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More winger non-profits treading on thin ice

[UPDATE: That didn’t take long. The GOP changed its web site after Raw’s article went up.]

The Raw Story has a nice bookend to the news that two Ohio churches are under the microscope for possibly violating their non-profit status.

In this story, it’s the GOP that website appears to also flout the law, listing allegedly nonpartisan non-profits as supporters. And these are well-known Beltway organizations, with folks that should know better.

RAW STORY has found that the Republican National Committee lists a panoply of conservative nonprofits as “GOP groups”–in direct violation of the nonprofit charter.

Tax-exempt nonprofits can lobby on political issues but cannot participate directly in campaign activities. The American Civil Liberties Union lobbied Congress to ban torture. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington lobbies Congress on Congressional corruption. And Americans for Tax Reform presses lawmakers to slash taxes and government spending.

…A nonprofit “may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate at all in campaign activity for or against political candidates,” the IRS law reads.

At least six “GOP groups” listed and linked on the Republican National Committee website are tax-exempt nonprofits. These include the American Enterprise Institute, American Values, Coalition for Urban Renewal, Frontiers of Freedom, the Heritage Foundation and the Leadership Institute. If defined as a “GOP group,” these organizations would not qualify for tax-exempt status under their charters.

Are you surprised that the GOP has no comment on this so far?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding