The Department of Justice releases a full-color, 151-page cost report proving no government money was wasted on muffins.
Tag: The Colbert Report
Nov 09 2011
Oct 05 2011
Trevor Potter helps Stephen create his own shell corporation so that he can obtain secret donations for his Super PAC.
Stephen get schooled in how to game the campaign finance system by creating a 501(c)(4):
501(c)(4) organizations are generally civic leagues and other corporations operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, or local associations of employees with membership limited to a designated company or people in a particular municipality or neighborhood, and with net earnings devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes. 501(c)(4) organizations may lobby for legislation, and unlike 501(c)(3) organizations they may also participate in political campaigns and elections, as long as campaigning is not the organization’s primary purpose. The tax exemption for 501(c)(4) organizations applies to most of their operations, but contributions may be subject to gift tax, and income spent on political activities – generally the advocacy of a particular candidate in an election – is taxable.
Contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations are not deductible as charitable contributions for the U.S. income tax. 501(c)(4) organizations are not required to disclose their donors publicly. This aspect of the law has led to extensive use of the 501(c)(4) provisions for organizations that are actively involved in lobbying, and has become controversial. In 2010, a bill (the DISCLOSE Act) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that addressed identification of donors to organizations involved in political advocacy, but the bill failed to pass in the Senate.
The entire transcript is below the fold but here is the punch line(s):
SC: Can I take this C-4’s money and then donate it to my Super PAC?
TP: You can.
SC: Well,wait. Super PAC’s are transparent.
TP: Right, right
SC: And the C-4 is secret
SC: So I can take secret donations of my C-4 and give it to my supposedly transparent Super PAC.
TP: And it’ll say given by your C-4
SC: What is the difference between that and money laundering?
TP: Hard to say.