Introduction by WILLIAM SCHAMBRA
GARY BASS, OMB Watch
JEFFREY BERRY, Tufts University
STEVEN MALANGA, Manhattan Institute
TERRENCE SCANLON, Capital Research Center
The Internal Revenue Service withholds nonprofit status from organizations where a "substantial part of the activities… is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislations." But nonprofits can and do engage in the political process, with fellow 501(c)(3) groups such as the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest and the Alliance for Justice to guide them. Some even see political activism as a significant part of the nonprofit sector's purpose.
And yet the questions remain: Is activism a charitable activity? How far should charities go in engaging in politics? What does politics look like when it has been shaped by widespread nonprofit activism (as, for example, in New York City)?
On July 19, 2005, Steve Malanga of the Manhattan Institute discussed with a Bradley Center audience his most recent book, The New New Left: How American Politics Works Today, on politics in New York City—and especially, on the role of nonprofits in politics in New York City. Also on the panel were Terrence Scanlon of the Capital Research Center, who provided general facts on the nonprofit sector as a whole; Tufts University’s Jeffrey Berry, whose book A Voice for Nonprofits takes a much different stance than Malanga’s on nonprofit political activities; and finally, Gary Bass of OMB Watch, who added another liberal voice.
This event transcript was prepared from an audio recording and edited by Krista Shaffer. To request further information on this event, the transcript, or the Bradley Center, please contact Hudson Institute at (202) 974-2424 or e-mail Krista at firstname.lastname@example.org.