In August 2023, the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee submitted a request for information from the public to help Congress understand the threat posed by the Left’s weaponization of charitable groups for partisan gain.
Restoration News is the leading research group exposing the Left’s activist nonprofits and working to roll back “wokeness” in our country. Read our letter below:
Dear Distinguished Members:
Thank you for the opportunity to offer insight into the systematic and widespread abuse of our country’s charitable sector by politically active nonprofits. Restoration of America is committed to preserving America’s founding principles and restoring the Founders’ vision of a godly representative republic to a nation overrun with lawlessness.
The United States has the world’s largest nonprofit, non-governmental sector and is one of only a handful of countries which rewards these organizations with tax exemption and, in the case of 501(c)(3) public charities, tax-deductibility for donor contributions. This citizen-led approach to solving society’s pressing issues is one of the finest elements of our country’s Christian and republican heritage dating back to before independence. It is vital to America’s national character. Congress wisely recognized this more than a century ago and took steps to protect and encourage this sector’s growth.
Unfortunately, certain bad actors have weaponized charities for partisan gain. Since the mid-1970s, hundreds of “progressive” groups have popped up using their 501(c)(3) nonprofit status as cover to register millions of new Democratic voters and help elect Democrat politicians.
Restoration of America estimates that total revenues of “progressive” voter registration groups exceed $500 million annually. Not all of this money goes directly to registering new voters; but even a fraction of that sum is enough to pay for enormous voter registration drives targeting specific eligible-but-unregistered Americans whom the political Left believes are most likely to vote for Democratic candidates.
The Committee has already identified the worst offender: the Voter Participation Center, which boasts on its website that it targets members of the “New American Majority,” which the center defines as “young people, people of color and unmarried women.” Each of these demographics is widely reported to favor Democratic candidates over Republicans, yet the Voter Participation Center uses the cover of demographics to only register its preferred voters.
By any reasonable measure, this violates the IRS’ clear and sensible prohibition against biased voter registration drives that “have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates.”
The Democracy Alliance, the Left’s most powerful gathering of influential Democratic donors, considers registering and turning out New American Majority voters “central to progressive long-term success” in elections and funds multi-million-dollar turnout campaigns targeting these voters.
Voter Participation Center CEO Tom Lopach is a former chief of staff to two elected Democrats and ex-head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; he boasted in 2021 that the center delivered 371 million mailers and 300 million digital messages targeting voters in swing states in the 2020 election as part of the center’s “turnout efforts,” which observers believe was enough to deliver the 2020 election to Democratic presidential nominee Joseph Biden.
We believe the law is already clear on barring 501(c)(3) charities from intervening in political campaigns or running biased, partisan voter registration drives. The solution is simple: Congress must demand the IRS enforce the law as written in order to restore these organizations to their original purpose of providing valuable charitable, educational, scientific and religious services.
We thank you for your consideration of this pressing issue and would be honored to furnish the Committee with further research on 501(c)(3) voter registration abuses upon request.
Hayden R. Ludwig
Director of Research, Restoration of America