From Open Secrets:
New tax documents obtained by OpenSecrets Blog suggest that one of the oldest, most politically active nonprofits in the country, VoteVets Action Fund, devoted most of its activities in 2014 to influencing that year’s midterms.
Vote Vets Action Fund — which last week attacked the presumptive GOP nominee, Donald Trump, as a “cheap fraud” — is currently the highest spending liberal nonprofit active in federal elections, a perch it is accustomed to holding. Fueled largely by social welfare organizations aligned with Democrats and millions of dollars given by unions, VoteVets — with just two employees and no volunteers — has spent more on elections since its founding in 2006 than the combined spending of much more prominent politically active groups on the left, like NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Sierra Club, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Electioneering as social welfare
The new tax documents show that between July 2014 and and June 2015, VoteVets spent nearly $7.6 million overall. During that same period, VoteVets’ filings with the FEC indicate it spent more than $3.6 million supporting Democratic candidates or opposing Republicans.
Social welfare organizations like VoteVets are not supposed to be primarily political, though neither the IRS nor the FEC has shown an appetite for policing them. That, combined with the fact that they don’t have to disclose who their donors are, has made 501(c) groups — also known as “dark money” outfits — attractive vehicles for contributors with a strong desire to influence politics but just as powerful an…