Blakeslee’s bid for the governor’s office?
August 10, 2012
Sam Blakeslee said he was putting political aspirations aside and planned to work at a nonprofit focused on promoting common-sense solutions to big policy problems vexing Sacramento. [LATimes]
However, an early strategic plan for the California Reform Institute shows a different goal, “Devise and execute a plan that makes Blakeslee a politically viable candidate for Republican statewide office in 2014,” according to a review by the LA Times.
And while Blakeslee has said he does not plan to run again for public office, he has collected $23,000 this year in a campaign account for the 2014 treasurer’s race.
The California Reform Institute’s nonprofit category allows for limited political activity if the entity promotes “social welfare,” according to IRS regulations. Many politicians have used non-profit organizations to promote policy agendas, raise money for their travel and fund athletic tournaments and other events popular with voters.
Even so, in June, the IRS stripped the tax-exempt status from another think tank also run by a politician. The IRS concluded that the organization’s activities, while not explicitly campaign oriented, dovetailed too closely with its founder’s political agenda, the LA Times said.