It will surprise no-one that Politico buried the hell out of the lede when it wrote up the story of Obama’s Donor/Volunteer List*. In fact, they got almost all the way to the end before exhuming said lede:
Several sources say Team Obama is looking closely at creating a new 501(c)(4) organization, an IRS designation for a nonprofit that operates to promote social welfare. It’s sole purpose would be to manage Obama’s grass-roots supporters. The designation would also allow the group to lobby, endorse or oppose candidates, and donate to campaigns.
For those who don’t memorize my site posts – tsk, tsk – here’s my description of 501(c)(4)s:
Short version: a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, unlike a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, does not have to disclose its donor lists; contributions to it are not tax-deductible. 501(c)(4) corporations are technically not supposed to be majority politically oriented; but there’s nothing stopping one from donating heavily to, say, a Super PAC that is politically oriented (see here and here). Shorter Moe Lane: 501(c)(4) corporations are great for legally laundering political cash. Which is fine by me – I’m a full transparency, full disclosure, no-limit free speech absolutist when it comes to political contributions – but it’s insanely hypocritical for group who supported the DISCLOSE Act to be using this system. And, guess what? Most of the professional Activist Left supported the DISCLOSE Act.
Well then. I hear that there’s money in that sort of thing, for an ambitious set of folks who might not be adverse to taking advantage of potential customers’ superstitious, slightly frantic natures. Quite a bit of money. Also: hard to tell this way if any failures are on the part of the list, or on the part of the (no doubt unworthy) customer who bought the list.
Not that I’m suggesting anything.
Via Hot Air Headlines.
*Short version: the Democrats want that list, despite the fact that objectively speaking Obama did hella worse in ’12 than he did in ’08, and despite the fact that Obama was never able to use the list to actually push policy successfully. The Obama team does not want to give away that list.