Friday, October 8, 2010

Union disclosure unlike other groups' - Ben Smith -

Union disclosure unlike other groups' - Ben Smith -

"[U]nions are [501](c)(5)s and don’t that the business as usual? Or does that make them shadowy?" Jim Dyke, one of the GOP consultants on the board of American Crossroads, asked on Twitter today.

There are elements of this comparison that make sense. The same collapse in campaign finance restrictions that allow unlimited corporate spending allow unlimited union spending.

But when it comes to disclosure, talk of unions is a red herring. While they aren't required by the FEC or IRS to disclose donors, a separate piece of federal law, the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, requires that unions disclose all sources of income that adds up to more than $5,000, a requirement overseen by the Department of Labor. As a result, unions disclose more than many political groups about their internal operations, and certainly more than than do 501(c)(4) nonprofits like Crossroads GPS or 501(c)(6) groups like the Chamber.

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