Why is Republican chairman Darrell Issa wasting millions of dollars on 16 hearings trying to prove that the IRS targeted the tea party at the behest of the White House?
Supposedly, 501(c)(4) status exists for groups involved in charitable or social welfare efforts. They are allowed to endorse but not field a candidate, and political activity must not be their primary purpose. They are allowed to do some lobbying or help register voters and promote issues only. The kicker is, they are able to receive unlimited donations, and their donors remain anonymous. Issa does not want to lose that.
In 2010 the Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United Decision changed 501(c)(4) from being simply about social welfare.
Political groups rushed to opt for the freedom of 501(c)4s where with a little evasion and equivocation they might simply self-proclaim their new status and hide limitless contributions.
IRS agents, having to administer this nightmare of where to draw the line on "primary purpose," stupidly sorted out both conservative and progressive political groups to handle the rush.
Perhaps Issa holds endless bully hearings to distract us from suggesting his tea party should lose their status and reveal their Koch brother backing.
Sherrie Goff, Pocatello