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On December 21, 1996, Newt Gingrich apologized for “unintentionally” using nonprofits for partisan purposes, a violation of U.S. tax code. That means contributors to these nonprofits — who were supporting causes such as Newt’s televised college course — didn’t pay their full share of taxes.

So who exactly got this pro-Newt tax break, and how much did they save? We took a look at the 1993-1994 contributor list to the Kennesaw State College Foundation’s Renewing American Civilization Project. Kennesaw State is one of three nonprofits (along with the Progress and Freedom Foundation, and the Reinhardt College Foundation) that Newt allegedly misused. (Under U.S. tax code, nonprofits that advocate political causes are tax-exempt, but contributions to them are not tax-deductible.)

We estimate that these contributors saved a total of $46,446 in tax deductions* — deductions they would not have been able to take had they contributed to explicitly partisan enterprises. Mother Jones readers will recognize many of the names on the list as contributors to GOPAC and other right-wing causes:

 

 
Donor
Amount
 
Savings
Randolph Foundation $50,000
 
**
Associated Builders $2,000
 
$680
Employment Policies Institute $25,000
 
**
Cracker Barrel $25,000
 
$8,500
Health South $15,000
 
$5,100
Southwire $5,000
 
$1,700
Mrs. Roy Richards $3,000
 
$840
Federal Express Corporation $5,000
 
$1,700
Northwestern Nat’l Life Insurance Co. $5,000
 
$1,700
Robert Yellowlees $500
 
$140
WHI, Inc. $5,000
 
$1,700
RJR Nabisco $5,000
 
$1,700
Metropolitan Atlanta Community Foundation $25,000
 
**
Turner Broadcasting $5,000
 
$1,700
M/M Charles Baker $100
 
$28
Lockheed $3,000
 
$1,020
HBR Capital, Ltd. $10,000
 
$3,400
Richard J. Fox Foundation $20,000
 
**
Dr. Philip O’Connor $100
 
$28
The McCamish Foundation $50,000
 
**
Scientific Atlanta $2,500
 
$850
Space Master, Inc. $20,000
 
$6,800
M/M Fleming $1,000
 
$280
Claude Lambe $10,000
 
$2,800
Lockheed-Georgia Co. $7,000
 
$2,380
Coca-Cola $10,000
 
$3,400
TOTAL $139,200
 
$46,446
 
 

*In estimating the deductions, we applied average tax brackets of 28 percent for people and 34 percent for companies.

**The foundations on the list are tax-exempt, and therefore did not receive tax deductions for their contributions. However, if they contributed to the Kennesaw State College Foundation with the knowledge that it was violating tax laws (as it is alleged to have done), they could have jeopardized their own tax-exempt status.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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