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Secret Election Financing Surges With Evasion of IRS Scrutiny

Last May, New York lawyer John Cahill filed an application with the Internal Revenue Service for a tax exemption for Revere America, a group pushing for the repeal of President Obama’s health care law.

Asked on the form whether the organization intended to spend money to influence the election of any candidates, he checked the “No” box. Four months later, Revere America, chaired at the time by former Republican New York Governor George Pataki, started spending $2.6 million, much of it on television commercials urging voters to defeat Democrats or elect Republicans.