The top Republican tax writers are calling on the New York attorney general to cease an investigation into the secret financial records of close to two dozen tax-exempt groups that have been funneling millions of dollars into this year’s election.
Rep. Dave Camp, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a letter released Monday that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s attempts to obtain tax information directly from these groups violates federal privacy laws.
It’s the latest pre-election dust-up over the blurry laws and regulations surrounding political operatives’ use of tax-exempt groups, a practice that expanded in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.
Schneiderman, a Democrat, is investigating tax-exempt groups including Karl Rove-run Crossroads GPS, American Action Network and American Future Fund. While he is also targeting Democratic-leaning groups, conservatives see the inquiry as politically-motivated.
The letter warns that federal law requires state officials to route any requests for tax information through the IRS rather than addressing individual groups directly and only for the purpose of executing state laws.