Sunday, July 17, 2005

LTE by LCV Volunteer in Sarasota Herald Tribune

http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050717/OPINION/507170704/1029/OPINION05

Article published July 17, 2005

Harris' vote protects polluters

Rep. Katherine Harris has voted again to bail out the makers of the gasoline additive, MTBE. This dangerous chemical has contaminated drinking water in her district, and recently the Environmental Protection Agency declared MTBE a likely human carcinogen.

The energy bill in the House protects the makers and refiners of MTBE from any product liability, which means affected communities and taxpayers will have to pick up the bill for billions of dollars in cleanup expenses.

Katherine Harris, who has received campaign contributions from MTBE interests -- including Tom DeLay's PAC and oil and gas companies -- that support the MTBE liability waiver, has failed to shield the taxpayers and public health from ground-water pollution.

Norma Dayton
Venice

Sunday, July 10, 2005

What is a 501(c)(3)?

Nonprofit, tax-exempt groups organized under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code that can engage in varying amounts of political activity, depending on the type of group. 501(c)(3) groups operate for religious, charitable, scientific or educational purposes.These groups are not supposed to engage in any political activities, though some voter registration activies are permitted.

www.opensecrets.org

What is a 501(c)(4)?

Nonprofit, tax-exempt groups organized under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code that can engage in varying amounts of political activity, depending on the type of group. 501(c)(4) groups are commonly called “social welfare” organizations that may engage in political activities, as long as these activities do not become their primary purpose.

www.opensecrets.org

What is a PAC?

Political Action Committee (PAC) – A political committee that raises and spends limited "hard" money contributions for the express purpose of electing or defeating candidates. Organizations that raise soft money for issue advocacy may also set up a PAC. Most PACs represent business, such as the Microsoft PAC; labor, such as the Teamsters PAC; or ideological interests, such as the EMILY’s List PAC or the National Rifle Association PAC. An organization’s PAC will collect money from the group’s employees or members and make contributions in the name of the PAC to candidates and political parties. Individuals contributing to a PAC may also contribute directly to candidates and political parties, even those also supported by the PAC. A PAC can give $5,000 to a candidate per election (primary, general or special) and up to $15,000 annually to a national political party. PACs may receive up to $5,000 each from individuals, other PACs and party committees per year. A PAC must register with the Federal Election Commission within 10 days of its formation, providing the name and address of the PAC, its treasurer and any affiliated organizations.

www.opensecrets.org

What is a 527?

A tax-exempt group organized under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code to raise money for political activities including voter mobilization efforts, issue advocacy and the like. If the 527 group is a political party or political action committee (PAC) that engages in activities that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a federal candidate, then it must file regular disclosure reports with the Federal Election Commission. Otherwise, it must file either with the government of the state in which it is located or the Internal Revenue Service. Many 527s run by special interest groups raise unlimited “soft money,” which they use for voter mobilization and certain types of issue advocacy but not for efforts that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a federal candidate.

www.opensecrets.org

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Bill Nelson and some fat guy from LCV


I met Senator Bill Nelson on Thursday. If you didn't know, he is the Senior Senator from the state of Florida and has an excellent environment record. Go Nelson!