More pay for them, higher taxes for you. That’s what career politicians do. Career politicians like Bill Brady, Dan Rutherford and Kirk Dillard. Together, they’ve spent over 60 years in Springfield. They voted to increase their own pay and supported millions in pork barrel spending. And to pay for it all, they stuck Illinois families with higher taxes. Call career politicians Brady, Rutherford and Dillard. Tell them we can’t afford high taxes and wasteful spending.
* Well, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed a complaint with the IRS about Mid-America Fund and nine other “dark money” groups. From its summary…
[Mid-America Fund] acknowledged on its 2014 tax return that it spent $874,920 on political activity that year. MAF also spent hundreds of thousands of additional dollars on television and radio advertisements attacking three candidates for the Illinois Republican gubernatorial nomination weeks before the primary election. Those ads also were political, but MAF failed to report the spending as political activity. It is not clear exactly how much MAF spent on them, but estimates range from $244,600 to $705,000, which means political expenditures accounted for between 56% and 79% of MAF’s overall spending in 2014. As a result, politics appears to have been MAF’s primary activity. In addition, by failing to report its spending on the Illinois primary election as political activity, it appears MAF and its president, Dexter Vaughn, made false representations to the IRS. […]
It is unclear exactly how much MAF spent on the campaign, but the organization asserted on its tax return that it spent $705,000 for “production and media” to the company that purchased the broadcast television air time for the Illinois ads.
These groups can’t “primarily” be involved in campaign work, so if they spend more than half of their money on politics they can lose their not-for-profit status. Also, allegedly deceiving the IRS is kinda frowned upon. Mid-America Fund was dissolved in 2016, according to CREW.
* If you read the complaint, CREW acknowledges that these ads might be seen as non-political, but dismisses that contention by pointing to an IRS revenue ruling which takes into consideration a number of factors, including whether candidates are identified, whether the message approves or disapproves of the candidate, the proximity to the election, whether it makes reference to voting or an election, whether the issue distinguishes the candidates, whether it’s an ongoing series of communications, etc. It concludes…
(T)he ads were not issue ads, but were intended to effect the election.
Including the Illinois ads push Mid-America Fund’s campaign percentage to at least 56 percent of its 2014 total, up to as much as 79 percent, according to CREW.
* This was an Ohio group, by the way. Another Ohio group, Jobs and Progress Fund, was also hit with a CREW complaint…
JPF first made a name for itself in politics in early 2013 when it ran ads and sent mailers critical of then-Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), who was believed to be considering a run for Illinois governor
- Name/Nickname/Anon - Wednesday, Jun 15, 16 @ 2:17 pm:
==Also, just so you know, CREW has been slammed for focusing their attacks and complaints on Republican interests.==
This slam comes from a conservative front group that fits the mold of the kind of group C.R.E.W. goes after. The fact that both sides are present doesn’t mean both sides are equally guilty. That kind of false equivalency is dangerous to holding people accountable.
“CREW acknowledges that these ads might be seen as non-political,”
WUT? In what alternate universe is an ad that targets three sitting politicians in the run-up to a primary NOT political?
- hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jun 15, 16 @ 3:22 pm:
Meanwhile, House Republicans are censuring the IRS director (after earlier pushing impeachment) for the organization’s past feeble attempts to crack down on this sort of stuff so these groups will never be punished for breaking the law.
In what universe do these big money donors think that lack of transparency is a good thing?
if you really believe you are advocating for good candidates, for good policies, put your name on those donations and let the public see who is paying for these ads
Secrecy does not help. Candidates who accept un-named money and phantom contributions are just as responsible. Candidates who believe what they say should tell their supporters to disclose and publish.