If you’re a politics junkie, you’ve probably heard of MoveOn.org and the Club for Growth. While those two groups couldn’t be further from each other in ideology, they are both structured the same way under federal tax laws.
Now, two other “independent” campaign groups–known as 527s after the section of IRS code that regulates them–are making their presence felt in Oklahoma politics, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and the Republican State Leadership Committee. We had a short story in today’s The Oklahoman.
Because of space limitations, a couple of key details got left on the cutting-room floor. So, to keep up the movie metaphor, here’s the director’s cut:
By Paul Monies
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in out-of-state donations are being pumped into the races of
Democrats are outspending Republicans in reports filed by state affiliates of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and the Republican State Leadership Committee. Both are tax-exempt political groups that can raise unlimited amounts of money for political activity under federal tax laws.
Republicans are spending the money on last-minute TV and radio ads, and mailings on behalf of state Senate candidates in competitive races. That includes more than $380,000 this month on behalf of Senate candidates in
“It’s one of the most competitive states in legislative elections this year,” Carrie Cantrell, spokeswoman for the Republican State Leadership Committee, said of the
Its Democratic counterpart has spent more than $500,000 since August on campaign research, polling and TV advertising, according to reports filed with the state Ethics Commission. The reports did not detail which
“The Oklahoma Senate is one of two chambers in the country where things are tied,” said Matt Compton with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. “
The national groups are organized under the same federal tax laws as Moveon.org and 2004’s Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. They are known as 527 groups after the section of Internal Revenue Service code that regulates them.
The majority of individual donors to the state affiliates of the Republican and Democratic legislative groups are from out-of-state residents, according to disclosure forms.
The money the state affiliates spend can go to broadcast advertising, print ads and mailings, Hughes said. But it can’t go to live or automated telephone calls or e-mail.
Corporate, tribal and union money contributed to the 527 groups remains in separate accounts and isn’t used for
According to donor information filed with the Internal Revenue Service, a number of
Among the large Oklahoma donors to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee are Tulsa’s Anchor Stone Co. ($25,000); First United Bank & Trust Co. in Durant ($15,000); Cherokee Nation ($50,000); Choctaw Nation ($50,000); Chickasaw Nation ($25,000); and the Oklahoma AFL-CIO union ($10,000).
To check out the state Ethics Commission reports for the Oklahoma affiliates of the RSLC and DLCC, you can go to the Public Disclosure page.
To see who’s donating to the national 527s, you can search the IRS political disclosure site. You can also get a little more explanation on how 527s are affecting other campaigns at the Center for Responsive Politics.
Written by Paul Monies