In September of 2010 Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) railed against 501(c) groups and their influence on 2010’s congressional elections following the Supreme Court Decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. “There’s nobody watching,” she warned; “there’s nobody asking questions.” McCaskill lamented that such groups did not receive IRS scrutiny quickly enough and theorized that many would dissolve after the election to avoid filing anything with the IRS.
So we have a Supreme Court decision that turns the section of the IRS code, 501-c, into an open bazaar. What was supposed to be not political and not for profit is now a mushrooming industry of non-accountable–unaccountable organizations that nobody has any idea where they’re coming from, who’s writing the checks, and what their motivations are. These groups have fallen into a regulatory nirvana. There’s no regulation. There’s nobody watching; there’s nobody asking questions. The social welfare organizations, 501-c-4, like Crossroads, which is one of these that have sprung up, has been the top spender–the top spender. It hasn’t been the Republican committees or the Democratic committees, the top spender in the Senate races is a group we have no idea what it is or who’s writing the checks. Now, you know, we’ve got to realize that they don’t even have to file anything with the government with the government–with the IRS until February, March, April. How many people think these organization are going to be around after November? Really? How naive are you?