rove, showering us with tax-exempt speech using the non-profit organization American Crossroads GPSHello, bleeding heart liberals, we know you are already very excited about hating SuperPACs but could you perhaps make room in your heart to hate some specific non-profits as well? Because — and we hate to be the ones to break it to you — non-profit organizations are just as capable of spending massive amounts of money on elections as are SuperPACs and Incorporated Americans, and they also can do it without disclosing donors, and without paying taxes. This, of course, begs several important questions! Such as: non-profits are tax exempt, so does this automatically mean they are the engines of economic growth and job creation, due to the fact that they pay no taxes? Also, given that these non-profits donate to (mostly conservative) political causes and (mostly Republican) candidates without reporting contributions, and are able to do so under the guise of engaging in “public welfare,” should we be concerned that Mitt Romney might accidentally become ensnared in a culture of dependency, which is what happens when you give people welfare?

More money is being spent on TV advertising in the presidential race by social welfare nonprofits, known as 501(c)(4)s for their section of the tax code, than by any other type of independent group.

As of Aug. 8, they had spent more than $71 million on ads mentioning a candidate for president, according to estimates by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, or CMAG. Super PACs have spent an estimated $56 million.

Congress created the legal framework for 501(c)(4) nonprofits nearly a century ago. To receive the tax exemption, groups were supposed to be “operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.” […]

Our examination shows that dozens of these groups do little or nothing to justify the subsidies they receive from taxpayers. Instead, they are pouring much of their resources, directly or indirectly, into political races at the local, state and federal level.

Most of the money spent by social welfare groups in 2010 came from conservative groups, a pattern holding true so far this year. As of Aug. 8, CMAG estimates show, liberal groups accounted for only $1.6 million of the total spent by such organizations on TV ads for the presidential race. By contrast, the two leading conservative 501(c)(4)s, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, founded by conservative billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, had spent about $60 million.

Let us all rejoice, because where would we be without all of Karl Rove’s money speech, which gives us “more voices, more competition, and more accountability?” Where indeed.


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  • SorosBot

    Republicans are using non-profit organizations? Isn't that a betrayal of Free Market principals?

  • Rosie_Scenario

    Still waiting for Karl Rove to be frog-marched in handcuffs? Until then, can you at least use that great photo from time to time? A girl can dream.

  • PubOption

    Yes, I think we could be seeing a culture of dependency. If Mittens wins this election, he will certainly be dependent on assistance from these welfare groups in 2016.

  • nounverb911

    This is good news for the liberal broadcast media conglomerates.

  • Didn't Colbert demonstrate that, in fact, SuperPACs are 501(c)4 organizations?

    • HarryButtle

      Yes, but it went over everybody's head. Those clever enough to get the "joke" already knew the score.

    • finette_

      Actually, he set up a 501(c)4 to funnel money to his SuperPAC.

  • Beowoof

    Oh you know you give money to charity you think it might help the poors. The right wing has a better idea; fuck the poors let's spend this money on making sure we are rich and stay rich.

  • Generation[redacted]

    Conservatives donate more to charity than liberals. It's a well established talking point fact!

    • Except for Paul Ryan – see Andrew Sullivan today!

    • MOG2410

      And now we know why!

  • sudsmckenzie

    My 501(c)(4) is called "Tipping the Bartender – Call me a Cab".

  • If Karl Rove actually spent as much time, money and effort on the nation as he has on obtaining and retaining political power, the fucking poor would eat pheasant every fucking night

    • 1stNewtontheMoon

      yeah, but it's so gamey.

  • I'm ok with this as long as Karl Rove submits to a daily public drug test and shows up for county road cleanup duty (in Orange Overalls) in every state he is running ads.

    • Callyson

      Pink underwear or GTFO.

  • YouBetcha

    It's going to be Extra Super Happy Time when Turdblossom and the Cocks, err, Kochs, watch President Obama's victory speech for his second term. I really hope there are cameras trained, and we get to watch these grown men cry. Go ahead, boys, spend that money. Light it on fire, for all we care.

    • 1stNewtontheMoon

      Yeah and they'll just gin that motherfucker up again in 2016 so sweet Karl can keep his kids in private schools for forever.

      • Negropolis

        That's entirely all right. I mean, we don't get single-party presidential rule for more than eight years, anymore (thank god).

  • James Michael Curley

    The 'Swiftboat Veterans for Truth' was a 501(c)4. That should vouch for the legitimacy of these orgs.

    • It was a 527, actually

      • Not_So_Much

        Number libelz!1!!

        Why do you hate 'Murka?

      • James Michael Curley

        Interesting, after only eight years another massive block of brain cells are found dead.  Probably killed by rage.

  • Trannysurprise

    A dolla make me holla!

    • MOG2410

      Honey Boo Boo!

    • glasspusher

      OK, 50 cents…

    • Negropolis

      I can't believe what they let those little girls do and say on those shows. I mean, they've turned them into hooker bootcamps.

  • NorthStarSpanx

    Karl Rove's fleshy Animal Farm image shoved down my throat every election cycle is forcible. . .and conservatively legitimate.

  • Not_So_Much

    Jeebus. They should buy KKKarl a gastric bypass and a fucking salad…

    • lunchbox360

      And Gastric Bypass Surgery.

  • operationpurple

    If it weren't for that non-profit women's center giving me advice on the rhythm method of birth control, I would have had more than 6 kids!

    Thank you Karl Rove! God Bless us, Everyone!

  • HempDogbane

    Please continue to post photos of Mr. Rove. They are nearly as good a contraceptive as forcible rape.

  • no_gravity

    What are all those donors going to do to Ham Rove when Romney loses the election?

    • MOG2410

      With their short-term memory loss, nothing. They'll just start on 2016.

  • Wadisay

    If you're worried about exposing Mittens to a moral hazard, that train has already left the station.

  • Such a shame that somebody's Department of Justice decided to give Karl Rove a pass for politicizing the Federal government (including conducting official business through private email servers…I wonder what those would have shown, eh?).

    Not to mention, for railroading a Democratic former governor into prison.

    • Negropolis

      It really is a shame that the Bush White House didn't stop this guy before he started, and than implicity allowed him to do this shit and then the Obama White House letting him skate.

  • JustPixelz

    Mitt Romney: "Some of my best friends own politicians."

  • Rich assholes protecting and enhancing their own interests is social welfare now? Wow, this country must be in such fantastic shape that we don't have any problems whatsoever. Either that or there's gonna be a run on torches and pitchforks real soon.

    • Jus_Wonderin

      I am tempted to start "Torches and Pitchforks, Inc" then go public just to see how my stock does in this type (neverending) political climate.


      • heathenette

        If they steal this election I hope your Torches & Pitchforks, Inc. makes a killing…in the market…of course.

  • MacRaith

    I'm beginning to understand why Dante spent so much time imagining the myriad ways in which evil people would be tormented in Hell.

    • tessiee

      Isn't there some way we can torment Karl before he goes to hell?

    • proudgrampa

      "Relax, have a cigar, make yourself at home.
      Hell is full of high court judges, failed saints.
      We've got Cardinals, Archbishops, barristers,
      certified accountants, music critics, they're all here.
      You're not alone.
      You're never alone, not here you're not.
      OK break's over."


  • RadioBowels

    haha. "Not for profits." One of the great scams of capitalism. Like Blue Cross. Or the vipers I contract with who made $230 million in 2010 and $130 million last year.

  • PsycWench

    "Conservative social welfare nonprofits" sound like a term dreamed up in "1984", like "Ministry of Love".

    • Also interesting that "social welfare" in this case means destroying the social safety net.

    • Generation[redacted]

      "Restore America's Future" means we cut funding to education and abolish social security and medicare.

  • Generation[redacted]

    That'll do, pig. That'll do.

  • PuckStopsHere

    I watch too much baseball. I've got the package and can be found most every night hunkered down in front of the computer watching baseball wherever it is being practiced. Like the other night. I was all set to go to bed when I noticed that the Rays, trailing 8-0 at one point, had two in with two on in the 5th so I clicked over to it and was treated to the sight of Tampa going on to score 7 in the inning en route to a 10-8 win. Did you know this marked the first time EVER the Angels had held a lead of at least 8 runs at home and lost? It's true. They had been 192-0 in such games. So, I get to see some history. But talk about spoiling your perfect game: the R-Money people have begun running an ad between innings of every game streamed by MLB assailing the president by lying–saying he is gutting welfare reform–and it is disgusting. Both the content of the ad (which sources the Heritage Foundation for "facts"–really, the fucking Heritage Foundation) and the fact that it is showing up in the middle of my watching of the Base Ball. Cut it the fuck out. I am trying to see if Jared Weaver can really give up 9 earned in 3 or if the Dodgers or Giants are going to win the West or if the Houston Astros can really be that bad (apparently, yes). Also, it is so Willard to make as your central campaign issue with the white, male demo that watches MLB that the lucky duckys who get welfare are stealing from the rest of us. Fuck off, Mitt. Pay 35% like the rest of us and we can talk. Ass wipe.

    • Callyson

      I am *not* looking forward to seeing the ads when I try to watch football this fall–HuffyPo had an article back in 2010 that noted that the Reeps like to buy ads during football season.

      I may have to give in, spend the money, and get TiVo. Either that, or watch the games at a bar, where the TV will be muted and/or I will be too drunk to care…

  • Allmighty_Manos

    Super PACs are people too my friend – and sometimes they need a helping hand.

    • glasspusher

      PAC: Man?

  • RRoccoco

    The gelatinous blob that is Karl Rove is the source of Lord Hair Gel's coiffure security–one squeeze, and a little dab will do ya! There's something about Mittsy…

  • Jus_Wonderin

    I would bet there is no limit on what Rove can bank as salary for the very noble venture.

  • PsycWench

    I'd llke to think that if I had anything close to the money that the Koch brothers have, I'd find a better use for $60 million. I mean, I gave my daughter ten bucks to slip to a classmate whose mom couldn't afford her locker fees and apparently didn't want to ask for a freebie; the girl was touchingly appreciative. Think of what $60 million could do.

    • Gorillionaire

      I think about that stuff too. Like, for instance, the ASPCA would have tanks and lazers and Greenpeace would have commandoes.

  • Tundra Grifter

    Funny how these "conservative" organizations hide behind the non-profit provisions of the US Tax Code.

    Hillsdale College brags it takes no government money. But it's happy to accept tax-deductible donations.

    The Ayn Rand Institute came up early today (like a bad street burrito).

    The 501(c)(4)'s.

    Is there a pattern here?

  • An_Outhouse

    Does Karl realize that when he dumps a load of cash in a swing state, he ends up stimulating their economy?

    • glasspusher

      The invisible hand of the PAC?

  • shelwood46

    The only good thing is that the IRS is wise to this scam. Donations to 501(c)4s cannot be written off on your taxes. Also, i know from experience — my volunteer fire company was mistakenly registered as a 501(c)4 instead of a 501(c)3 for years — that United Way and other such programs will not allow 501(c)4 donations through their programs, so no matching funds.

  • ttommyunger

    Karl Rove will go down in History as…….no, no he won't, either.

    • Generation[redacted]

      …for having a Teapot Dome-like head?

      • ttommyunger

        Round, mostly empty, reputation sullied: WIN!

  • mbobier

    Hitchhiking to Irrelevanceville, Karl?

  • All that's missing from their tactics is their own ad slogan. Such low-life operatives who whose chicanery doesn't even try to mask itself except flimsily — deserve their own ad slogan.

    "Non-profits: Everything You Never Thought They'd Be — And More Less."

  • DahBoner

    You think Turdblossom is smart?

    According to some empirical evidence, he's blowing his wad for nothing:

  • Isn't it always nice to see people using something they detest to fuck the system over. Makes you proud of the rich in this country. They will get their way, and they don't care what they have to do to do so.

  • tessiee

    "Why can't I have butter on my ham??"

  • A Purpose-Driven Lie

  • MoveOn, nothin' to see here.

  • BZ1

    just think what all that money could have done if spent on, say, job creating?

  • rocktonsam

    freedumb ain't free bitches, cripes

    didn't Rove miss a court date or two and stab his gay dead stepdad in the back also?

  • barbonine

    All that money spent and I haven't watched a single political ad! Of course, they don't air on Cartoon Network where I usually hang out.

    Feeling pretty smug about now…all that wasted dough. It doesn't matter how much you spend on advertising, if you're selling dog poo, there's a very limited market.

  • Negropolis

    Let us be clear; these are "social welfare" organizations in name only. Crossroads ain't the United Way, let me tell you, so let's not pretend that we're talking about the same kind of non-profits.

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