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Government and Politics


Portman says non-profits need rules for political activity
Ohio's Republican senator says tax status guidelines are separate from the investigation into why the IRS targeted conservative groups
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
In The Region:
Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says non-profit groups engaging in political activity need a clear set of guidelines on what they can – and can’t – do and still keep their tax status.

In a conference call today, the Republican senator said groups such as labor unions, super PACs and other non-profits need clear and rational rules on lobbying and other political engagement.

But he considers that a separate issue from the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.
Portman says non-profits need rules for political activity

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“If you look at these words that were used to identify people, they did not have to do with whether they were likely to engage in more or less political activity. It was whether they were engaged in political activity that used the words ‘patriot’ or ‘we the people.’ Or conservative ideologies.”

Portman says the guidelines could be included as part of an overhaul of the tax code. He’s been calling for the overhaul for two years.

Portman triggered the inquiry into the IRS targeting with a letter in March 2012 asking why Tea Party and other groups were having trouble getting their non-profit status approved.
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