Pa. Hearing To Focus On Political Groups
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A group that aired TV ads critical of Gov. Tom Corbett is the impetus for a planned hearing before the House State Government Committee.
Chairman Daryl Metcalfe, said Thursday he believes the group Pennsylvanians for Accountability should register as a state political committee and disclose its contributions and expenditures because it’s trying to influence the outcome of an election.
The Butler County Republican says his committee will hold an informational hearing June 5.
The group has run TV spots suggesting the Republican governor has placed the interests of corporations over education, health care and other social programs.
Corbett is expected to run for a second term in 2014 and his stubbornly low job-approval rating has energized a half-dozen Democrats who are jockeying for the nomination to challenge him.
Pennsylvanians for Accountability plans to apply for tax-exempt status as a “social welfare” advocate under section 501(c)4 of the federal tax code within a couple weeks, said Adam Bonin, a lawyer for the group. Such groups may get involved in political campaigns without having to publicly disclose their donors so long as social welfare remains their primary mission.
Bonin said case law makes clear that such groups do not have to register and report as political committees as long they do not directly urge citizens to vote for or elect a candidate.
Lynsey Kryzwick, who works for a New York-based campaign consulting company, said the group’s focus reflects bipartisan disenchantment over Corbett’s programs even though it has targeted Republicans exclusively.