(Host) Congressman Peter Welch is leading an effort to have the Internal Revenue Service investigate the operations of new Super Pacs that have played a prominent role in this year’s presidential campaign.
Most of the presidential candidates are being supported by Super Pacs and the groups have been spending tens of millions of dollars attacking other candidates in the race.
Welch says the Super Pacs legally operate with tax exempt status, and he wants the I.R.S. to determine if the groups are in violation of federal tax law.
(Welch) "The majority of your work has to be about advancing a social welfare tax exempt status. It can’t be for political activity and what we’re seeing with the Super Pacs is that 99 percent of their money in some cases is being used on political advocacy, generally in the form of attack ads."
(Host) And Welch says the activities of the Super Pacs aren’t good for the democratic process.
(Welch) "There’s no enforcement here and it also leads to increased cynicism, I mean voters who are watching all these negative ads – they just throw their arms up and they don’t want to have anything to do with it and there’s no accountability you don’t know who is contributing to this and the candidate steps back as though they aren’t responsible for the stuff that’s going on the air."
(Host) Welch says he’s hopeful that the I.R.S. will take action to curtail the current activities of the Super Pacs and will force the groups to disclose the names of their donors.