I just saw Pags’ latest commercial, focusing on his work as MSPCC’s chairman. Now, it’s a great organization doing important work, and it’s nice to know he’s given them a ton of cash and all that. But my lawyer-brain kicked in when I saw what looked liked the organization’s logo flashed on the screen.
As a charitable organization operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, MSPCC is required to stay out of campaigning for or against any specific candidate. http://www.irs.gov/charities/c… The use of an organization’s logo in a campaign commercial can be easily interpreted as endorsement.
Either MSPCC is allowing its logo to be used in violation of federal tax law; or Pags is deliberately creating the impression that a non-profit organization to which he is closely tied is endorsing his campaign, risking the organization’s image as a non-partisan entity and opening it up to IRS inquiry. Both readings are unsavory. If someone has an alternative interpretation, I’m interested in hearing it.