IRS mess adds to campaign finance free-for-all

by - May 14, 2013

In fact, there could be less oversight than ever before. “Even though the targeting appears to be a local problem of a career employee, it may cause the IRS to be even more timid enforcing the laws on election spending,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). (Also on POLITICO: Scandal politics sweep Capitol Hill) Targeting groups because of their politics is wrong, Whitehouse added, “but so is lying to the government to achieve phony tax status and hide the donors behind political attack ads.” Super PACs have a catchy name and get most of the attention, but 501(c)(4) control real — and more importantly, anonymous — money. According to OpenSecrets, they spent at least $250 million of dollars on political activities last cycle — and the real figure is likely much higher since they don’t have to disclose all their spending until years after the election.

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