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OPINION
October 21, 2010 | Doyle McManus
As even the most inattentive television viewer knows, a tsunami of political campaign money is flooding onto the airwaves this election year ? more than $3 billion by some estimates. That's so much money that Wall Street is raising its profit forecasts for broadcasting companies as a result. Like almost every pursuit in this free-enterprise country, political campaigning is a business. And, as in many businesses, success often goes not to the entrepreneur who brings a product to market first but to the one who exploits it best.
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OPINION
March 17, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Last November, the Internal Revenue Service asked for public comments on proposed rules to rein in political activity by tax-exempt "social welfare" groups that don't disclose their donors. The agency has gotten an earful of negative reaction, not only from conservatives who long have accused the IRS of political bias, but also from some liberal and civil-liberties groups. (The Republican-controlled House has voted to delay the rules for a year.) A few of the criticisms are justified and easily addressed.
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OPINION
March 17, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Last November, the Internal Revenue Service asked for public comments on proposed rules to rein in political activity by tax-exempt "social welfare" groups that don't disclose their donors. The agency has gotten an earful of negative reaction, not only from conservatives who long have accused the IRS of political bias, but also from some liberal and civil-liberties groups. (The Republican-controlled House has voted to delay the rules for a year.) A few of the criticisms are justified and easily addressed.
OPINION
March 10, 2013 | Doyle McManus
President Obama owes Karl Rove a thank-you note. During last year's election campaign, Rove and other Republicans showed how federal tax law could be stretched to turn a political committee into a "social welfare" organization. These nonprofit organizations, known as 501(c)(4)s, are defined by the Internal Revenue Code as "primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare. " This year, with the president's blessing, former Obama campaign aides have followed in Rove's muddy path and launched a social welfare organization of their own, called Organizing for Action (with, happily, the same initials as Obama for America)
OPINION
March 10, 2013 | Doyle McManus
President Obama owes Karl Rove a thank-you note. During last year's election campaign, Rove and other Republicans showed how federal tax law could be stretched to turn a political committee into a "social welfare" organization. These nonprofit organizations, known as 501(c)(4)s, are defined by the Internal Revenue Code as "primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare. " This year, with the president's blessing, former Obama campaign aides have followed in Rove's muddy path and launched a social welfare organization of their own, called Organizing for Action (with, happily, the same initials as Obama for America)
OPINION
April 15, 2011
Under the Supreme Court's wrongheaded Citizens United decision, corporate spending on independent political advertising may not be limited. So it's not surprising that Democrats are organizing two so-called super PACs, similar to ones already created by Republicans, that can raise huge amounts of money from corporations and wealthy individuals. The best that can be said about these new organizations is that they must make some disclosure of the identities of their contributors. That isn't the case with another sort of organization, known as a 501(c)
OPINION
October 31, 2011
Mention "social welfare organization" and the last thing that comes to mind is a group that expends millions of dollars to influence a federal election. But Crossroads GPS, which spent more than $17 million in 2010 to elect Republicans to Congress, claims to be a social welfare organization — which gives it tax- exempt status and allows it to conceal the identities of its donors. Now two campaign-reform groups have written to the Internal Revenue Service challenging the right of Crossroads GPS and three other organizations to 501(c)
OPINION
May 25, 2013
Re "Issa tested by the spotlight," May 22 The IRS did what it was supposed to do regarding 501(c)(4)s, but in a way that strongly suggested partisan bias by investigating "tea party"-related groups during the Obama administration and liberal churches such as All Saints in Pasadena during the Bush administration. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) runs his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee the same way as the IRS, not bothering to go down investigative roads that might lead to answers that can't be used to partisan advantage.
OPINION
December 6, 2013
Re "501(c)(4) rules without teeth," Editorial, Dec. 4 I applaud your editorial regarding the treatment of nonprofit organizations under IRS Code Section 501(c)(4) by returning to the letter of the law. That code section provides for the tax exemption of civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of the general welfare. The IRS defined "exclusively" as "primarily," meaning that organizations can engage in other activities, including election-related activity.
NEWS
August 22, 2013 | By Jon Healey
Republicans have been blistering the Internal Revenue Service for months over its notorious targeting of tea party groups applying for tax-exempt status. Now a leading House Democrat and three campaign reform advocacy groups are suing the IRS for not taking a tough enough line against politicized nonprofits. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center and Public Citizen asked a federal judge in the District of Columbia on Wednesday to force the tax agency to amend its rules on "social welfare" organizations.
OPINION
October 31, 2011
Mention "social welfare organization" and the last thing that comes to mind is a group that expends millions of dollars to influence a federal election. But Crossroads GPS, which spent more than $17 million in 2010 to elect Republicans to Congress, claims to be a social welfare organization — which gives it tax- exempt status and allows it to conceal the identities of its donors. Now two campaign-reform groups have written to the Internal Revenue Service challenging the right of Crossroads GPS and three other organizations to 501(c)
OPINION
April 15, 2011
Under the Supreme Court's wrongheaded Citizens United decision, corporate spending on independent political advertising may not be limited. So it's not surprising that Democrats are organizing two so-called super PACs, similar to ones already created by Republicans, that can raise huge amounts of money from corporations and wealthy individuals. The best that can be said about these new organizations is that they must make some disclosure of the identities of their contributors. That isn't the case with another sort of organization, known as a 501(c)
OPINION
October 21, 2010 | Doyle McManus
As even the most inattentive television viewer knows, a tsunami of political campaign money is flooding onto the airwaves this election year ? more than $3 billion by some estimates. That's so much money that Wall Street is raising its profit forecasts for broadcasting companies as a result. Like almost every pursuit in this free-enterprise country, political campaigning is a business. And, as in many businesses, success often goes not to the entrepreneur who brings a product to market first but to the one who exploits it best.
NATIONAL
May 15, 2013 | By David Horsey
The revelation that conservative political groups seeking tax-exempt status were singled out for special attention by Internal Revenue Service bureaucrats has given Republicans their best cudgel yet to beat on the Obama administration. But as the outrage revs into high gear, let me offer a contrarian perspective: As inept as the IRS may have been in the way they processed applications for 501(c)(4) status, the bigger scandal is that the IRS grants the tax-exempt designation to so many overtly political organizations, treating them as if they are no more engaged in partisan politics than the Girl Scouts.  The reality is that numerous high-powered political operatives for both Republicans and Democrats have formed 501(c)
NEWS
February 23, 1992
I very much enjoyed the article on Revolution Bookstore (The Times, Feb. 9) and I think the writer captured the ambience in an excellent manner. I just want to clear up one point. Though I personally support Barbara Boxer's candidacy for the Senate, I want to emphasize that the Fund for the Feminist Majority is not sponsoring an event for Boxer's election. We are a 501 (c)4 organization and as such, are constrained from endorsing a candidate. PEG YORKIN Los Angeles Editor's note: Yorkin chairs the Fund for the Feminist Majority.
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