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:
- self declare tax exempt status
- keep their donors anonymous
- participate in campaign politics to an unspecified (and, therefore, difficult to police) degree