The article “Foreign Corruption of the Political Process Through Social Welfare Organizations” by Norman I. Silber, associate dean for research and faculty development and professor of law, was published on Oct. 4 in the Northwestern University Law Review Online (Vol. 114, 2019).
Social welfare organizations are prohibited from channeling foreign contributions to favored political candidates. Prospects for enforcing this prohibition, however, are uncertain. Do federal election laws or tax laws provide effective tools? Are state authorities equipped to hold a nonprofit culpable as an entity, or to hold a manager or board member responsible? These questions are important to understand whether the existing rules safeguard the nonprofit community and the fairness of elections. This Essay concludes that federal tax and election rules are likely to be less effective than the authority vested with state attorneys general to monitor and hold accountable nonprofits and their officers and directors who become vehicles for foreign interference in national elections.
View the full article (PDF) on the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Scholarly Commons website.