Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Organizing for Action Continues to Run Afoul of IRS

    Despite assurances to the contrary, the former website of Obama for America, now Organizing for Action (OFA), continues to be used to promote Democratic Party causes and candidates.  Two weeks ago, an event for the Terry McAuliffe campaign for governor in Virginia was listed for several days before being removed after stories by The Weekly Standard and Politico.  Now, the Regional Field Director of the Ed Markey for U.S. Senate (Massachusetts) is listed as the host of a phone bank event to "let people know that Ed Markey, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate will be in Pittsfield on Tuesday, February 19th."

    Several local Democratic party groups recently had listed "watch parties" on the website for President Obama's State of the Union address.  Arguably these events could have simply been informational.  However, another event hosted by the Democratic Women of Wiregrass (Alabama) sounds decidedly more partisan in nature.  Participants are urged to "catch up on the latest plans and activities of the Democratic Party in Alabama."

    OFA responded rather quickly after the news broke of the McAuliffe event listing two weeks ago and removed the event, but apparently did not implement a pre-screening system for its event-listing feature.  The IRS rules regarding 501(c)(4) organizations such as OFA prohibit advocating on behalf of candidates and political parties.

Note: This article first appeared at The Weekly Standard on February 18, 2013.

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