Oh the irony that a group called Americans for Tax Reform appears to have violated tax law! Suffice to say this group’s tax-exempt status should be immediately reconsidered. And Grover Norquist should go the way of Al Capone.
From the CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) Website:Washington, D.C. — Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Tax Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and its president, Grover Norquist.http://www.citizensforethics.org/…
CREW’s complaint alleges ATR and Mr. Norquist violated federal law by deliberately providing false information to the IRS when ATR filed its 2012 Tax Form 990. ATR misreported to the IRS the amount it spent producing and broadcasting advertisements opposing the election of Democratic candidates for Congress. In its reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), ATR reported spending $15,794,582 on political ads, but told the IRS it spent only $9,791,515 on its 2012 campaign activity, a disparity of $6,003,067.
ATR spent a total of almost $30.9 million in 2012, meaning more than half of the spending it reported to the FEC for the year was on politics, a clear violation of its tax-exempt status.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “ATR’s own IRS and FEC filings provide incontrovertible evidence that ATR is breaking the law. If Al Capone could be nailed for tax violations, so can Grover Norquist.”
A few months ago, the non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) among the “Worst Governors in America” claiming he “turned Pennsylvania’s state government into a favor mill for campaign supporters.” This week, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Corbett has appointed one such supporter — Tea Party operative Ana Puig to be legislative liaison for his Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.
Puig first rose to political prominence after President Obama’s inauguration as an activist in the Tea Party movement. Speaking at numerous rallies, she became co-chair of and registered lobbyist for a local group called the Kitchen Table Patriots. At a 2009 rally, she argued that Obama was a Communist, in the mold of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Citing her own experience, as a native of Brazil, she warned of the “direct correlation between what’s happening in the United States and what has happened in Brazil and Latin America — the implementation of 21st Century Marxism. In other words, a camouflaged statement for Communism.” She went on to claim that “21st Century Marxism” would be implemented after “a liberal or progressive candidate [like Obama] is introduced to the masses as the messiah that is going to fix all problems imposed to them by evil capitalists.”
According to Keystone Politics, she defended Nazi memorabilia enthusiast in her organization as “a historian” and “an extremely smart person,” featured a blog promoting birther conspiracy theories and identifying the president as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood on her group’s website, and promoted events warning of the creeping threat of Sharia law in the United States. She was later named Pennsylvania Field Coordinator for FreedomWorks, the right-wing astroturfing group then-run nationally by former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX).
Despite her record of extreme statements, Corbett named her to his 2010 gubernatorial transition team. When critics noted that she had agreed with comments that American liberals are “in alliance with radical Islam,” and called for her removal from his education committee, Corbett stood by Puig and praised her advocacy for home schooling.
But as of August 12, the longtime anti-tax activist is earning a government salary of $68,245 annually for Pennsylvania’s tax collection agency. Puig, declined to discuss the irony, telling the Inquirer “after four years, I’m tired of media attention.”
WASHINGTON — A former congressional candidate is taking the Internal Revenue Service to court for its failure to enforce its laws governing political activity by nonprofits organized under the social welfare section of the tax code.
Dr. David Gill, the 2012 Democratic candidate in Illinois’ 13th district, and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) are suing the IRS for allowing the “dark money” nonprofit American Action Network to spend $2.6 million against Gill while enjoying tax exemption and donor anonymity.
Gill and CREW have alleged that the IRS improperly interpreted tax law when it promulgated regulations for social welfare nonprofits, stating that they must be “primarily” focused on social welfare. In contrast, the federal statute states that these nonprofits must be “exclusively” focused on social welfare.
This interpretation has been highly controversial ever since the 2010 Citizen United decision allowed corporations — including nonprofit corporations — and unions to spend freely on elections. Since then, social welfare nonprofits have become a huge force in federal elections, with spending exceeding $300 million in the 2012 campaign.
"It is offensive that the IRS turns a blind eye to reality and allows partisan political groups to seek refuge in a provision of the IRS code that is meant to govern organizations such as volunteer firefighter companies and homeowner organizations," Dr. Gill said.
The IRS told HuffPost that they do not have a comment and typically don’t comment on pending litigation.
Dr. Gill said he believes that his razor-thin defeat on Nov. 6, 2012, was due to misinformation about his support for Medicare spread by American Action Network’s ads. One ad stated that Gill’s support for single-payer health care meant that he wanted to eliminate Medicare.
"As I went around the district, I was told that people who were going to vote for me changed their minds to save Medicare," Gill said.
Gill lost by just 1,002 votes to Republican Rodney Davis. The Davis and Gill campaigns combined to spend $2.7 million on the entire election, just $100,000 more than the spending by American Action Network. The only group spending more than American Action Network on the race was the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which spent nearly $2.9 million on the race.
Mitt and Ann Romney may have earned between $15 million and $115 million from the auto bailout, but failing to report the windfall in his federal Candidate Disclosure Form may very well be a violation of the law.
Last week a formal complaint was filed with the Federal Office of Government Ethics by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the United Auto Workers (UAW), along with other labor and nonpartisan watchdog groups.
In short, the allegations concern Delphi, a former General Motors subsidiary whose auto parts remain essential to GM’s production lines.
Back in 2009, Ann Romney partnered with Paul Singer to secretly purchase controlling interest in Delphi. [Bear in mind that billionaire Singer is one of Mitt Romney’s key campaign donors.] Elliot Management, Singer’s hedge fund, then threatened to cut off GM’s supply of steering columns and other key auto components unless GM, along with the government’s TARP auto bail-out fund provided them with large payments. The United States Treasury complained that this was “extortion”, but Delphi ultimately received $12.9 billion in taxpayer generated subsidies as no bailout of the auto industry could have worked without saving Delphi. Singer’s group then eliminated every UAW job in the company and then moved nearly its entire production operation to China and Mexico where Delphi now employes 25,000 auto parts workers at the expense of about that same number of jobs in the USA. [These allegations are particularly noteworthy considering the lies spread and later debunked by the auto industry itself, Detroit media the campaign misquoted, the Obama campaign and Pres. Bill Clinton. See Romney Called Out By Auto Industry, the Obama Campaign and Bill Clinton for Lying]
The resulting windfall for the Romneys means that shares Ann purchased for 67 cents are now worth over $30 for a 4 thousand percent gain earning the Romneys tens of millions of dollars. Additionally, one cannot forget billionaire Paul Singer who was identified by Forbes as one of Romney’s key campaign donors, Singer has given more than $1 million to the Romney SuperPAC known as Restore Our Future.
The UAW complaint calls for Romney to reveal exactly how much he made off Delphi — and continues to make.
At a press conference last week in Toledo, Bob King, President of the United Automobile Workers, announced that his union and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have filed a formal complaint with the US Office of Government Ethics in Washington stating that Gov. Romney improperly hid a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney’s so-called “blind” trust.
Watchdog: Karl Rove And His Crossroads GPS Broke Election Law By Failing To Disclose Donors | ThinkProgress
The non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed complaints Thursday with both the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alleging that Karl Rove and his secretive Crossroads GPS violated election law and may have engaged in a criminal conspiracy to do so.
Under campaign finance law and FEC regulations, 501(c)(4) groups, like Crossroads GPS, can raise unlimited funds from wealthy individuals and corporations without having to disclose their donors. The only time donors to these secretive groups must be disclosed is when donors give more than $200 explicitly “for the purpose of furthering an independent expenditure.”CREW also notes that, in a 2011 letter to the FEC, Crossroads GPS said that it “understands the applicable reporting regulations” and that, should it receive “any contributions that are required to be reported,” it would do so as required. Given this, CREW argues, the violations “were deliberate” and “are subject to criminal as well as civil penalties.”Crossroads GPS may also be in hot water for its apparent failure to register as a charity in Virginia, as required by law.