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Media Matters Unlikely to Lose Tax Exempt Status

John on February 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Another post from the Daily Caller, this one focused on the tax status picture for the organization in light of recent developments:

Critics also point to Media Matters’ still mysterious calls and meetings with White House officials, which could prove problematic if the organization is privately sharing information with President Barack Obama’s staff.

“If a section 501(c)(3) organization is privately providing to the Democratic Party information for their use in their political activities, that’s a contribution to the party. Maybe not for FEC [Federal Election Commission] purposes, but certainly for IRS purposes, and would violate their 501(c)(3) status,” one tax law expert told The Daily Caller.

“If, on the other hand, they are compiling information and publishing it for anyone to use, including the Democratic Party, that’s a different thing.”

“But if they are privately providing something of value to the Democratic Party, that’s a revocation issue.”

It sounds good, but the rest of the article goes on to say that it’s not likely MM will actually lose its tax status. The law is apparently too vague and hasn’t been tested very often on this issue.

I had a conversation the other day with a well known conservative who runs a 501(c)(3). His take is that anything used against Media Matters would likely then be turned on similar conservative organizations. In other words, this may be a new front in the political war that we don’t want to open at this point.

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