s decision on the People United case, there are no limitations on money that comes from 501(c)4 organizations. The category of such organizations under IRS rules 501 (c)(4) exist precisely and exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.
While they are allowed to donate to political contributions (under 40% of their revenue) they have typically NOT been checked by the IRS or other governmental oversight entities, and by law, 501(c)(4) organizations are not required to disclose their donors publicly. Such organizations have also recently been misused and abused by International Terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda, to provide a source of funding for their nefarious means. In essence, they’re being misused and abused to facilitate money laundering.
In 2010, a bill (the DISCLOSE Act) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that addressed identification of donors to organizations involved in political advocacy, but the Senate Republicans filibustered and prevented a vote on the bill.
Why Republicans – who in the past supported such DISCLOSURE – are now balking at passage of this law is incomprehensible.
Senate Republicans Block Campaign Donor Disclosure Bill
The U.S. Senate didn’t advance legislation that would require nonprofit groups to reveal who donates the millions of dollars they spend on campaign ads.
Yesterday’s vote on the Democratic proposal was 51-44, with 60 required to advance it. The measure, opposed by Republicans, is a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 that removed limits on independent spending by corporations and labor unions. Democrats said they would seek another vote today.
Groups that kept their donors secret Read the rest of this entry »