Shape-Shifting by Liberal Dark Money Groups Seems Meant to Confuse

Robert Maguire and Viveca Novak

IRS employees who sent overly detailed questionaires to some groups applying for tax-exempt status in recent years used words like “tea party” and “patriot” to try to filter out those that planned to be heavily involved in politics (a big no-no).

As it turns out, not only was that improper; it’s not even very effective. For instance, two liberal groups that have faded in and out of the political scene mysteriously and repeatedly over several years bear names that few would associate, at first glance, with progressive causes: Citizens for Strength and Security, and Patriot Majority.

As we’ve laid out in our Shadow Money Trail stories over more than a year, tax-exempt 501(c)(4)s are hard to track: They don’t have to disclose their donors, they don’t have to file tax forms until nearly a year after the close of their fiscal years, and those tax forms require very little detailed information.It’s far worse when the paper trail is full of dead ends — by design…

…Nonprofit experts contacted by OpenSecrets Blog could not think of a practical motivation for their actions. “It?s hard to tell what is going on here,” said Marcus Owens, former head of the Internal Revenue Service’s Exempt Organizations division, “but starting and terminating organizations makes it more difficult for the IRS to identify who did what when.”  …
The complete article, with graphics, is at

Comments are closed.