Big news from Issue One:
This week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it revoked the dark money group Americans for Job Security’s tax exempt status. The announcement followed a complaintfrom Issue One and the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) against the organization.
Americans for Job Security was a tax-exempt “business league” that spent tens of millions of dollars influencing elections while keeping its donors secret, but failed to file its tax returns for the past three years. Issue One and CLC’s complaint called on the agency to enforce penalties against Americans for Job Security for failing to file multiple years of mandatory returns….
Founded in 1997, Americans for Job Security was among the earliest political “dark money” groups — so-called because they do not publicly disclose their donors, unlike political action committees, super PACs, candidates and parties, which do.
A tax-exempt business league under section 501(c)(6) of the tax code, Americans for Job Security spent more than $20 million in political advertising in the two election cycles following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.
In July 2016, the Federal Election Commission fined Americans for Job Security $43,000 after the agency concluded that the group should have disclosed a nonprofit known as the Center to Protect Patient Rights, then associated with the political network of billionaires Charles and David Koch, as a donor behind some of its political expenditures in 2010.
In addition to its own political spending, Americans for Job Security also played a prominent role in funneling tens of millions of dollars to two ballot measure fights in California during the 2012 election — part of a scheme that the California Fair Political Practices Commission later concluded was designed to hide the identities of the actual donors supporting the ballot measure efforts.