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Speak Up: Issue Advocacy in Increasingly Politicized Times I Sally Wagenmaker

Speak Up: Issue Advocacy in Increasingly Politicized Times I Sally Wagenmaker

This article first provides a brief primer on current constraints affecting Section 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations’ communications within the context of what has become known as “issue advocacy.” It then sets forth the problem of increasing politicization of nonprofits’ issue advocacy activities. The article next evaluates related constitutional tensions for politically tinged issue advocacy, through the lens of the Supreme Court’s free speech decisions. It concludes by addressing how the IRS’s different content-based standards for issue advocacy are susceptible to abuse, are otherwise constitutionally suspect, and therefore warrant reform.

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