Email date: 11/27/13
In this update:
1. Happy Thanksgiving!
2. Working the refs
All of us have long lists of things to be thankful for. You make our list. Thank you for your interest in our work. Thank you for your support of our efforts. Thank you for caring about the health of our democracy and Wisconsin’s future.
From all of us here at the Democracy Campaign, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.
Working the refs
The latest entry on our Big Money Blog focuses on how a common practice in sports is being zealously employed in the political arena at both the state and national levels. The time-honored tactic of bullying referees and umpires is on conspicuous display as political operatives engage in familiar sideline antics in hopes of derailing a John Doe investigation into possible wrongdoing in Wisconsin elections. National politicos have been using the same playbook to keep the IRS from enforcing the federal law governing tax-exempt nonprofit groups. The agency has been bullied into submission on the subject, but embarrassing evidence that a national group is doing considerably more politicking than even the IRS’s lax rules permit appears to have prompted the tax collectors to make another effort to bring their rules more in line with the federal law. The federal statute says tax-exempt nonprofits like those organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code must be “exclusively” devoted to promoting social welfare. Up to now, the IRS has been interpreting the word “exclusively” to mean “primarily,” allowing nonprofit groups to devote close to half of their time and resources to influencing elections.