Todd Beamon newsmax.com The Obama administration moved on Tuesday to rein in the use of tax-exempt groups for political campaigning. The effort is an attempt to reduce the role of such loosely regulated yet influential super PACS as Crossroads GPS, which was co-founded by GOP political strategist Karl Rove, and Priorities USA, which ran searing ads against rivals of President Barack Obama to support his re-election last year. The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department proposed new rules that they said would prohibit such groups from using "candidate-related political activity" like running advertisements, registering voters or distributing campaign literature as activities that qualify them to be tax-exempt "social welfare" organizations. "This proposed guidance is a first critical step toward creating clear-cut definitions of political activity by tax-exempt social welfare organizations," said Mark Mazur, the Treasury's assistant secretary for tax policy. "We are committed to getting this right before issuing final guidance that may affect a broad group of organizations. "It will take time to work through the regulatory process and carefully consider all public feedback as we strive to ensure that the standards for tax-exemption are clear and can be applied consistently," Mazur said. The rules would become final after a lengthy comment period, the federal agencies said, giving the super PACS ample time to raise millions of dollars from anonymous donors before next year's congressional elections. Conservative groups bitterly attacked the proposed rules, charging that they represented yet another attack on free speech by the Obama White House. "This is a feeble attempt by the Obama administration to justify its own wrongdoing with the IRS targeting of conservative and tea party groups,” Jay Sekulow, a lawyer representing more than three dozen of the groups in a federal lawsuit against the tax agency, told The New York Times. The lawsuit stemmed from the IRS' monitoring of tea party, conservative, and religious groups for extra scrutiny in their applications for tax-exempt status. to read more click here: newsmax.com
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