WASHINGTON - September 17 - WHAT: Telephone news conference at which Public Citizen, a national public interest organization, will discuss the findings of two new reports. The first, The New Stealth PACs: Tracking 501(c) Non-profit Groups Active in Elections, chronicles how 30 501(c) non-profit groups - including the AFL-CIO, United Seniors Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce - have spent tens of millions of dollars since 2000 to influence elections without revealing the identities of their donors or how they spent their income.
The second report, Big PhRMA's Stealth PACs: How the Drug Industry Uses 501(c) Non-profit Groups to Influence Elections, details how the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the trade association of the brand-name prescription drug industry, quietly channeled millions of dollars in 2002 into a handful of 501(c) non-profits, including several senior citizen groups, to advocate its corporate interests and message directly in election campaigns and help ensure a Congress friendly to a Medicare drug bill acceptable to PhRMA. Public Citizen also will discuss its request for the IRS to investigate 501(c) non-profits whose primary purpose appears to have been to influence elections and who have failed to fully comply with IRS disclosure requirements. Finally, Public Citizen will unveil a new Web site and database designed to monitor the activities of tax-exempt 501(c) groups seeking to influence the outcomes of elections while avoiding public scrutiny. The reports will be e-mailed to reporters at their request and will be available at www.stealthpacs.org by 9:30 a.m. (EDT) Monday.
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. (EDT), Monday, Sept. 20
WHERE: To participate in the news conference, reporters should dial toll-free 1-800-377-8846 at 11:30 a.m. and enter the passcode 36707396#.
WHO: Frank Clemente, director, Public Citizen's Congress Watch, Taylor Lincoln, Congress Watch's senior researcher and primary author of the "New Stealth PACs" report, Craig Holman, Congress Watch's campaign finance legislative representative