Two groups that favor stronger campaign finance laws renewed their complaints against Crossroads GPS, founded with the help of Karl Rove, as they asked the Internal Revenue Service to deny nonprofit status to the organization that spent $71 million to elect Republicans in 2012.
The Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 told the IRS in a letter today that Crossroads in no way qualifies as a social welfare organization, the status claimed in its application for tax-exempt status.
Crossroads spent more money on the 2012 campaigns than any other group that did not disclose its donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign spending.
All of its political expenditures went to help elect Republican candidates.
Groups favoring stronger campaign finance laws have argued that Crossroads and other organizations engaged in political activities are ineligible for nonprofit status and should be required to identify who their financiers are.
“The IRS has now allowed this charade to go on for two election cycles at great harm to our democracy and it is long past time when the agency should step up and enforce the law,” said J. Gerald Hebert, executive director of the Campaign Legal Center. “The tax code is being abused to allow the very rich to spend tens of millions of dollars anonymously in an attempt to buy election results, and by extension to purchase still more influence in Washington.”