NBC’s Chuck Todd frames move as giving 501c4 groups more “clarity” and less need for government interference.
NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd tweeted out the story,
Federal gov’t trying to give more clarity to what a non-profit group can or can’t do in campaigns. http://t.co/AhdxGyQZhv
So I asked about it,
@chucktodd Does this replace the wallet biopsy from the IRS?
And followed up,
@chucktodd Will the IRS leave the Tea Party alone or is the witch hunt still on?
Whereupon he responded with an interesting twist on the story,
@VictoriaTaft I think this is an attempt to create LESS need for the IRS to scrutinize non-profits.
Todd tweeted this story by the Wall Street Journal which starts this way,
The Obama administration Tuesday proposed a crackdown on the widespread use of tax-exempt organizations for political campaigning, seeking to reduce the influential role that the secretive groups have played in recent elections. Here is the press release announcing the proposal.
TREASURY, IRS WILL ISSUE PROPOSED GUIDANCE FOR TAX-EXEMPT SOCIAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS
Initial Proposed Guidance Clarifies Qualification Requirements and Seeks Public Input
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today will issue initial guidance regarding qualification requirements for tax-exemption as a social welfare organization under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. This proposed guidance defines the term “candidate-related political activity,” and would amend current regulations by indicating that the promotion of social welfare does not include this type of activity. The proposed guidance also seeks initial comments on other aspects of the qualification requirements, including what proportion of a 501(c)(4) organization’s activities must promote social welfare.
In Chuck Todd’s MSNBC world a crackdown is ‘clarification.’ Clarity is always welcomed, of course, but Todd should revisit the story if this move results in less political speech. And let’s not forget why this came down in the first place: the Tea Party started organizing itself into politically potent groups, mimicking the left. When they began to have effect the feds crushed them. That’s why we have “clarity” today. Never forget that.