Rove: IRS Rule Change Aimed at Gagging Conservatives

Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 08:27 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Republican political strategist Karl Rove accused the Obama administration of "hypocrisy" Wednesday, charging that a proposed change in IRS rules regarding nonprofit organizations is aimed at gagging conservative activists.

"This is clearly an attempt by the administration to discourage conservative groups," the former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush said on "Fox & Friends."

"I think it's hypocrisy," he said.

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The change in rules governing 501(c)(4) organizations proposed by the IRS and the Treasury Department seeks to prohibit these groups from "candidate-related political activity."

Rove said Democratic and liberal groups had used the rule for decades, and it was only when conservative groups began to make use of it that the administration looked to make the change.

"It didn't matter for decades when these groups, the 501(c)(4)s that were involved in politics, were primarily Democrat groups. It's when conservatives began to mimic what Democrats and liberals were doing that it finally became a concern to the Democrats," said Rove, who is also a Fox News contributor.

Rove heads the 501(c)(4) super-PAC Crossroads GPS, which raises millions of dollars to promote conservative positions on issues ranging from healthcare to taxes and spending. Currently, there are specific limits on what percentage of funds can be used by 501(c)(4) organizations for social welfare and political activity.

"The goal is to spend 60 percent or more on social welfare, and no more than 40 percent on politics. There are clear sets of rules in place right now," he said.

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