"The NAACP has always been nonpartisan, but that doesn't mean we're noncritical. For as long as we've existed, whether Democrats of Republicans have occupied the White House, we've spoken truth to power." With these words, Chairman Julian Bond, head of the National Organization for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), began the keynote address of the organization's 95th annual convention in Philadelphia in July of 2004. He went on: "We must guarantee the irregularities, suppression, nullification and outright theft of black votes that happened on election day 2000 never, ever happen again . . . You cannot win this race by ignoring race . . . We know that if whiles and nonwhites vote in the same percentages as they did in 2000, Bush will be re-defeated by 3 million votes."
Soon after this speech was made, and its contents made publicly available on the official website for the NAACP, the IRS began an investigation claiming that the speech made by Bond in his capacity as Chairman constituted intervention in a political campaign, an activity prohibited for organizations operating as charitable under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Intervention in a political campaign can carry with it a penalty as high as complete revocation of tax-exempt status. At the very least, a charitable organization which has intervened in a political campaign must pay an excise tax on the amount of money spent by the organization on the activity. [More]