IRS plays dead on campaign finance

Any small business that has been audited knows the IRS can be a junkyard dog when examining records for deductible meals, travel, mileage, and other business expenses.

Not so when it comes to reviewing political organizations.

As The New York Times summarizes, the IRS has pretty much rolled over on groups that use nonprofit “social welfare” organizations to hide the identities of potentially multi-million-dollar campaign contributors.

Not only did IRS Commissioner John Koskinen tell Congress that there would be no change in the tax code this year, he also said any new rules would take effect only after the 2016 Presidential Election.

Campaign spending by so-called “social welfare” organizations has gone from less than $6 million in 2006 to more than $300 million in 2012, and is likely to eclipse a half-billion dollars in 2016.

As The Times’ article concludes, “It is a gross insult to taxpayers to make them underwrite the brazen evasions of campaign operatives bundling dark money. The abuse is compounded by the latest I.R.S. retreat from its responsibility.”

Hastert and FIFA cases prove the oldest rule in the book: Follow the money!

What does Dennis Hastert’s indictment on apparently Very Very Bad Horrible Terrible Behavior (kudos to Kaili Joy Gray of Wonkette) and the FIFA bribery and kickback scandal (New York Times version here) have in common? They both in part involve people charged with trying to hide or disguise transfers of money—something that is of tremendous…Continue Reading