Status Has Its Limits

Posted April 23, 2008 at 6:46pm

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee asked tax regulators Wednesday to investigate an outside political group that has run ads in Colorado’s Senate race.

The DSCC’s complaint against U.S. Term Limits comes as the Internal Revenue Service is stepping up its enforcement of nonprofit organizations that engage in political activity, particularly 527s and “social welfare” groups that register under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. The DSCC’s complaint to the IRS is the first time that the committee has sought to strip an outside political group of its tax-free status.

[IMGCAP(1)]The DSCC alleges that U.S. Term Limits, a 501(c)(4) organization, violated federal law and its nonprofit status by not disclosing on its Web site that contributions made to the group are not tax-deductible. U.S. Term Limits recently ran ads on behalf of former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R) in the highly competitive open-seat Senate race in Colorado.

Moving On. Former Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.) — the man whose failed 2000 Senate bid cleared the path for the political rise of now-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) — is taking another step away from Washington, D.C.

After three and a half years as director of government relations for JPMorgan Chase, Lazio is leaving the lobbying team to become a managing director of the firm’s $55 billion global real estate and infrastructure group, a division of its asset management branch.

“Specifically, Rick will focus on client development and marketing to our investors; strengthening our relationships with governmental and other public officials; advising us on public policy issues; and representing Asset Management at industry events,” Jes Staley, the bank’s CEO of asset management, wrote in an internal memo.

JPMorgan spokeswoman Mary Sedarat said Lazio has long eyed a move to the business side of the firm’s operations.

Cantor’s New Job. The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday that Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.) will serve as chairman of the 2008 Victory Jewish Coalition, heading up outreach efforts to the Jewish community on behalf of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and the RNC.

Cantor, who serves as the GOP’s chief deputy whip, is the only Jewish Republican in the House.

“Our next president will inherit a Middle East region that is at a crossroads,” Cantor said in a statement released by the RNC. “One path leads to security and peace, the other, chaos. I believe John McCain has the experience and character to be an aggressive advocate for a secure Israel and stable Middle East.”

— Matthew Murray, Tory Newmyer and Lauren W. Whittington