Watchdog Group Hails Senate Finance Committee Request For IRS Investigation Into Activities Of American Crossroads Et Al
For Misuse of 501c4 Status To Hide Donors And Engage In Prohibited Political Activity
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Washington, DC — The watchdog group, www.AmericanCrossroadsWatch.org, hails Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus for requesting that the Internal Revenue Service (1) survey major 501(c)(4), (c)(5) and (c)(6) organizations involved in political campaign activity to examine whether they are operated for the organization’s intended tax exempt purpose and to ensure that political campaign activity is not the organization’s primary activity, (2) examine if these political activities reach (a primary purpose level–) the standard imposed by the federal tax code – and if they do not, whether the organization is complying with the notice or proxy tax requirements of Section 6033(e), and (3) survey major 501(c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(6) organizations to determine whether they are acting as conduits for major donors advancing their own private interests regarding legislation or political campaigns, or are providing major donors with excess benefits. See complete letter at http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/Baucus_irs_tax_exempt_9_28_10.pdf
[also see companion piece here]
AmericanCrossroadsWatch.org, has been urging citizens to call on Congress and the Department of Justice to investigate Karl Rove’s American Crossroads for misusing tax-exempt statutes to protect the identity of its corporate donors and engage in improper electioneering. Over the past two weeks, thousands of concerned citizens have signed on to the campaign and sent letters to Congress and the DOJ requesting an investigation. The campaign has also called on candidates to reject the support of Karl Rove and American Crossroads, and has already released ads naming Carly Fiorina, Damon Dunn, Marco Rubio and Rob Portman as recipients of such support. Now the campaign is issuing a warning to those who have secretly donated to American Crossroads and other groups that are violating the law — You have exposed yourself to both disclosure and possible criminal liability.
“Finally, after months of asking, we are going to see groups associated with Karl Rove and Tom Donohue facing the ultimate scrutiny by the IRS—a robust audit,” said AmericanCrossroadsWatch spokesman Kevin Zeese. “Additionally, we have asked the Department of Justice to launch a criminal investigation into their activities and create a task force to monitor these groups over the next 33 days. We cannot allow them to play fast and loose with the law and mislead donors with promises of anonymity all for their short term political gain. And now that an official investigation is brewing, these groups and their donors are going to start lawyering up. So here is our advice: first, anyone involved with or who donated to these shadowy groups who doesn’t want to go to jail should make a bee line for the nearest FBI or US Attorney’s office and work out a cooperation deal to tell everything in exchange for immunity; second, any person who is even thinking about making such a donation should not do so; and, third, all these groups should immediately announce that they will no longer accept secret donations or hide behind loopholes and a wall of lawyers.”