ALEC is currently under fire for potentially abusing its 501(c)(3) non-profit IRS charity tax status, acting as a shadow lobbying apparatus and "corporate bill mill" throughout its 40 years of existence.
A new group has formed to get money out of politics. But unlike typical "good government" groups, this new nonprofit is connected to a Republican lawyer with a case before the U.S. Supreme Court next month.
The IRS does not belong in the business of evaluating political conduct, nor did Congress ever intend to award political organizations with a tax-exemption reserved for groups "operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare."
The IRS is seriously and dangerously broken. This is not only unfair to the many dedicated public servants at the IRS; it's unfair to all of us. Get to the truth. Arbitrarily punishing the IRS isn't going to help any more than blindly defending the agency.
Quick as a flash, the Tea Party became the Alcoholics Anonymous of political donors, and it still is. That's what this IRS scandal is really all about: keeping political donors names a secret by using 501(c)(4) entities to make sure that the donations are written in invisible ink.
I wholeheartedly agree that no group or individual should be persecuted by the IRS for their beliefs. But there is a much larger issue here and we should take a step back to see why this might have occurred.
Nonprofits are rightly concerned that the partisan coverage of this issue will confuse the public and leave the wrong impression that charitable organizations are engaging in political activity. We can't allow these impressions to stand.