Toxic targeting of conservative nonprofits must stop
By BOSTON HERALD EDITORIAL STAFF |
April 6, 2019
Conservatives in Massachusetts always face a tougher environment than their liberal counterparts, but too often it seems that selectively enforced, constantly shifting regulations and coordinated media smear campaigns are used as a bludgeon against any right-leaning Bay Staters who attempt to speak up for themselves.
The latest target of the Massachusetts Democratic Party is the fiscally conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofit Mass Fiscal Alliance and its sister 501(c)(3) the Fiscal Alliance Foundation.
Groups across the political spectrum, for example, the ACLU, maintain two different structures in this way to support their different types of work and protect the identity of donors who wish to remain anonymous.
But according to the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s press release, such donors, when giving to conservative organizations, are “shadowy” or “dark money in the political process.”
Especially disingenuous is the assertion that advocating for government transparency while accepting anonymous charitable contributions is somehow hypocritical. As though they cannot conceive of any difference between the taxpayer-funded operations of the commonwealth and the innumerable, mostly left-leaning, private groups who do not publicly disclose their donors.
Readers may remember how Obama’s IRS used the rules surrounding different types of nonprofit organizations to selectively harass and shame conservatives during the tea party era of the last decade.
Now the same process is happening here in Massachusetts. In particular, Democrats are offended that such nonprofits do not disclose their donors, whom they wish to publicly humiliate for the wrong thing.
Participation in liberal pet causes is considered noble and good, while participation in conservative ones is nefarious and cause for alarm. People who would support such causes, it seems, must be outed to the community at large.
Regardless of one’s political leanings, it should not be controversial to say that the same rules and scrutiny should apply to all. If Mass Fiscal has violated any regulations, then they should be subject to the same penalties as any other advocacy group. But when the hackneyed innuendo, outrage and demands for investigation are directed at only one group in the state, it creates the appearance of mere political posturing.