Politics & Policy

Dick Durbin Turns On His Inner McCarthy

Jumping on the bandwagon, Dick Durbin is terrified that somewhere, someone might be spending money to defeat Democrats, and wants the IRS to look into it:

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called on the Internal Revenue Service Tuesday to investigate the tax status of Crossroads Grassroots Political Strategies and “other organizations that are directing millions of dollars into political advertising without disclosing their funding sources.”

The request from the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat comes in the midst of a push from the White House to cast doubt on the funding sources of groups like Crossroads GPS — founded by GOP strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie — or the traditionally Republican-friendly Chamber of Commerce.

Crossroads GPS “has spent nearly $20 million on television advertising specific to Senate campaigns this year. If this political activity is indeed the primary activity of the organization, it raises serious questions about the organization’s compliance with the Internal Revenue Code,” Durbin wrote.

Crossroads GPS was established in June 2010 under Section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code, which gives it a designation as a nonprofit “social welfare” organization, which gives it tax-exempt status without a requirement to disclose the sources of its funding.

American Crossroads, a 527 group affiliated with Crossroads GPS, must disclose its revenue sources, even though it also is allowed to raise funds freely and direct advocacy.

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