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501(c)(4), non-profit, tax exempt, "social welfare" groups do not have to disclose who their donors are. Before the Citizens United ruling in 2010, (c)(4) groups...."laws had barred nonprofits from accepting donations from corporations or unions for political purposes and had mostly restricted 501(c)(4)s to generic "issue" ads that stopped short of calling on people to vote for or against candidates"
But after the Citizens United ruling, as misguided as the ruling was, conservative and Republican voter groups made an open mockery of the label "social welfare."
Most of the money spent by social welfare groups in 2010 came from conservative groups,. As of Aug. 8, 2012 CMAG (Campaign Media Analysis Group) estimates show, liberal groups accounted for only $1.6 million of the total spent by such organizations on TV ads for the presidential race. By contrast, the two leading conservative 501(c)(4)s, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, founded by conservative billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, had spent about $60 million.
The 2012 election cycle is when Republicans and conservatives began seriously exploiting the "social welfare" loophole...
In 2012, nonprofits that didn’t have to report their donors poured an unprecedented $322 million into the election. Much of that money — 84 percent — came from conservative groups.
84 cents of every dollar spent by (c)(4) "social welfare" groups on the 2012 election.....came from conservative groups.
Those numbers are important, especially in light of the piece in today's AB Journal where Portage County TeaMan Tom Zawistowski claims that....
Information gathered by Internal Revenue Service agents who targeted conservative groups was used to further the re-election of President Barack Obama....
84% of (c)(4) "social welfare" spending on political ads in the 2012 election cycle came from conservative and Republican groups.....yet Obama's IRS, which refused to deny even one conservative, Tea Party, or Patriot (c)(4) application leading up to the general election,....is accused by Zawistowski of asking questions of (c)(4) applicants in such a way that it would "further the re-election of President Barack Obama."
I'm thinking that doesn't pass the smell test.
Speaking of smell tests.....here are a few examples of the rank dishonesty by some of these conservative (c)(4) groups....
1) One group, the Center for Individual Freedom, told election officials that it spent $2.5 million on ads in 2010, when it paid for commercials criticizing Democrats in 10 districts. But it reported to the IRS that it spent nothing to directly or indirectly influence elections, calling those same ads "education" or "legislative activities."
2) Even before mailing its application to the IRS saying it would not spend money on elections, the Alliance for America's Future was running TV ads supporting Republican candidates for governor in Nevada and Florida. It also had given $133,000 to two political committees directed by Mary Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president. No one from the Alliance for America's Future returned calls for comment.
3) Another group, the Revere America Association, launched with the help of former Republican New York Gov. George Pataki, told the IRS in May 2010 that it wouldn't spend money to influence elections. But in its 2010 tax return, Revere America said it spent about $2.5 million on political ads.
To me, these groups falsified information on their applications for (c)(4) status by stating no money would be spent on political elections.....but, I guess, falsifying information is fine if doing so advances the "patriot" cause.
Back to the TeaMan, Tom Zawistowski. The TeaMan recently ran for Ohio Republican Party Chair.....and was thoroughly trounced. Since, Zawistowski has taken to bashing "establishment Republicans", ....Gov. Kasich for wanting to expand Medicaid and Senator Portman for embracing gay marriage. Sure, it's sour grapes for being embarrassingly rejected as Ohio's Republican Party leader, but Zawistowski's lashing out is also evidence that he and his Liberty brethren are seriously out of touch with Ohio GOP'ers, not to mention Ohioans in general.
Here's Zawistowski's take on his experience being granted (c)(4) "social welfare" tax-exempt status.....take note of the martydom-complex and his understanding of, no kidding, "opposition research"....
The Ohio Liberty Coalition first applied in June 2010 and had its tax-exempt status approved exactly one month and one day after Obama won re-election in 2012. While waiting, Zawistowski said, he and his wife's personal finances were audited.
"The question is, how do we stop this from happening again?" he said. "How do you stop the IRS from being used as a weapon against the American people? I don't know how you make a rule to do that."
“To me, it’s the Obama campaign,” said Zawistowski, who believes the information was relayed to politicians. “It’s data mining. When you look at the questions that were asked, it’s real simple. It’s called opposition research.”
Zawistowski, and dozens of other EinsteinianTea leaders around the nation, are a major part of the reason that today only 23% of Americans have anything good to say about the Tea Party.