Education Reform Now has dumped nearly $2.5 million dollars into Colorado since 2010. The money has gone toward groups like Mainstream Colorado and Priorities for Colorado, two issue organizations that take pride in their despicable campaign literature. Education Reform Now is based out of New York City and has at least two affiliated organizations of which we are aware – Education Reform Now (c3 – a nonprofit with a tax deductible donation, see Form 990) and Education Reform Now Advocacy (c4 – a political organization). Did a c3 affiliated with this organization donate to 527s?
Here’s where the question arises. There appear to be two organizations named Education Reform Now giving to Colorado issue committees. This appearance may be caused by the fact that two organizations are, in fact, giving to issue committees, or it could be sloppy paperwork. If the latter, consider this a heads up, Julie Wells. But, if the former, and the only two organizations that we’re aware of are the c3 and c4, then is the c3 giving to 527s? Certainly, there are some jumps that have to be made here, but given the enormity of the cash these groups are dumping here in Colorado, the question should be asked.
Just note the pattern below. The yellow group is Education Reform Now Advocacy. The blue group seems to be a separate group, Education Reform Now, which is potentially the nonprofit. Each group that receives money from these two groups are 527s. C3s may not give to 527s. As part of Colorado’s campaign finance reporting, organizations must provide an aggregate amount donated. So not only are the names of the two organizations different, but the aggregate amounts align with the two different names.
Here’s the question, again. If Education Reform Now, the c3, only affiliates with Education Reform Now Advocacy, the c4, is it possible that the c3 is the other organization giving money to Colorado candidates? It seems like such a reckless move as the IRS would crack down on such shenanigans. Right? RIGHT?