Former Rep. Gabby Giffords' (D-AZ) gun control group plans to return a donation it received from actress Bette Midler's private foundation, the Center for Public Integrity reported Thursday.
Campaign records showed that among other donations from nonprofit organizations to the group, Midler's foundation had given $10,000 to Giffords' Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Tax experts told the center that such donations from private foundations could be "very problematic."
Because it is a 501(c)(3), Midler's foundation is barred from participating directly or indirectly in political campaigns, the center noted. In addition, private foundations are also barred from lobbying to influence legislation.
"These are not illegal contributions for us to take, but it’s our understanding that the donations are not appropriate for the donors to make,” Katie Hill, the communications director for Americans for Responsible Solutions, wrote the Center for Public Integrity in an email. “Thus, we are processing refunds, which will be disclosed on our next report.”
Campaign finance records showed that Americans for Responsible Solutions raised more than any other super PAC during the first half of 2013, taking in $6.6 million.