Foreign Corruption of the Political Process Through Social Welfare Organizations

27 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2019 Last revised: 20 Nov 2019

See all articles by Norman I. Silber

Norman I. Silber

Hofstra University School of Law; Yale University - Law School

Date Written: October 7, 2019


Social welfare organizations are prohibited from channeling foreign contributions to favored political candidates. Prospects for enforcing this prohibition, however, are uncertain. Do federal election laws or tax laws provide effective tools? Are state authorities equipped to hold a nonprofit culpable as an entity, or to hold a manager or board member responsible? These questions are important to understand whether the existing rules safeguard the nonprofit community and the fairness of elections. This Essay concludes that federal tax and election rules are likely to be less effective than the authority vested with state attorneys general to monitor and hold accountable nonprofits and their officers and directors who become vehicles for foreign interference in national elections.

JEL Classification: K2, K4, K34, K42

Suggested Citation

Silber, Norman I., Foreign Corruption of the Political Process Through Social Welfare Organizations (October 7, 2019). Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 114, 2019; Hofstra Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-09. Available at SSRN:

Norman I. Silber (Contact Author)

Hofstra University School of Law ( email )

121 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
United States
516 463 5866 (Phone)
516 463 4962 (Fax)

Yale University - Law School

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

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