Politics

Trump’s Backers Are Determined Not to Blow It This Time Around

In a rare display of unity, more than one hundred conservative tax-exempt organizations have joined forces in support of Donald Trump and the MAGA agenda, forming a $2 billion-plus political machine.

Together, these organizations are constructing a detailed postelection agenda, lining up prospective appointees and backing Trump in his multiple legal battles.

Most of the work performed by these nonprofit groups is conducted behind closed doors. Unlike traditional political organizations, these groups do not disclose their donors and must reveal only minimal information on expenditures. In many cases, even this minimal information will not be available until after the 2024 election.

Nonprofits like these are able to maintain a cloak of secrecy by positioning themselves as “charitable organizations” under section 501c3 of the tax code or as “social welfare organizations” under section 501c4.

Not only are these tax-exempt organizations attractive to large contributors who want to keep their role secret, but 501c3 groups have an added benefit: Donors can deduct their gifts from their taxable income.

The benefits don’t end there. The minimal reporting requirements imposed on political nonprofits lend themselves to self-dealing, particularly the payment of high salaries and consulting fees, and the award of contracts to for-profit firms owned by executives of the charitable groups.

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