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Hotline's Latest Edition / DCCC

Watch Your Back, Freedom's

April 29, 2008

The DCCC is filing a complaint today with the IRS, "challenging the conservative" Freedom's Watch status as a non-profit. The cmte said Freedom's Watch has "violated its non-profit status by running attack ads" in LA-06 targeting state Rep. Don Cazayoux (D). DCCC exec. dir. Brian Wolff: "Freedom's Watch is trying to avoid paying taxes by claiming to be tax exempt, while running campaign ads that benefit a Republican candidate and the NRCC. Freedom’s Watch illegal activity is quickly adding to Tom Cole and the NRCC's many problems."

In a letter to the IRS, Wolff asked the agency to "reclassify" Freedom's Watch as a 527 org and to "penalize" it for "improperly claiming non-profit status. 501(c)4s and other non-profits don't have to publicly disclose their donors, while 527s "must report them" to the IRS, which becomes public info.

More Wolff, from the letter: "Freedom's Watch has deliberately chosen to organize under section 501(c)(4) instead of section 527 so that it may hide its donors from public scrutiny. By operating as a section 527 organization, however, it has willfully and flagrantly violated the registration and reporting requirements required of political organizations. Thus, it should be subject to the statutory penalty, which is thirty-five percent of each contribution not disclosed, and thirty-five percent of each expenditure not disclosed" (Bresnahan, Politico's "Crpyt" blog, 4/29).

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