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IRS grants nonprofit status to 'dark money' group founded by Karl Rove

Crossroads GPS gets declared a nonprofit five years after applying, meaning that its donor list can remain private. ... Read more»

What newly released docs tell us about the IRS and how it handles dark money groups

A GOP-led House committee voted Wednesday to seek criminal charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner, who used to run the IRS division in charge of tax-exempt groups. In a party-line vote, the committee accused Lerner of unfairly targeting the applications of conservative groups and misleading the Treasury inspector general, which was auditing the IRS based on allegations of bias against conservative groups.... Read more»

The IRS moves to limit dark money – but enforcement still a question

The IRS and Treasury Department announced proposed guidelines clarifying the definition of political activities for social welfare nonprofits Tuesday afternoon, a move that could restrict the spending of the dark money groups that dumped more than $254 million of anonymous money into the 2012 elections.... Read more»

New tax return shows Karl Rove’s group spent even more on politics than it said

On its 2012 tax return, GOP strategist Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS justified its status as a tax-exempt social welfare group in part by citing its grants of $35 million to other similarly aligned nonprofits. The return specified that the grants would be used for social welfare purposes, “and not for political expenditures, consistent with the organization’s tax-exempt mission.” But that’s not what happened. ... 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»

Analysis

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»

Analysis

Crossroads: Rove-affiliated groups lose big in election

If Karl Rove was an NFL coach and not a political strategist, he would probably be looking for a new job about now. Organizations co-founded by the GOP’s most effective fundraiser spent more than $175 million only to see President Barack Obama win a second term and Democrats actually gain seats in the U.S. Senate.... Read more»

Super PACs, nonprofits favored Romney over Obama

Super PACs and nonprofits unleashed by Citizens United have spent more than $840 million on the 2012 election, with the overwhelming majority favoring Republicans.The Supreme Court decision helped Romney neutralize Obama's fundraising advantage.... Read more»

Two dark money groups outspending all super PACs combined

Two conservative nonprofits have spent more on TV ads to influence the presidential race so far than all other super PACs put together, new spending estimates show. ... Read more»

Analysis

Is Obama to blame for the debt crisis?

Funded with millions from Republican strategist Karl Rove’s political advocacy group Crossroads GPS, an ad blaming Obama for the debt crisis is convincing, concerning and very easy on the eyes.... Read more»

Factcheck: Dueling economic ads

A conservative group's ad makes the rise in unemployment under President Obama appear worse than it actually is. And in a counter-attack ad, a liberal group offers its spin on GOP economic plans. (with video)... Read more»