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December 21, 2014

Heritage Action for America Reports Only $90,000 for Lobbying

An extremely active conservative policy advocacy organization fighting Obamacare has reported only $90,000 for lobbying during the third quarter.

As a 501c4 non-profit organization, Heritage Action for America, provides coordination and communication with “citizens who want to be part of their national dialogue. We speak directly to the American people and help them break through the establishment in Washington.” The organization was started in 2010 because its sister organization, the Heritage Foundation, as a 501c3 organization, could not back specific legislation.

In August 2013, Heritage Action pushed a large campaign to link dismantling Obamacare with raising the federal debt limit and avoiding the government shutdown. The group sponsored meetings around the country to rally people to pressure their representatives (including Republicans) to defund Obamacare.

As a 501c4 organization, Heritage Action for America can engage in unlimited lobbying as long as the issues relate to the tax-exempt purpose of the organization. Periodic reports of how much was spent on lobbying must be disclosed. But certain kinds of expenditures, such as for grassroots lobbying, are exempt from being reported under the federal lobbying laws. This may explain the low amount reported by Heritage Action for America during the third quarter. In the first quarter of 2013 they reported spending $40,000, and in the second quarter they spent $100,000.

Grassroots lobbying refers to attempts to influence legislation by attempting to affect the opinion of the public with respect to the legislation and encouraging the audience to take action with respect to the legislation. It also includes calls to action, such as, influencing a recipient of the communication to contact a legislator or staffer; providing the address or telephone number of a legislator; or providing a petition, tear-off postcard, etc. addressed to a legislator.

To search detailed money-in-politics databases, visit Political MoneyLine.

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