The whole IRS debacle has been allegedly about making sure overtly conservative organizations were really about “promoting social welfare,” instead of primarily pushing some conservative political agenda.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell ranted on his show that while he didn’t necessarily agree with the IRS’s singling out of “tea party” groups, the real fraud occurred over 50 years ago when the IRS changed its rules to allow a non-profit, tax-exempt organization to engage in political activity as long as it wasn’t “primarily” doing so.
He said that the tea party has only worked to undermine Obama and “progressives” at every turn and has actively worked against landmark legislation like Obamacare.
So these tea party organizations got what was coming to them, because “everybody knows” that they’re overtly political, operating under the guise of a non-profit status so they don’t have to pay taxes on the donations they receive.
I wonder if O’Donnell would be in favor of the IRS auditing Enroll America, a 501(c)(3) organization, whose goal is to get everybody enrolled under Obamacare. What’s more, the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been soliciting 7-figure donations from executives in the healthcare and drug industries. She’s been trying to get them to donate large sums of money to Enroll America, because Congress has denied her additional funding for the implementation of Obamacare.
Even more, look who’s heading up this non-profit organization Enroll America:
“The president of Enroll America, Anne Filipic, worked on Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign, became an aide to Ms. Sebelius, was later deputy executive director of the Democratic National Committee and then worked in the Obama White House as deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement.”
And here’s the punch line:
“But a former Obama administration official, who spends time raising money for Enroll America, said its work was ‘not political.’”
The outrageous thing is that this is not a joke. Sebelius gets around any allegation of illegal fundraising by saying she’s only trying to raise money as a “private citizen” outside her official capacity as HHS Secretary.
Federal regulations allow for this kind of fundraising as long as “you do not solicit funds from a subordinate or from someone who has or seeks business with the Department, and you do not use your official title.”
Writing for the Weekly Standard, Jeffrey Anderson points out the absolute idiocy of this setup:
“The notion that Sebelius is fundraising as a private citizen, when her fundraising is plainly aimed at supporting the legislation she’s charged with implementing as a cabinet secretary, seems laughable. It’s not as if Sebelius is asking people to buy a few boxes of her granddaughter’s Girl Scout cookies. In addition, she is clearly soliciting funds from those who seek to do business with her department. Worse, she’s asking for donations from entities whose actions she’ll be regulating.”
I’m just waiting for MSNBC to hop on this and express their disdain at the notion of a 501(c)(3) organization so actively involved in politics and working so closely with Sebelius to raise millions of dollars to get everybody signed up under the (un)Affordable Care Act, all under the guise of a non-profit organization who doesn’t have to pay taxes on the donations they receive, because they’re “promoting social welfare.” There’s nothing political here at all.