Nonprofit Groups and Partisan Politics

CQ Researcher

Is tighter regulation needed?

Critics contend nonprofits, which pay no income taxes, inappropriately or illegally influence voters in local, state and federal contests on behalf of wealthy corporate, labor union and individual donors. Many of the nonprofits are organized as “social welfare organizations,” which under federal tax law can funnel unlimited sums into political advertising from donors whose identities do not have to be disclosed…

But many non-profits defend their political activism as part of their constitutional right to free speech and as necessary to achieve their goals. Non-profits have long been involved in electoral politics “because it’s often impossible to advance a policy cause without being involved in the political process,” said Nan Aron, president of the advocacy group Alliance for Justice.

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nonprofit groups

Written by Christina L. Lyons, copyright 2014 CQ Press, an Imprint of SAGE Publications, Inc.