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Tag Archive: 527s

Tempers flare as FEC postpones votes on contentious issues yet again

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In what might almost be dubbed a summer repeat of its last meeting, the Federal Election Commission sidestepped consideration of a pair of controversial issues while ruling on relatively minor ones.

Votes on whether non-federally regulated contributions (i.e. 'soft money') can be used by an organization affiliated with the Democratic Governors' Association (DGA) and what rules will govern the way FEC staff conduct investigations will be delayed until a future episode.

As previously reported by Sunlight, the DGA is seeking the FEC's approval of its plans to create a separate 527 organization, Jobs & Opportunity, that could raise funds ...

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Reporter’s notebook: How we came up with that campaign finance maze

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If it makes you all feel any better, campaign finance is hard for us too.

At the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group, we make a speciality of money in politics reporting, so when the dark money groups that we often cover burst into the headlines -- on reports that the Internal Revenue Service was denying the coveted tax exempt status to Tea Party groups -- we figured it was time to put what we know about the campaign finance ecosystem out there.

The process turned out to be revealing, if painful.

You can see the final product here. But we learned a lot ...

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Why does the IRS regulate political groups? A look at the complex world of campaign finance

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The controversy over the Internal Revenue Service's handling of applications for non-profit status from Tea Party groups has put a spotlight on a subject with which we at the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group are all too painfully familiar: The migraine-producing complexity of the nation's campaign finance system. To shed some light on the ongoing debate, we've decided to share what we know. As often is the case with systems worthy of Rube Goldberg, it's easier to draw than to describe.

Graphic by Jenn Cheng

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Bauer, Obama’s new ethics point man, had double standards on 527s

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At a May 3, 2000, press conference, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., announced that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had filed a lawsuit, prepared by its counsel, Robert F. Bauer, alleging that Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, was using a series of nonprofits and political committees (called section 527s, after the section of the tax code under which they're created) to circumvent campaign finance laws, extort money from donors, and evade disclosure. Kennedy and Bauer presented the charges, based for the most part on media reports about DeLay's fundraising tactics, as an unprecedented assault on campaign finance law ...

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North Carolina Businessman Pays for Campaign Ads

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In late July this year, two North Carolina state legislators and a pharmaceutical industry executive set up a political non-profit to run ads focusing on the present financial crisis ahead of the November election. The nonprofit has spent more than $600,000 to produce the ads, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Real Time has been following various ads using our new "Follow the 527s" widget, available on the right side of the site.

The nonprofit, RightChange.com, Inc., was set up by a pair Republican lawmakers, state Sen. Fletcher Hartsell ...

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