Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee whose office announced the action, will serve as lead plaintiff in the case, joining campaign-finance watchdogs Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center and Public Citizen.
The lawsuit will address one of the main concerns that surfaced with the recent IRS targeting controversy: Differences between federal law and the IRS rules on eligibility for 501(c)(4) candidates.
Current law says the organizations must engage “exclusively” in so-called “social welfare” activities, while IRS regulations require that their “primary” purpose fall into that category.
The distinction means that 501(c)(4) groups could no longer be tax-exempt at all, and would be subject to reporting requirements for donors. That's going to be a real damper on GOP groups, which overwhelmingly use these groups compared to Democrats in fundraising hundreds of millions of dollars.
It ought to be interesting where this goes. I hope it's the end of these dark money PACs for good.