Foundation Watch

IRS scandals — winners and losers


Over at PhilanthropyDaily.com, I have a new post playing off our latest Foundation Watch by Walter Olson. He raised the question, Should “public interest law firms” — groups like the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, the Native American Rights Fund, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Environmental Defense Fund — actually receive tax exemptions as if they’re charities, when they only exist to commit the non-charitable act of suing people?

All those groups were started by the left-wing Ford Foundation in the 1960s, and even Ford’s own staff knew it would be hard to get the IRS to approve “public charity” status for these groups.

I discuss (1) why Ford ended up winning that battle and (2) why today’s Tea Party and other conservative groups did not.

The essay is here.

Scott Walter

Walter served in the George W. Bush administration as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and was vice president for publications and research at the Philanthropy Roundtable. There…
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