CHGO: Hit and Run
HOW ONE SUPPOSED NON-PROFIT SPENT MILLIONS ON CAMPAIGN ADS, BROKE THE LAW, THEN DISAPPEARED
No group better illustrates the disastrous unintended consequences of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision than the Commission on Hope, Growth, and Opportunity (CHGO), which over the course of a few months in 2010 launched a multimillion-dollar assault on a dozen Democratic candidates. In its short lifetime, CHGO failed to report a dime of its political spending to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), falsely told the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) it didn’t do any political spending at all, violated its tax-exempt status, and failed to register as a political committee, which would have required it to disclose the names of its donors. Faced with multiple FEC and IRS complaints, the group went out of business, leaving the public and regulators with no one to hold accountable.