Endorsing the Bright Lines Project Approach
The Bright Lines Project’s approach:
- Seeks a middle road, striking a balance between promoting free speech and ensuring that speech closely connected to candidate elections is not subsidized by tax exemption.
- Uses a comprehensive and precise approach to defining political intervention including specific safe harbor exceptions so groups know what does and does not count as political.
- Notes that speech that refers to a candidate and reflects a view on that candidate would be considered political activity, but protects speech focused solely on issues, grass roots lobbying, nonpartisan voter guides, and other defensible forms of expression.
- Adopts a single definition for political intervention that applies to all tax-exempt categories, including charities (501(c)(3)s) for which political intervention is banned), social welfare groups (501(c)(4)s), unions (501(c)(5)s), and trade associations (501(c)(6)s).
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