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Dems Want IRS to Target More Groups

Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 01:26 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Several incumbent Democratic senators are urging the Internal Revenue Service to more aggressively go after outside nonprofit groups that are pouring money into attack ads in their races.

One of the groups they are targeting is Americans for Prosperity, funded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, which has spent nearly $30 million on campaign ads to defeat Democrats in November, reports The Hill.

Editor's Note: Govt Prohibited From Helping Seniors (Shocking)

"That whole 501©(3), 501©(4) [issue], those are IRS numbers. It is inherently an internal revenue matter," Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, considered to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats, told the publication.

"There are two things you don't want in political money, in the fundraising world and expenditure world. You don't want secret money, and you don't want unlimited money, and that's what we have now," he said.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, who could face a challenge from Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., agreed. Asked if the IRS should play a more active role in policing these groups, she replied, "Absolutely."

"As taxpayers, we should not be providing a write-off to groups to do political activity, and that's exactly what we're doing," Shaheen added.

And Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, who faces a tough race, told the publication, "If they're claiming the tax relief, the tax benefit to be a nonprofit for social relief or social justice, then that's what they should be doing. If it's to give them cover so they can do political activity, that's abusing the tax code."

AFP has already launched campaigns targeting Pryor and Shaheen as well as Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

The Koch group's spending far exceeds the $7.6 million-plus spent so far by all Senate Democratic groups combined in the competitive races, reports Politico, citing media trackers.

And it could break previous records. In 2008, when Hagan won her first race against incumbent GOP Sen. Elizabeth Dole, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent $12 million to help her campaign, the most of any outside group in the past dozen years, according to Politico.

But the Treasury Department has proposed new rules that would categorize running ads that name candidates as political activities, and set a limit on what percentage of groups' activities could be defined as candidate-related political activity.

Still, the IRS continues to face scrutiny after revelations last year that it had targeted conservative groups applying for tax exempt status, and the Senate Finance Committee is investigating whether agency officials acted with improper political motivations.

Editor's Note: Govt Prohibited From Helping Seniors (Shocking)

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