Vote Vets Action Fund, a liberal “dark money” nonprofit that’s raised millions to ostensibly advance pro-veteran causes, is prohibited from engaging in politics as its “primary purpose.”
But the group nevertheless spent more than half the money it raised in fiscal year 2014 on “direct or indirect political campaign activities,” according to new tax filings reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity.
Such activity is legal because Vote Vets Action Fund’s campaign spending made up less than half the group’s overall expenditures for fiscal year 2014.
It reported spending a total of about $7.6 million during the period that included the 2014 election, making the political spending only about 41 percent of total spending. The group spent more than it took in, leaving it with net assets of $1.5 million at the end of 2014.
“The law requires that a majority spent be used on issue advocacy, which VoteVets does by a healthy margin. We will always abide by the law,” said Eric Schmeltzer, a spokesman for Vote Vets Action Fund, in an email to the Center for Public Integrity.
Vote Vets Action Fund, which does not disclose its donors, is already establishing itself as a significant force during the 2016 election cycle.