Rule of Law: For Thee, Not Me

From Holden:

Yet another arm of the GOP violating the law:

Republican activists abroad have waged an aggressive fund-raising campaign as an independent, nonprofit group with no limits on contributions, but they have not filed required reports on income and spending.


[N]early two years ago Republicans Abroad became a “527,” a partisan, nonparty group allowed to raise corporate, union and unlimited individual donations now barred for candidates and the national parties.

As a 527 — the relevant section number of the U.S. tax code — the group is supposed to file quarterly reports on income and expenditures during election years. Republicans Abroad hasn’t done that since 2003, when it reported raising $78,493 and spending $41,617 in the first six months of that year.


The U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s Web site shows the group hasn’t reported for more than a year. IRS officials declined to comment on the missed reports or whether the group had been sanctioned.


There are also questions about some of the money being raised overseas.

At least one chapter of Republicans Abroad — in Germany — has solicited donations from foreigners, with the Web site asking for dues of 40 euros, or about $50, and saying: “Membership is open to ALL individuals, regardless of nationality.”

Federal law prohibits foreigners from making contributions in connection with a U.S. election. But IRS spokeswoman Nancy Mathis said nothing in the IRS code or tax law addresses the issue of whether a 527 can take foreign money to help pay for non-election activities.


On the Web site for Americans Overseas for Kerry, a separate Democratic campaign group, contributions are solicited for the Democratic National Committee with a bold-faced warning that only U.S. citizens and permanent residents can donate to U.S. political campaigns.