Monday, January 16, 2006

Republicans caught telling the truth
No doubt, there will be hell to pay.
It's an open secret in Washington: Nonprofit doesn't always mean nonpartisan.

But RAW STORY has found that the Republican National Committee lists a panoply of conservative nonprofits as "GOP groups"--in direct violation of the nonprofit charter.

Tax-exempt nonprofits can lobby on political issues but cannot participate directly in campaign activities.


But 501(c)(3) law--referring to the provision in the Internal Revenue Code that designates organizations exempt from corporate and property taxation and makes donations tax deductible--strictly prohibits groups from endorsing candidates or political parties.

A nonprofit "may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate at all in campaign activity for or against political candidates," the IRS law reads.

At least six "GOP groups" listed and linked on the Republican National Committee website are tax-exempt nonprofits. These include the American Enterprise Institute, American Values, Coalition for Urban Renewal, Frontiers of Freedom, the Heritage Foundation and the Leadership Institute.

If defined as a "GOP group," these organizations would not qualify for tax-exempt status under their charters.

We all know that "non-partisan" in Washington is usually an insult to our intelligence and a charade. Of course some are bigger insults than others. It's rare that anyone is careless enough to tell the truth like this.

It would be fun to think that we could take this admission as evidence of the real collusion between the GOP and these groups and get their tax exempt status revoked, but that won't happen. After all, the IRS is run by Bush appointees and is too busy investigating poor people and churches that actually advocate for peace on earth. More likely, the Republicans will blame an "over-zealous" intern and the whole thing will be forgotten.

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