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Top U.S. corporations funneled $185 million to political nonprofits

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling in 2010 did not, as some warned, unleash a flood of corporate money directly into elections. ... Read more»

Tobacco giant funded conservative nonprofits

Tobacco giant Reynolds American Inc. last year helped fund several of the nation’s most politically active — and secretive — nonprofit organizations, according to a company document reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity.... Read more»

Soros charitable foundation sometimes leans right

George Soros may be one of the nation’s top liberal political benefactors, but his company’s charitable program encourages employees to donate to any cause they would like — even if it potentially conflicts with his political ideology.... Read more»

Do nonprofits' names imply political activity?

Trevor Potter — a Republican lawyer and president of the Campaign Legal Center, which advocates for stronger campaign finance regulations — says that the Internal Revenue Service is right to be on the lookout for organizations with a “significant amount of political activity.”... Read more»

Six facts lost in the IRS scandal

In the furious fallout from the revelation that the IRS flagged applications from conservative nonprofits for extra review because of their political activity, some points about the big picture — and big donors — have fallen through the cracks. Consider this our Top 6 list of need-to-know facts on social welfare nonprofits, also known as dark money groups because they don’t have to disclose their donors.... Read more»

'Tea Party' nonprofits rarely endorsed political candidates

Tea party groups and other conservative nonprofits at the heart of a scandal rocking the Internal Revenue Service have, of late, largely avoided electoral politics, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of Federal Election Commission filings.... Read more»


Sound, fury and the IRS mess

ProPublica’s job is to report the news rather than to make news ourselves, but sometimes we find an article of ours to be itself a subject of public debate. Last week was such a time, when two articles we had published back in December and January became the subject of significant attention in light of the uproar over IRS oversight of the process for granting tax exemption to so-called “social welfare” groups.... Read more»

IRS rarely denies 'social welfare' applications

During its past four fiscal years, the Internal Revenue Service has formally denied the applications of just 60 organizations seeking recognition under Section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code as “social welfare” groups. In the same period, the agency processed 8,214 applications and approved 6,837 of them.... Read more»


A guide to the new world of campaign finance

This political season promises more than just record spending—more money will be flowing from more players with more opportunities to hide the source. What you need to know about Super-PACs and 'dark money'... Read more»