In an apparent leak from the New York attorney general's office, the identities of donors to former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley's nonprofit, Stand for America, have been revealed to the public. Politico reports:
Like other nonprofits, Stand For America files an annual tax return with the IRS. While the agency and the nonprofit must make those filings available to the public, including the amounts of contributions to the group, such nonprofits do not have to disclose the identities of their donors.
However, the organization Documented, which describes itself as a nonpartisan government watchdog that investigates money in politics, obtained an unredacted copy of Stand For America’s 2019 filings, which it then shared with POLITICO. The group did not share the original source of the filing, but it bears a stamp from the charity office of the New York state attorney general.
The leak sets a dangerous precedent for future elections, weaponizing donations to suppress support of conservative causes connected to Republican candidates:
Haley is among at least a dozen other would-be White House hopefuls— including former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence — who also have allied nonprofits bankrolled by donors whose identities have remained under wraps. . .
Such tax filings are typically closely held, as donors contribute to nonprofit groups with the understanding that their names will be kept secret.
Unfortunately, New York isn't the only state that is willing to make previously anonymous donor information public. In Americans for Prosperity v. Bonta, the Supreme Court struck down California's compelled disclosure of donors on an organization's "Schedule B" form. In that opinion, the Court wrote:
"[T]he enormous amount of sensitive information collected through Schedule Bs does not form an integral part of California’s fraud detection efforts. California does not rely on Schedule Bs to initiate investigations, and evidence at trial did not support the State’s concern that alternative means of obtaining Schedule B information—such as a subpoena or audit letter—are inefficient and ineffective compared to up-front collection. In reality, California’s interest is less in investigating fraud and more in ease of administration. But “the prime objective of the First Amendment is not efficiency.” McCullen v. Coakley, 573 U. S. 464, 495. Mere administrative convenience does not remotely “reflect the seriousness of the actual burden” that the demand for Schedule Bs imposes on donors’ association rights. Reed, 561 U. S., at 196 (internal quotation marks omitted). Pp. 12–15.
As former Ambassador Haley points out, the the alleged release of donor information is yet another example of the Left weaponizing the government against conservatives.
Disclosure of @StandForAmerica's confidential tax return isn't just a violation of state & federal law—it is meant to intimidate conservative donors.— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) August 26, 2022
Liberals have ALWAYS weaponized gov't against conservatives.
Republicans have been too nice for too long. The buck stops here. https://t.co/GpDCnW8ajZ