I have sent an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org — the e-mail address for inquiries that the “Hillary Responders” have now posted to their website. I would like to know exactly who is behind the organization putting word out that wearing the right kind of pin and waving a hand in the right way is more important in a presidential candidate than policy.
Fortunately, IRS Publication 557 makes it clear that tax-exempt organizations including but not limited to 527 groups are required to release such information upon request. Here is the text of that request:
To the HillaryResponders.com administration,
This is a formal request for information regarding HillaryResponders.com and the organization standing behind it. In particular, I am requesting the names of any and all officers or other holders of formal leadership positions in the Hillary Responders organization. Also, please indicate whether Hillary Responders is an officially registered organization under the authority of either Federal Election Commission or the Internal Revenue Service. If so, please indicate the official name of the organization responsible for the publication of the Hillary Responders website. Most of this information should be available in IRS Form 990, which tax-exempt organizations are required by law to share at no cost upon request. Finally, I am making a formal request for a copy of any application for tax-exempt status made by the organization responsible for the publication of the Hillary Responders website.
I look forward to the prompt receipt of this information.
P.S. See IRS Publication 557, available at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p557/ch02.html :
“Public Inspection of Exemption Applications, Annual Returns, and Political Organization Reporting Forms
The following rules apply to private foundations as well as other tax-exempt organizations. Private foundations filing annual returns are subject to the public disclosure requirements under section 6104(d) of the Code.
“Included in this section is a discussion on the public inspection requirements for political organizations filing Forms 8871 and 8872.
“Annual return. An exempt organization must make available for public inspection, upon request and without charge, a copy of its original and amended annual information returns. Each information return must be made available from the date it is required to be filed (determined without regard to any extensions), or is actually filed, whichever is later. An original return does not have to be made available if more than 3 years have passed from the date the return was required to be filed (including any extensions) or was filed, whichever is later. An amended return does not have to be made available if more than 3 years have passed from the date it was filed.
“An annual information return includes an exact copy of the return (Form 990, 990â€“EZ, 990â€“BL, 990â€“PF, or 1065), and amended return if any, and all schedules, attachments, and supporting documents filed with the IRS. It does not include Schedule A of Form 990â€“BL, Form 990â€“T, Schedule Kâ€“1 of Form 1065, or Form 1120â€“POL. In the case of a tax-exempt organization other than a private foundation, an annual information return does not include the names and addresses of contributors to the organization.
“Exemption application. An exempt organization must also make available for public inspection without charge its application for tax-exempt status. An application for tax exemption includes the application form (such as Form 1023 or 1024), all documents and statements the IRS requires the organization to file with the form, any statement or other supporting document submitted by an organization in support of its application, and any letter or other document issued by the IRS concerning the application.
I will be following up on this request, and I will share whatever I learn with you as soon as possible.