Robert Egger is mad [and so are we!] about the Supreme Court decision allowing corporations and unions -- but not nonprofits -- to spend unlimited monies on political campaigns. And he has some ideas about what to do about it:
For the last four years, I've been wondering what it would take to unite the nonprofit sector in America.
In 2007, at the start of the first Presidential election in almost 80 years in which there was no incumbent in the race, nonprofits could have used this competitive climate to develop a strategy that compelled all candidates to earn our collective votes. By pushing for a plan for America that included a defined role for our 1.4 million nonprofits, we could have repositioned the sector as a deep well of previously untapped, economic energy. We did not.
In 2008, when 29 states posted over $45 billion in deficits and legislators began to make deep budget cuts, the opportunity was again present. As funding for once sacrosanct programs -- from senior healthcare to education -- was slashed, nonprofits could have joined forces to ensure that vital services and critical needs were met. We remained divided.
And in 2009, when state budget deficits exploded by over 300% and lawmakers began to explore taxing the property of nonprofits or imposing other cash generating fees, I eagerly awaited the moment when enlightened self-interest would spur a sorely-needed, strategic dialogue among organizations in every community. It never came.
And now this: two weeks ago, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in the case of Citizens United v. FEC
, which granted political free-speech rights to corporations and unions, but excluded groups granted 501 (c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service. This means . . .