A Texas judge ruled that a Tea Party group is not a nonprofit as it claims but an unregistered political action committee (PAC).
Judge John Dietz of the Travis County District Court made his ruling based on a lawsuit the Texas Democratic Party filed against the King Street Patriots in 2010, according The Houston Chronicle. The suit alleged the organization made illegal contributions to the Republican Party and trained poll-watchers in cooperation with GOP candidates.
All of these actions would violate laws governing nonprofit political groups, which is what the King Street Patriots claimed they were. The organization was founded in 2009 with one of its main issues being voter fraud. The group reviewed public information of voter registration during the 2010 elections, and reported those findings to the county registrar. They also trained hundreds of poll watchers to look for potential fraud.
The ruling would force the King Street Patriots to reveal its list of funders. They would, however, be allowed to participate in partisan activities. The Liberty Institute, a nonprofit legal firm based in Plano, Tex. that represents the King Street Patriots, says they plan to appeal the Judge's ruling.
The NonProfit Times recently published a story on how the IRS is monitoring political groups like the King Street Patriots to see if they are adhering to rules governing nonprofits.
You can read the full story in The Houston Chronicle.