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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Large donors bail on Democratic convention in Philadelphia

Media outlets popped up a meme last week that Trump was the reason casino billionaire Shel Adelson was "pulling out" of donating to the Republican convention in Cleveland. That ended when the Republican National Committee discovered it had messed up in saying he withdrew because he had never committed to it.

Now comes word that donors to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia dried up because they cannot write their donations off as a charitable donation.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
The IRS has turned down the long-running effort by the Democratic convention's Philadelphia host committee to win a tax exemption.
Word of the decision, a setback for efforts to raise the last of the $60 million needed to help pay for the July 25 to 28 convention, came Friday from its adviser, David L. Cohen.
When the decision came -- and why -- is less clear. Cohen would say only that the IRS "recently" turned down the application for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the tax code, which the committee had sought for more than a year.
Cohen, senior executive vice president of Comcast Corp., said the IRS viewed some of the committee's work as too much like political activity to win 501(c)3 status. He declined to release the IRS letter notifying the committee, focusing instead on efforts to appeal the decision.
"Right now the host committee is a c3 in waiting," Cohen said Friday. "We are continuing to pursue the c3 but we cannot afford to continue to wait."
The committee has come up with a Plan B that involves the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau Foundation.
Without the IRS exemption, individual donors cannot claim a tax deduction for their donations. Cohen said earlier Friday that two donors wanted their money back because they could not count on a deduction.
Why would we give tax write-offs for political donations?

If we are threatening preachers with stripping their church of tax exemption if they politick from the pulpit, why should a political convention be tax-exempt?

Oddly enough, Republicans got their exemption.


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  1. Hahahaha!

    Sounds like the former flunkies of that devil-beast, Lois Lerner, in the Cincinnati office fear the consequences President Trump is going to drop on their *personal* pointy little heads.

    I hope they are losing sleep every night over this.

  2. The Hillary-Illustrious complex seems to be splintering, and edging away from old Rictus Smile herself. (See "Mars Attacks").

    Much like those execs in the first RoboCop movie when that big robotic SOB started get fixated on the assistant holding the practice handgun.

  3. This only goes to prove that we need real non-profit reform (expect the IRS to change it's mind in the middle of the night).

  4. In the post-Lois Lerner era, I guess the IRS knows people are watching them like a hawk. Why the donors conditioned their donations on a c(3) tax exemption puzzles me since political contributions are not deductible for Federal tax purposes, and that's been true for years. As for the DNC's Plan B, it constitutes money laundering of the most transparent kind. An IRS agent of the most junior level would see through their scheme and deny the tax deduction almost immediately. Any donor who falls for the DNC's scam can expect an IRS audit. Do people really want to open a can of worms just to help out know, the candidate who has threatened to go after the tax breaks of the ultra-wealthy upper 0.1%?

    1. The convention committees, like the Olympic committees are entities cobbled together for the event. They would have to define their activities as 'public education' or some such. How the Reps fulfilled this req and the Dems could not is probably pretty revealing of what those activities are and how they differ but the fact that the Dem supporters will not offer support without the write off is telling. They contribute to gain benefits from those they contribute to. Clearly they don't think their investment will pay off without favorable tax treatment.

  5. @Neo,

    More likely they will take away the RNC exemption.

  6. Perhaps the Republicans got their exemption so that after the convention the IRS can come back on them for misrepresentations on their application. - Elric

  7. No more non-profits. They are in the entertainment business and all their revenues should be treated like any other business since many of those, involuntarily, are non-profit.