Colorado State House District 28 candidate Brittany Pettersen used to work (still works?) for New Era Colorado, a
nonpartisan left wing youth recruitment organization, so we weren’t surprised to see on Twitter that the embattled candidate leveraged the very partisan “nonpartisan” group’s volunteers to walk precincts. Unfortunately, that’s not allowed under the IRS rules.
According to the IRS, in order to be classified as a charitable organization eligible to received tax-deductible donations, such organization may not “participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” “The term ‘candidate for public office’ is defined as an individual who offers himself, or is proposed by others, as a contested for an elective public office, whether such office be national, State, or local.” Rev. Rul. 2007-41, 2007-25 I.R.B. 1421 (June 18, 2008).
Translation – if an organization is considered a 501c3 nonprofit, it means that they’re tax-exempt. That also means that they cannot coordinate with candidates. And Brittany Pettersen should know that, having worked at New Era in the past.