Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Trying To Accomplish Campaign Finance Reform Through the IRS

The executive branch continues to try to accomplish progressive reforms circumventing the hopelessly Republican-obstructed legislative branch. Via the Center for Public Integrity:
The Internal Revenue Service will propose new and specific rules defining how much money “social welfare” nonprofits may spend on political campaigns, Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday... Such rules could curb the influence of “dark money” nonprofits engaging in overt political activity that proliferated after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010. The new rules would seek to define what constitutes political activity... “There are three issues: What should be the definition, to whom should it apply and how much ... can you do before you jeopardize your exemption?” said Koskinen, the IRS' top official who took office in December... “The next resolution will differ from the first draft because it will deal with all three questions,” he said... Such definitions, Koskinen said, wouldn’t just benefit the IRS but “people running 501(c)(4)s in terms of knowing what they can do and can’t do, what the rules are." Nonprofit leaders, he added, shouldn't get "surprised or concerned that when they undertake more of an activity that after the fact somebody is going to say, ’You’ve now jeopardized your exemption.’”
It would be sweet indeed if the Republican's whomped up faux "IRS scandal" provided the pretext for clearer definitions that amounted to the beginning of the rollback of the disastrous Citizens United decision.

No comments: