In the wake of the 2012 presidential election, tax and political law lawyers are left with a number of unanswered questions concerning the political activities of tax-exempt organizations. Despite the importance of these questions, there are striking gaps in the authority of federal tax law governing the conduct of political candidate and other partisan-related activities by tax-exempt organizations. Assuming activities in furtherance of partisan interests are activities that support private interests, I consider what this authority may tell us about the permissibility of Section 501(c)(4) organizations engaging in partisan political activities and having as a constitutive purpose a partisan political goal, and I consider whether the authority supports quantitative limits and qualitative limits. I suggest that this authority may support the existence of some limits to these activities.
Terence Dougherty, Section 501(c)(4) Advocacy Organizations: Political Candidate-Related and Other Partisan Activities in Furtherance of the Social Welfare, 36 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 1337 (2013).