Earlier this week, we reported that Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet was one of six signers to a letter urging the Internal Revenue Service to crack down on non-profit groups with a potentially political side. He even went so far in his press release to suggest that the IRS take a look at groups like Karl Rove’s conservative group. Now, critics are calling for Bennet to treat liberal groups with the same scrutiny, but will he?
Our view – probably not.
Bennet’s job as the head of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee is, simply, to elect Democratic candidates. C4s and the other nonprofit operations that give advantages to Democrats have been part of their playbook for nearly a decade, particularly here in Colorado.
Let’s put this in perspective. One of the left’s most generous C4s is the League of Conservation voters. Does anyone doubt they are a liberal front group? In case you’re doubting, take a look at their spending habits in the 2012 election:
Out of the nearly $11 million that LCV spent nationwide in the 2012 election, not one penny went toward Republican candidates. We would bet that the $500,000+ that went against Democrats was the group playing in primaries. Further, why would Bennet bite the hand that feeds him? That’s right, Bennet, himself, was the recipient of help from a C4 to the tune of over $850,000 in his scorched earth campaign against Republican Ken Buck.
Again, from Open Secrets:
Of course, the most recognizable “social welfare organization” would be OFA – once Obama for America, turned into Organizing for Action – which some believe will be filed as a C4. According to U.S. News and World Reports, OFA’s web site claims: “In carrying its work, OFA will operate as a ‘social welfare’ organization within the meaning of section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.”
Seems like a pretty clear indication that the group plans to file for C4 status.
So, again, will Bennet – who has been helped tremendously by liberal C4s and is the head of the DSCC – denounce both conservative and liberal C4s? Of course not, that doesn’t benefit him or his party. His letter was simply about trying to crush the competition, and his protests are hollow.