New Hampshire Democratic National Committeewoman Kathy Sullivan pounded political organizations registered as 501(c)(4)s in a New Hampshire Union Leader column Tuesday, despite the fact that she runs a political 501(c)(4) she specifically registered to raise money to attack a Republican agenda in 2011.
“Unlike candidates and political parties, 501 (c)(4)s are not required to disclose the identity of their donors. Campaign finance laws do not limit the amount those donors can give to these groups. It is a gross misuse of the tax laws that hides special-interest political spending on both sides of the aisle while avoiding donor limits,” writes Sullivan.
What Sullivan does not mention in her column however is that after the 2010 election, which Granite State Republicans won handily, Sullivan registered the July Fourth Forum, Inc. with the New Hampshire Secretary of State and the Internal Revenue Service.
“After Republicans took control of the Legislature about a year ago, former Democratic state chair Kathy Sullivan set up a 501(c)(4) non-profit to counter what she predicted would be a ‘radical’ agenda,” reported John DiStaso of the Union Leader.
Sullivan even went so far as to bring on board a high-level (and presumably high-paid) operative named Karen Hicks to help run the July Fourth Forum, according to Politico. Hicks was a top advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. To date it appears Sullivan has not disclosed the names of her donors and how much they have contributed.
Sullivan praises Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in her column for “call[ing] for clearer rules and guidelines from the IRS to curtail these abuses.” Sullivan ignored Shaheen’s solicitation of Organization for America’s (OFA) voter, donor and activist lists. OFA is the nation’s largest political 501(c)(4).
“The Obama campaign had the best get-out-the-vote effort in New Hampshire history, so obviously any assistance we could get as we try to replicate that effort would be very helpful,” said Maura Keefe, Shaheen’s chief of staff at the time, according to Politico.