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For anyone relying on Karen Handel, the ex-senior VP for public policy at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, for a solid interpretation of U.S. tax law, they may want to read this blog post from the Alliance for Justice first. In the December 13 post, AFJ legal director for advocacy Abby Levine takes Handel to task for her questioning of Planned Parenthood’s tax-exempt status in a recent speech she delivered to the Family Research Council. Handel sparked an uproar last year when the Komen foundation yanked funding from Planned Parenthood (a decision it reversed just days later); in this latest speech, Handel wondered aloud whether the group was running afoul of the IRS. “As I read her speech, what struck me was the misunderstanding about how different types of nonprofit organizations operate,” Levine says. Per the Huffington Post’s coverage of the speech:
Handel went on to question Planned Parenthood’s status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. She pointed out that the organization’s political arm, called the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, campaigned for President Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates, while the health organization itself remained apolitical. “How is that not a violation of campaign finance and IRS rules?” Handel asked. “I would ask you this: If the NRA [National Rifle Association], if the Family Research Council through its nonprofit was out blatantly campaigning for a candidate, don’t you think the wrath of the IRS would be raining down on you? I would guess it would be.”