Dark Money 501c

As we have repeatedly documented, corporations are using tax-exempt “social welfare” groups – known under the tax code as 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) organizations – as conduits to secretly influence our political system without any accountability.

Under current law, engaging in political activity cannot be the primary purpose of these groups, which is generally assumed to involve spending less than 50 percent of their budgets.

These organizations should still be permitted to engage in lobbying, education, and grassroots activity, but it’s high time to draw a clear line between political and policy-related activities. If organizations or their funders want to participate in political activity, they should do so out in the open through bona fide political entities that are required to disclose their donors and expenditures.

We track down the latest tax returns for some of the most notorious dark money groups.

Here's how CREW is combating the dark money in our system:

Blog: CPAC Organizer’s Conduit Contribution Demonstrates Challenge of Stopping Dead End Disclosure

Legal: CREW Requests FEC and DOJ Investigate American Conservative Union’s Illegal Conduit Contribution

Blog: FEC Commissioner Goodman Got It Wrong:  CREW Seeks to Close Loophole, Not Censor Internet

Blog: Republican AG Group Bails Out Super PAC That Targeted Tancredo

Blog: Freedom Partners Quietly Reveals Spending $22 Million in the Final Two Months of 2013

Blog: CREW Urges FEC to Strengthen Disclosure and Circumvention Regulations

Legal: CREW to FEC: Comments on Addressing Corruption and Deficiencies in Disclosure

Blog: Dead End Disclosure in the Laboratories of Democracy

Blog: Businesses in League with Dead End Disclosure

Blog: Single-Candidate Dead End Disclosure

Blog: Dead End Disclosure 2014: The Dark End of the Street

Blog: CREW Series: Dead End Disclosure in the 2014 Elections

Blog: Dr. Evil Meets the Kochtopus: Americans for Prosperity Now Supporting Berman Group

Legal: CREW Files IRS Complaint Against the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition

Blog: Crossroads GPS and Kentucky Opportunity Coalition Have, Word for Word, the Same Mission

Blog: CREW Analysis: The Role of Money in the 2014 Elections

Blog: AUDIO: Dr. Evil Tells Oil and Gas Industry to Use ‘Fear and Anger’ in Fracking Fight

Blog: Shape-Shifting Nonprofit Is Major Funder of a Run-and-Gun Super PAC

Blog: Budget Document: New Cheney Group Plans To Spend $400,000 on Issue Advocacy in 2014

Blog: Freedom Partners Makes Things Even More Complicated

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