WASHINGTON - Political organizations posing as “social welfare” nonprofits and pumping hundreds of millions of dollars from hidden donors into political campaigns are depriving voters of information they need to make decisions on Election Day, a Common Cause attorney told senators today.
(Full disclosure: most of what I know about IRS laws and nonprofits is from working with Planned Parenthood the year a particular chapter was setting up a group which was not tax-deductible to channel funds for political activities through, and my work looking for grants and donations for a very different 501(c)(3). i.e. nonprofit.)
Augggh. One of the main reasons nonprofits are nonprofits is because getting that official designation means that you can persuade donors to give you money and take it off their income taxes. To keep a political organization which solicits donations as a "nonprofit" basically means charging the government money for lobbying.
Why did Common Cause give such a wishy washy argument? Did they think they could get no more? Were they feeling hopeless? Do they know something I don't? (I hope the latter.) Money=speech, okay. Speech=Right to avoid taxes, kinda questionable.
I suppose the most appropriate step would be to remove all tax-free designations and just let the marketplace decide who gets donations.