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ETHICS: 527s, The New Soft Money

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posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 11:15 PM
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This year’s election is featuring 527s in a big way. 527s are so named based on the section of the tax code they fall under. These organizations are a form of Political Action Committee. Both the Democrats and Republicans are abusing their respective 527s to sling mud at each other and avoid the real issues of the campaign.

 

527s are organizations named for the tax code they fall under. One definition of a 527 is


A political organization under the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 527) is defined as a party, committee, association, fund, or other organization (whether or not incorporated) organized and operated primarily for the purpose of directly or indirectly accepting contributions or making expenditures, or both, for an exempt function. Id. The "exempt function" of a "political organization" is defined as "influencing or attempting to influence the selection, nomination, election or appointment of an individual to a federal, state, or local public office or office in a political organization. . . ." § 527(e)(2).


Another definition of a 527 from Better Campaigns.org


Political committees formed for the purpose of influencing elections but not supporting or opposing specific candidates.


The definition from Find Law, which is a direct quote from the tax law.


(1) Political organization
The term ''political organization'' means a party, committee,
association, fund, or other organization (whether or not
incorporated) organized and operated primarily for the purpose of
directly or indirectly accepting contributions or making
expenditures, or both, for an exempt function.
(2) Exempt function
The term ''exempt function'' means the function of influencing
or attempting to influence the selection, nomination, election,
or appointment of any individual to any Federal, State, or local
public office or office in a political organization, or the
election of Presidential or Vice-Presidential electors, whether
or not such individual or electors are selected, nominated,
elected, or appointed. Such term includes the making of
expenditures relating to an office described in the preceding
sentence which, if incurred by the individual, would be allowable
as a deduction under section 162(a).


It seems many different sources have many different interpretations of what the purpose of a 527 is. It is my opinion that 527s should be used to address the issues that make up a candidates platform, and advance that platform. The advertisement funded by these organizations should stick to the issues and avoid the mud slinging.

What is a 527 Organization
The Brookings Institute


[edit on 8/26/2004 by phreak_of_nature]




posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 06:55 AM
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While both sides may be using them, their are a couple of facts to consider. One fact is that 87% of the 527 money is used by the Democrats (Go figure, when people like the Hollywood elite rich socialists and George Soros fund the liberal agenda). Another point to ponder is while the Dems scream for Bush to denounce the Swift Boart Vets, they do nothing to speak contrarily in regard to MoveOn.Org.



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