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While the influence of special interest groups in politics always has been controversial, it became a major issue after the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which opened the door for special interest groups to spend more freely in advocating their stances.

Since then, some groups have incorporated as 501(c)(4) organizations, which allows them to shield their donors from public view as long as they keep within the other rules on political activity.

Many liberal-leaning groups say there must be a way to outlaw big-money political nonprofits from abusing the system while preserving space for true public-interest nonprofits to continue to talk with voters.

But judging by the public comments submitted so far to the IRS, the agency has failed to find that balance.

The Washington Times looked at a sample of 200 comments, and 189 of them fully opposed the proposed rules, nine had mixed reactions and two were unintelligible. Not a single comment in the sample fully supported what the IRS was proposing.

The tally was running even more skewed against the IRS until the last few days, when the national League of Women Voters weighed in, offering a mixed reaction that many commenters have repeated.

When the IRS announced its rules proposal in November, the league initially seemed favorable. League President Elisabeth MacNamara said the group “could not be more thrilled” and called the rules a good first step.

But late last week, the league seemed to reverse course, submitting official comments for the record that said the league now feels its own ability to communicate with voters could be threatened by the proposed rules.

“The IRS proposal as it stands would jeopardize our work because it does not provide any exception for truly nonpartisan voter service activities like those carried out by the league,” the group said in its official public comment. “This is a terrible mistake, both for voters and for our democracy.”

Others were far less generous in their comments to the IRS.

One man, who identified himself as William Jones, summed up his opposition to the agency succinctly: “I hate you — end of message. <— that’s a period.”