Campaign Finance Hounds Target Conservative Groups
Two campaign finance nonprofits — Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center — which have long been cheerleaders for eliminating the private funding of campaigns, have asked the IRS to investigate American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, 501(c)(4) organizations co-founded by Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie. The groups allege that the Crossroads organizations are illegally keeping their donor lists private while spending millions on races.
In a letter to the IRS, the groups said Crossroads GPS and its sister group American Crossroads is using its tax-exempt status to improperly keep its donor list private.
“In our view, Crossroads GPS is a classic example of a 501(c)(4) organization that is impermissibly using its tax status to spend tens of millions of dollars in the 2010 congressional races while hiding the donors funding these expenditures from the American people,” Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer said. “The IRS cannot sit idly by and ignore what is going on without enormous damaging consequences to the interests of the American people and to the integrity and credibility of the tax laws.”
Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio defended the groups and hit Democracy 21 and the CLC for hypocrisy:
“Crossroads GPS carefully follows all laws governing 501c-4 organizations,” he said. “This is a baseless complaint, filed by a partisan group that files baseless complaints for its living. Liberal groups spent more than $400 million in undisclosed campaign money in 2008 alone, with nary a peep from liberal lobbyist Fred Wertheimer or any of his groups.”