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IRS takes aim at $300 million campaign influence industry

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Updated: 11/26; 6 p.m.

Tuesday's surprise announcement that the Internal Revenue Service intends to take aim at campaign spending by so-called social welfare non-profits could substantially alter the political landscape  -- if the tax agency's proposed new regulations eventually take effect. That's a big if given the lengthy and, given the stakes involved, highly contentious path ahead.

Outside groups organized as non-profits poured at least $305 million into the 2012 elections, according to Federal Election Commission figures compiled by the Sunlight Foundation. Those figures likely represent the tip of the dark money iceberg as the groups ...

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