A 2012 Democratic candidate for Congress is suing the Internal Revenue Service, saying a tax loophole allowed groups like the American Action Network to spend millions on negative campaign ads. Former 13th district candidate and Bloomington physician David Gill is filing the suit, along with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The plaintiffs contend the IRS has failed to act against 501-C4 organizations that accept large contributions to influence elections. Gill says attack ads contributed to his loss to Republican Rodney Davis, and forced him to spend more than a million dollars himself to counter those ads. Gill says campaigns should be transparent:
"It is offensive that the IRS turns a blind eye to reality and allows partisan political groups to seek refuge in a provision of the IRS code that is meant to govern companies like volunteer fire organizations and homeowners associations. In joining the benefit of exemption from federal income taxes, and permitting them to hide the identity of donors," - David Gill
The plaintiffs contend groups have been able to accept large donations for electioneering in the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling favoring Citizens United. Gill says lots of complaints have been filed, but says the IRS has only noted ‘it’s aware of public concern.’ The lawsuit asks a federal court to strike down the IRS regulation, and require 501-C4 groups to run exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.