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November 06, 2015

Watchdog Groups Request Justice Department Investigation of Pro-Rubio Nonprofit

Watchdog groups have asked the Department of Justice to investigate the legality of a nonprofit that has spent more than $5 million in support of Senator Marco Rubio's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Mother Jones reports.

The Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 allege that the Conservative Solutions Project exists for the sole purpose of supporting Mr. Rubio's candidacy, and in doing so violates its 501(c)(4) nonprofit tax status. While super-PACs are allowed to support individual candidates, so-called "social welfare" groups are not. 

According to the watchdog group's letter, the nonprofit shares several staffers, a spokesman, and a name with the super-PAC supporting Mr. Rubio. Their letter asserts that the group's activities present an illegal "private benefit" for the purpose of "defeating the donor-disclosure requirements of federal tax law."

A so-called "dark money" group, the Conservative Solutions Project is not required to disclose its donors. So far the group has raised more than $18 million.