Nonprofit Newswire | Bachmann Fundraiser Flouts the Rules

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February 27, 2010; The Tennessean | The Tea Party-happy congresswoman from Minnesota, Michelle Bachman, may be causing trouble for a nonprofit in Tennessee—although the trouble is of its own making. Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, based in Franklin, Tennessee, invited Backman to speak at a pro-Israel dinner it sponsors and at a private reception at the home of the organization’s president. The mistake was not in inviting Bachman to the dinner, but in asking supporters of the nonprofit to give $500 to the Minnesota congresswoman’s reelection. The invitation was clearly from the organization to recipients who were told that they received it “because of your relationship with Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, Inc.” You would think the nonprofit’s president would know the rules: she is a former lobbyist for Tennessee Right to Life. What happened? She says, clerical oversight. This is, by the way, a clerical oversight Proclaiming Justice has made before, holding an “awesome” reception for a Republican candidate for the state senate. Two problems: (1) we suspect that there are many more groups like this dancing on the boundaries of partisan political electioneering activities; and (2) we fear how much of this would occur if some people succeed in loosening electioneering restrictions on 501(c)(3)s.—Rick Cohen