I have been reflecting on an interesting parallel, which I assume is purely coincidental, between the question of whether Moving Nashville Forward is a non-profit or a political action committee and confusion expressed here in 2011 over Stand for Children's (a non-profit) endorsing Karl Dean for Mayor.
According to MNF leader Erik Cole, his group is pursuing non-profit status that would permit them to keep the $26,000 that "Dean for Mayor" donated to their efforts to market Karl Dean's budget proposal in the run-up to the Metro Council vote earlier this summer. Cole told reporter Joey Garrison yesterday that his organization is listed as a 501(c)(4). Garrison could not find confirming evidence of MNF's non-profit certification. A source told me that according to the Tennessee Secretary of State's records, Moving Nashville Forward is not certified here as a 501(c)(4).
501(c)(4) is exactly the non-profit status that permitted Stand for Children to endorse Karl Dean for Mayor in the last election. Last year readers were wondering how a non-profit can endorse political candidate and keep its tax exempt status. SFC does it by maintaining two organizations under one roof: their 501(c)(3) cannot campaign; their 501(c)(4) can.
Incidentally, Moving Nashville Forward's co-principal, Francie Hunt, is the former Nashville Director at Stand for Children.
UPDATE: I cannot find Moving Nashville Forward listed in the Internal Revenue Service's Exempt Organizations Master File for Tennessee. That list includes 501(c)(4) organizations reporting to the IRS.