Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thanks to Congressional Inaction, Seeking Clarity From the IRS Is No Joke

My op-ed in Roll Call is here.

Here is an excerpt:
A few months ago, the Internal Revenue Service was accused of improperly targeting conservative nonprofit organizations for special scrutiny. Whoops. Now the IRS and the Treasury Department have proposed new rules to curb the political influence of one type of nonprofit organization.
This is a significant step towards increasing transparency in politics. So-called “dark money” flows freely throughout our political system. Outside groups with innocuous sounding names raise and spend unlimited sums, much of it undisclosed, to influence voters.
This system of secrecy significantly hinders voters’ ability to evaluate the credibility of speech aimed at influencing their ballot box decisions. Knowing the source of the spending is arguably the most important piece of information that a voter can receive. A group called “America Now” does not convey anything useful. However, the knowledge that America Now is funded by Monsanto, General Electric, Sheldon Adelson or George Soros would provide voters with helpful information. 

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