Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Campaign finance zealots and free speech regulators have sought to stifle the freedom of conservative organizations, such as the Tea Party, by falsely claiming they are “political” while giving a pass to leftist groups that still enjoy unimpaired 501(c) IRS tax-exempt status. As the IRS attacked Tea Party groups, it left hundreds of leftist activist groups alone. A quick review of just eight of those leftist, tax-exempt activist groups demonstrates the IRS's hypocrisy.Americans United for ChangeAmericans United for Change enjoys 501(c)4 tax-exempt status. The organization exists, according to its own website, “to amplify the progressive message--to contribute to a grass roots groundswell for progressive policies. Progressives need to redefine ‘common sense’--by reasserting the primacy of the traditional progressive values that resonate with most Americans.”The group spent $4.7 million in 2009 “redefining” common sense and, according to their IRS form 990, on “advocacy and education about public policy issues.” Americans United for Change directly engaged Republican senators facing reelection in 2008, running television advertisements against them. Naturally, no Democrat complained. Nor did the IRS revoke its 501(c) status.Ruckus SocietyThe Ruckus Society (photo above) is part of the Occupy Movement--and donations to this 501(c)3 organization are tax deductible. The George Soros-funded organization’s purpose reads like a parody of the modern Left.The Ruckus Society provides environmental, human rights, and social justice organizers with the tools, training, and support needed to achieve their goals through the strategic use of creative, nonviolent direct action.Ruckus also evidently organizes criminal trespass:
The Brass Liberation Orchestra accompanied a second round of the “I Will Survive…Capitalism” flashmob before leading the crowd of over 1,000 people onto the Bank of America, and deployed a giant balloon banner with our friends at [Rainforest Action Network] reading “Defend Human Dignity: Challenge Corporate Power”...The day of course culminated in the truly mass marches to the Port of Oakland to shut down all operations at the Ports for the night. Some reports say 50,000 people marched and danced the three miles to the ports from Camp, and it was truly an unforgettable experience, marching in a sea of thousands at sunset.
None of this seems to attract any IRS attention. Ruckus's 2011 IRS Form 990 indicates that it has maintained undisturbed 501(c)3 status. The form states Ruckus “provides environmental, human rights, and social justice organizers with the tools, training and support needed to achieve their goals.”The Ruckus training offers the manual “Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution” and provides suggestions for direct action such as “take over intersections and use for community activities,” give “fake parking tickets on SUV’s,” “Occupy Bank Foreclosed Homes,” and “rip out rancher’s fences” to free livestock.Planning illegal acts is incompatible with 501(c)3 status. Ruckus is run by Megan Swoboda.
Just a few of the hundreds of Leftist activist groups that enjoy tax exempt status (I'm looking at you, Tides Foundation, Ford Foundation, etc.)
Women’s Action for New Directions
New World Foundation
Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Brennan Center for Justice