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The source for the following article is from the presentation Lobbying and Candidate Electioneering: Overview by finance consultant Terry Miller at the American Institute of CPAs 2012 Not-for-Profit Industry Conference.
Association lobbying has forever changed due to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (see opposite page) and also the Supreme Court decision of Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission in 2010.
Citizens United affirmed the personhood and free speech rights of corporations, and abolished the constitutionality of most limits of the Federal Election Campaign Act.
The decision also gave rise to the independent expenditure or “I.E. only” federal PAC and the “re-rise” of 501(c)(4,5,6) lobbying. Associations (c4,6) and unions (c5) organizations are nearly always organized as corporations, which under FECA had been banned from contributing to candidates.
The decision caused a new breed of (c)(4)/527 groups. Examples of this are groups created by former Bush adviser Karl Rove – “Crossroads GPS” (c)(4) and “American Crossroads” (527; IE PAC). On the Democratic side, there are “Priorities USA” (c)(4) and “Priorities USA Action” (527; I.E. PAC).
Organizations such as the US Chamber also have risen to become a player. Under Citizens United, it is now permissible for business corporations to give assessments to the Chamber without being identified. The Chamber, as a corporation, can make independent expenditures, or fund an I.E.-only PAC, in unlimited amounts, which are not deductible to the corporations.
Congressional critics of Citizen United attempted to reinstate some of what the decision undid. There was the DISCLOSE Act, which would have forced Independent Expenditure campaigns to disclose the underlying donors. The DISCLOSE Act failed. Also, the IRS could aggressively pursue:
• a gift tax on 501(c)(4,5,6) gifts, and
• a proxy tax on business assessments used for electioneering.
Details: Terry Miller, 414-333-6320 or email@example.com.