This popular leftist brand was just caught making illegal campaign contributions to Democrats

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Many major corporations and lobby groups donate to political action committees to help fund a variety of campaigns.

While the practice is legal, there are rules to make sure that there is transparency, and the IRS wants to make sure that donations, are not used as a tax dodge.  

And one popular outdoor clothing company just got slapped with a very serious complaint regarding their campaign donations, and the IRS is very angry about it.

Patagonia faces serious FEC complaint

The watchdog group Americans for Public Trust (APT) has filed an official campaign finance complaint against the popular outdoor clothing company Patagonia.

The complaint alleges that Patagonia misrepresented donations made through the tax-exempt arm of the company.

According to the complaint, which was filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), several tax-exempt environmental groups that hold 98% of Patagonia’s nonvoting shares, misidentified political contributions made to Democrat political action committees in 2022.

The nonvoting shares of these groups are worth nearly $1.8 billion.

This type of misidentification violates the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which prohibits individuals from making any contributions in the name of another.

It also prohibits the use of one’s name to be used to make any contributions in the name of another.

APT requested that FEC conduct an investigation to determine and impose sanctions on the company for any violations.

The complaint states, “With these tremendous resources, and the subsequent desire to pour this money into American politics, there should come great responsibility and transparency. The very bedrock of these responsibilities should include providing accurate contributor information so that most basic disclosure and transparency requirements of [FECA] can be met.”

In federal elections filings analyzed by APT, Patagonia’s “Holdfast Collective” donated $100,000 in late 2022 to the Senate Majority PAC, a group dedicated to getting Democrats elected to the Senate.

The collective also donated $50,000 to the Jane Fonda PAC, which only gives money to leftist campaigns and another $25,000 to the Galeo Impact Fund PAC, which only donated money to Democrat Georgia Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.

Yet another $20,000 was donated to Activate America, another PAC that is devoted to supporting Democrats.

The contributions allegedly were from the Holdfast Trust and Chalten Trust, which are two separate 501(c)(4) nonprofits that are overseen by the Holdfast Collective.

An “unacceptable” decision

APT Executive Director Caitlin Sutherland spoke to Fox News Digital about the complaint, saying, “It is unacceptable that a for-profit company posed as a donor to mask a network of nonprofit organizations working to quietly influence our political system.”

“By misreporting the source of the donations, Holdfast is trying to hide its true organizational structure that operates as a $1.7 billion ATM for liberal groups,” she continued.

This isn’t the first time Patagonia has faced similar scrutiny.

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard relinquished ownership of the company to guarantee that its profits were spent on mostly climate-related campaigns and initiatives two years ago.

The company also set up several trusts and limited liability corporations aimed at protecting “the independence of the clothing company,” while it distributed profits to the Holdfast Collective.

Tax filings found that during the first six months of operations, the collective made massive donations to a variety of progressive groups, including the Conservation Fund, Black Voters Matter Fund, Center for American Progress Action Fund, and several others. 

Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.