Thursday, June 21, 2007

Work this

John Edwards's campaign is alleged to be all about helping the working class, raking in millions from unions. But with tax-exempt orgs and $400 haircuts (using campaign money), is he really authentic?

The New York Times reports that Edwards used much funding from a charitable organization for travels, campaign materials, staff, information from advisers...

The Center for Promise and Opportunity is an IRS 501(c)4 organization. That is, it's primary focus is mandated by law to serve some public interest, though it can engage in some political advocacy. The revenue from donations is tax-exempt for the org, thought the donors who supply said revenues cannot claim any tax exemptions on their gifts.

This is different from a 501(c)3 org, which is restricted from any political campaigning, but both the donor and the organization enjoy tax exemptions. Such things as churches, synagogues, service orgs like Goodwill.

But the fact that most of the donations funded campaigning has raised eyebrows on the limits that Edwards pushes the IRS tax code.

He also has to worry about a credibility gap. The man who inspires working class people to give up hard earned money should be wary of filling his own coffers, using their money to pay for his plane tickets/haircuts. These donors can't even write it off.

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