The Internal Revenue Service has quietly announced a new rule that strictly limits the ability of 501(c)(4), tax-exempt organizations from working on their core missions in the months leading up to federal, state, and local elections. The proposed regulations would prohibit these organizations from engaging in candidate-related political activity, which, by the proposed rule's definition, includes any mention of a candidate's name or political party even if presented in a non-political context. Further, organizations would have to ensure that any references to candidates in past communications are not publicly available, including online, during the pre-election window. These regulations would, in effect, prohibit organizations from providing the public with candidate comparisons and voting records, engaging in get-out-the-vote activities, or encouraging informed civic participation, among other activities. They would severely limit both the organizations' First Amendment free speech and the public's ability to hold elected officials accountable for their actions.
“Under the proposed definition, any public communication that is made within 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary election and that clearly identifies a candidate for public office (or, in the case of a general election, refers to a political party represented in that election) would be considered candidate-related political activity.”
Without your input, these proposed regulations will take effect and the rights of all Americans will be curtailed. It is our duty as Americans to make our voices heard and insist that our rights are protected. Please take a look at the sample comments and then submit yours directly to the federal government. The deadline to submit comments has passed.The deadline for submitting comments has passed