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February 20, 2013

Ex-House Candidate Sues IRS Over Nonprofit's Attacks

A former congressional candidate and a campaign-finance watchdog organization filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday accusing the Internal Revenue Service of allowing tax-exempt social-welfare groups to flout laws on political activity by nonprofits, Politico reports.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and David Gill, an Illinois Democrat, said such 501(c)4 entities are not functioning "exclusively for purposes beneficial to the community as a whole," as required by federal law. Mr. Gill, a former emergency-room physician, was targeted in his House race last year by the nonprofit American Action Network, which spent $1.5-million on ads calling him a "mad scientist" who would eliminate Medicare.

Dan Conston, a spokesman for the network, dismissed the suit as "a tired long-since settled argument from a George Soros-tied left-wing front group and a failed candidate with an extreme ideology."