IRS commissioner John Koskinen assured the Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity that the IRS would be proposing “new and specific rules defining how much money ‘social welfare’ nonprofits may spend on political campaigns.
According to the report released by CPI on June 18, the rules would curb the influence of “dark money” in politics by further restricting the amount of political activity that nonprofit groups could engage in. These regulations are slated to take effect sometime in “early 2015.” Liberal groups have repeatedly pushed for the IRS to crack down on nonprofits, citing the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.
These rulings would specifically look at 501(c)(4) organizations, which, according to a separate study done by CPI, conservatives use more than liberals. The study claimed that conservative PACs outspent liberal pacts 5-to-1. This does not mean that liberal groups don’t contribute politically, but rather that conservatives are more likely to use 501(c)(4) organizations.
Kroskinen said that the new regulations would address three factors: “What should be the definition, to whom should it apply and how much … can you do before you jeopardize your exemption?” He then acknowledged that, at the moment, the rules that the IRS currently uses to monitor nonprofit groups are “subjective,” making it hard for groups to realize “when they are getting too close to the line.”
CPI has received $3,216,328 from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations since 2000. Through the OSF, Soros gave an additional $3.4 million to other groups that were linked to pressure on the IRS to target conservative groups. This targeting of conservative groups eventually led to a congressional hearing, and the termination of IRS official Lois Lerner. This investigation by Congress into the IRS is still ongoing.
In early 2010, two Soros-funded groups, the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, began sending letters to the IRS, urging it to investigate conservative groups. Shortly after these letters were sent, the IRS began instituting the policy changes that eventually came under Congressional scrutiny. In October, 2011, CPI published a study on 501 (c)(4) nonprofit groups which drew heavily from those letters, and referenced both the CLC and Democracy 21.
Source: Business and Media Institute
Mike Ciandella is Staff Writer/Analyst for the Business and Media Institute at the Media Research Center.