This article considers the use of social welfare organizations for political purposes, assesses the damage, and offers solutions. Part I of the article provides an overview of present law and compares social welfare and political organizations in the context of political campaign intervention. Part II considers the many serious ongoing harms that have resulted from the current legal framework. Part III assesses different solutions. The article concludes that in general, the disclosure and financing rules concerning the political activity of social welfare and political organizations should be consistent. Consistent rules would reduce incentives to deceive regulators and the public and help restore some integrity to the tax exemption system. Consistent rules would also pave the way to eliminate existing limits on political activity by social welfare organizations and reduce the role of the IRS in regulating speech.
Roger Colinvaux, Social Welfare and Political Organizations: Ending the Plague of Inconsistency, 21 N.Y.U. J. LEGIS. & PUB. POL’Y. 481 (2018)