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-By Sheelah Kolhatkar
August 31, 2012- On the final morning of the Republican National Convention, Karl Rove took the stage at the Tampa Club to provide an exclusive breakfast briefing to about 70 of the Republican Party’s highest-earning and most powerful donors. During the more than hour-long session, Rove explained to an audience dotted with hedge fund billionaires and investors—including John Paulson and Wilbur Ross—how his super PAC, American Crossroads, will persuade undecided voters in crucial swing states to vote against Barack Obama. He also detailed plans for Senate and House races, and joked, “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”
Then Rove pleaded with his audience for more money—much more.
-By Peter H. Stone
August 28, 2012- TAMPA, Fla. -- A shift of power from the official Republican party apparatus to an informal coalition of megadonors, super PACs and nonprofit advocacy groups is underway here, as a rising shadow party increasingly drives GOP politics.
Mel Sembler, a Florida shopping mall magnate and a key member of the Romney campaign's finance team, is planning to open his home Tuesday for a few hours to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future to let the group's leaders chat up potential donors on their plans, according to GOP fundraisers who requested anonymity to preserve their relationship with the groups.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon, top strategists for three powerhouse GOP allies -- the Karl Rove-founded Crossroads groups; billionaires Charles and David Koch, who founded Americans for Prosperity; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- are planning to huddle at a local hotel to coordinate efforts to spend tens of millions more on television ads and voter turnout, according to sources close to the groups, who were not authorized to speak on their behalf.
Huffingrton Post: Awash In Secret Donations, Republicans Reverse Support For Campaign Finance Disclosure
-By Paul Blumenthal
-By Ned Resnikoff
August 2, 2012- Fifty-seven percent of all super PAC donations in this election has come from a small circle of just 47 donors, says a new report by Demos. Those are the donors who have given over $1 million each; those who have given over $10,000 account for 94 percent of all Super PAC fundraising.
"[O]ur research shows that outside spending groups that aggregate unlimited contributions are distorting our democracy, functioning as megaphones for (sometimes unseen) millionaires and moguls," the report says. The authors, Adam Lioz and Blair Bowie, recommend a Constitutional amendment to allow limits on campaign contributions, among other proposed remedies.
-By Jason Easley
July 24, 2012- In his new report, America For Sale: A Report on Billionaires Buying the 2012 Election, Sen. Bernie Sanders named names and called out the billionaires who using Citizens United to buy our democracy.
In front of a Senate panel today, Sen. Bernie Sanders outed the 26 billionaires who are members of 23 billionaire families that are using Citizens United to buy elections. Sen. Sanders estimated that these 26 billionaires are the tip of the iceberg. “My guess is that number is really much greater because many of these contributions are made in secret. In other words, not content to own our economy, the 1 percent want to own our government as well.”
-By Eric W. Dolan
July 25, 2012- A third complaint has been filed with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Crossroads GPS, a group co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, has been unlawfully hiding its donors from the public by masquerading as a “social welfare” organization.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed the complaint on Tuesday, claiming the pro-Republican group failed to report TV ads it ran against three Democratic Senate candidates to the FEC.
“Crossroads GPS wants to have its cake and eat it too. Karl Rove’s secretive 501(c)(4) wants to run political ads without complying with the disclosure rules applicable to such ads,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “By disguising political ads as issue ads, Crossroads is trying to do an end run around the law.”
-By Dina Rasor
July 5, 2012- We interact with nonprofit organizations every day - little league, Girl Scouts, churches, League of Woman Voters, the PTA, the Rotary Club, volunteer firefighter organizations and veterans' service organizations. The US tax law set up two main types of nonprofit organizations to help the general society. The IRS describes them this way:
501(c)3 non profit organization - Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations.
501(c)4 non profit organization - Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations and Local Associations of Employees
C3 organizations do not have to pay tax on their income, and donors can take a charitable tax deduction. C3 organizations are not allowed to be involved in political campaigns, but can do limited lobbying for legislation that involves their mission.
-By Jason Leopold
July 5, 2012- Will the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launch an investigation into the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the corporate-backed "nonpartisan" "stealth business lobbyist" group that has been accused of flouting civil and criminal tax laws?
That's the obvious question to ask after a prominent Washington, DC-based tax attorney, acting at the behest of one of his clients, sent the IRS a 30-page complaint two weeks ago, following a months-long exhaustive study of ALEC's tax filings, expenditures and public reports about its political activities. The study contained dozens of new examples of how ALEC, whose board is made up entirely of Republican lawmakers, has violated its tax-exempt status.