About Citizens for Truth

Citizens for Truth is a blog focusing on the effects of money in politics. We believe that big money, such as that wielded by corporations and the rich, has too much influence in United States elections and public policy. This excessive and unfair influence has been present for a long time, but has been exacerbated in the last two years by the Supreme Court decisions Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and SpeechNow.org v. FEC.

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4 responses to “About Citizens for Truth

  1. Can you tell me whether the following activities avoid, designation as the political activity, a 501c1,1 is prohibited from, engaging in, per IRS rules? (1) A company issues a report one could interpret as undermining public pensions, that is co-authored with an anti-pension advocacy foundation. The company offers defined contribution plans so, it stands to gain from people moving out of defined benefit plans. (2) A company’s employee attends a meeting in state capitols describing the company’s alternative plans, at the same time anti-pension foundations are in attendance (3) In general media outlets, an employee makes comments similar to , “something must be done (about pensions)…with measured expediency” and, “the plans the company offers will provide greater security and political cover than abandoning pensions altogether.”
    Thank you.

    • If I understand you correctly, you are wanting to know whether a 501(c)11 organization would be prohibited from doing the things that you listed because those things would be considered political activity. I am not an expert in these matters, but this is my understanding:
      A tax-exempt group, except for a 501(c)3, can involve itself in political activity as long as the political activity is not the organization’s primary purpose and still preserve its tax-exempt status.

  2. Yes and thank you very much. I selected a financial firm, for retirement investment, a 403b, because of their non-profit status and motto, the greater good. In Oct., the non-profit co-authored research with the Arnold Foundation that undermines pensions (Truthout). Matt Taibbi’s article, in Rolling Stone, “Looting the Pensions”, references Arnold. The involvement of Arnold with Pew, in their march through the state capitols, had been uncovered before the Oct. date of the firm’s document so, I am puzzled why they, with knowledge that adverse publicity was likely, would attach the firm’s name with Arnold. The world of academic pension may be small but, two of the firm’s Board members have co-authored research with the guy who wrote, “Day of Reckoning”, my first exposure to the pension “crisis” (pensions account for about 3% of state budgets). Then, I found the firm’s research posted at State Budget Solutions, which until early Oct. identified itself as a partnership with ALEC and the Franklin Group. The cynical me, thinks there are those, probably laughing at the professors’ unknowing complicity, in an agenda that would be anathema to many of them. Sorry for the length. Thanks again.

  3. Very interesting. I’m glad that there are people like you willing to dig deep into all of this and get the word out about what is really going on. I did a search on the internet and found Matt Taibbi’s article that you mentioned. Here’s a link for others seeing this discussion and wanting to read the article:
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/looting-the-pension-funds-20130926

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