November 11, 2003
IRS to investigate DeLay's PACs

This ought to be fun.

Two political action committees formed by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to push Republican causes have failed to disclose required information about their finances, national watchdog groups said in a complaint filed Monday with the Internal Revenue Service.

Public Citizen and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked the IRS to conduct an audit of Texans for a Republican Majority and Americans for a Republican Majority, and require the committees to disclose information about their contributions.

Both PACs are Section 527 organizations, named for the portion of the IRS Code that authorizes them.

They are allowed to collect unlimited amounts of "soft money" donations from corporate donors and individuals, but Public Citizen and CREW contend the committees have "either recently failed to file any financial disclosure statements or filed incomplete statements with the IRS in direct violation of the law."

Soft money refers to political funding that may be used to push causes or issues, but not to directly advocate election of individual candidates.

DeLay political aide and Texans for a Republican Majority Director Jim Ellis said the PACs have complied with the law. He dismissed the complaint as an attack on conservatives.

"Their real target is Tom DeLay," Ellis said. "It's a political attack and they need to do better research."

Ellis added that DeLay should not be named in the complaint because he no longer controls the committees.

The watchdog groups contend that DeLay remains associated with the committees through his appointments of Ellis and other political allies to key positions in the committees.

Public Citizen's press release is here, and the full complaint is here (PDF). Stay tuned.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 11, 2003 to Scandalized! | TrackBack