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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pro-Rubio 'dark money' group faces IRS complaint



A watchdog group has filed a complaint with the IRS contending a nonprofit group exists only to benefit Marco Rubio.

“Since June 2015, Conservative Solutions Project, Inc. (CSP) has spent or committed to spend more than $8 million on broadcast television advertisements to support Sen. Rubio’s presidential campaign, nearly half the money the organization has raised to date. It is currently in the midst of a $3 million ad buy in Iowa, pushing Rubio’s candidacy in the February 1st caucus,” reads a release from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Conservative Solutions Project has run four TV ads so far — all of them featuring Rubio — though it insists it’s not designed for one candidate. The group does not have to disclose its donors, and has raised at least $16 million.

It shares a similar name, and staff, with the Conservative Solutions PAC, a super PAC that is aiding Rubio.

The CREW complaint says the group appears to violating the section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, which says nonprofits must "primarily engaged in social welfare activity.”

“While the public is kept in the dark, the candidate or official almost certainly knows who is making these often-large contributions,” CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder said. “The IRS must take forceful action to enforce the law and stop Conservative Solutions Project and Carolina Rising from abusing their tax-exempt status and to prevent other organizations from following their lead.”

Conservative Solutions spokesman Jeff Sadosky: “Given CREW’s unabashed partisanship, it is clear that DC’s left-wing elites are incredibly afraid that a positive conservative message focused on solutions will put additional pressure on the Obama Administration, or worse yet for them, Secretary Clinton. But as it has for the past two years, Conservative Solutions Project remains focused on one thing…advocating for a conservative agenda that will solve some of the most serious issues American families are facing.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 12:04pm]


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