In 2013, Tea Party activists claimed that they'd been singled out by the IRS for political reasons, and that's why their associated nonprofits were not being approved by the tax agency. In reality, a longrunning investigation found that the IRS was merely incompetent and understaffed, but the Tea Party's tactic of going after the referee rather than the system worked for them: the result was an IRS that has had its resources cut even further, leaving it less -- nor more -- able to evaluate charitable organizations that apply for tax-exempt status.
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The Citizens United ruling says that organizations like the NRA can spend as much as they want to support political candidates, provided that they don't coordinate with the campaign, which means that it's just a happy coincidence that the day after Donald Trump called on gun enthusiasts to assassinate Hillary Clinton and federal judges, the NRA announced that it would spend $3M on the most-expensive-to-date pro-Trump ad, which would focus on Hillary Clinton's alleged plan to "leave you defenseless" by taking away your guns. Read the rest
Nicko from the Sunlight Foundation sez, "The Sunlight Foundation is celebrating five years of the Political Party Time site with a look at where and when U.S. politicians fundraise the most. The review of nearly 18,000 invites in the Party Time database found that the most fundraisers, about 76 percent, happen within just three blocks of the U.S. Capitol. Restaurants, social clubs and private residences close to the Hill are frequented over and over by members of both parties. Additionally, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the most popular days for fundraisers with happy hour or dinner events the preferred time of day. Below is an interactive map that details where in D.C. and across the U.S. politicians, mostly Congress, are raising money for their campaigns and PACs." Read the rest
A detailed analysis on Maplight of the voting in last week's vote on de-funding NSA dragnet spying found that the Congresscritters who voted in favor of more NSA spying received more than double the defense industry campaign contributions of their anti-NSA-voting rivals. They were the winners in the industry's $13M donation bonanza leading up to the 2012 elections.
The remarkable thing is how cheaply these empty suits sold out their vow to uphold the Constitution. On average, the pro-spying side got $41,635, while the anti- averaged $18,765 -- a difference of $22,870. Read the rest