The Center for Public Integrity took at peek at donations flowing into the Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly gun control PAC, and they found several thousand dollars in donations from at least two private foundations and a church that cannot legally donate to political action committees.
The PAC’s defense is that they aren’t doing wrong to take the money, but that they are issuing refunds since they have suddenly learned that these illegal donations are “not appropriate” for the donors to make.
The highest profile non-profit to violate these donations laws is Bette Midler’s family foundation. Her publicist says that it was an accounting error, and the Center’s conversation with an accountant at the firm handling the foundation account merely said they needed to research the laws themselves. (Seriously? They handle this stuff for a living, and the staff don’t even know the basic laws on non-profit giving?)
The other non-profit to violate the donor laws is the Rupa and Bharat B. Bhatt Foundation, but neither one is willing to answer questions from the Center about their donations. The New England Congregational Church in New York also submitted an illegal donation, and the office manager merely confirmed that it was returned. It would seem from the article that she didn’t provide any information on why a church was trying to make political donations in the first place.