Obama Supporters Form Nonprofit

Days before President Barack Obama's second inauguration, Democratic Party officials have announced that his re-election campaign operation is being transformed into a tax-exempt organization, the Associated Press reports.

With support from corporations and individuals, Organization for Action will operate independently of the Democratic National Committee under the leadership of Jon Carson, who is leaving his post as director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. According to the AP, the group is being formed to enable Obama campaign supporters to continue working together on the issues they care about.

Since Obama's re-election in November, Democratic Party activists have wondered whether the president's campaign team would turn over its grassroots fundraising and voter engagement operation to the Democratic National Committee, or whether the administration would keep the operation in house and use it to help secure the president's legacy. According to the AP, the campaign team surveyed its members and, based on the results, decided to turn the operation into a nonprofit.

The new nonprofit will be incorporated as a 501(c)(4) organization, which under the Internal Revenue Code allows it to be tax-exempt as long as it does not engage in activities that could influence an election. With offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C., the group plans to focus on local concerns as well as critical policy issues such as gun control and immigration.