The problems with 501 (c) (4)s

Regular readers of this blog know that I've been like a dog with a bone about the threat to the social economy and charitable organizations inherent in the Citizens United decision. I've written about it, held charrettes on it, spoken about it, and - at least in part - changed my career because of it.

The news about the IRS's activities regarding politically conservative social welfare organizations is both a surprise and, upon reflection, almost completely predictable. Intentional or stupid, witch hunt or botched effort at streamlining an impossible task - the IRS doesn't have the tools it needs to oversee 501 c 4s. We the people have written and approved rules that allow these organizations to:

There may be problems with the IRS. There are definitely problems with the 501 (c) (4) organizational structure and oversight mechanism in today's world of campaign finance.

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