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Friday, May 10, 2013
IRS Admits Targeting TEA Party Groups—Maui TEA Party Among Victims
By Selected News Articles @ 3:07 PM :: 5276 Views :: First Amendment, Taxes, TEA Party

February 27, 2012: Is the IRS Attempting to Intimidate Hawaii TEA Parties?

July 18, 2012: IRS Backs Off, Grants Tax Free Status to Maui TEA Party

FULL TEXT: IRS Inspector General's Draft Report Timeline

IRS Admits Targeting Conservative Groups, Apologizes

FULL TEXT: January 2012 IRS letter to the Richmond, VA TEA Party

by David French, ACLJ, May 10, 2013

Last Spring, dozens of Tea Party groups reported the IRS was not only holding up applications for tax-exempt status, it was also asking a series of intrusive questions that clearly violated the groups’ right of free association.  At the ACLJ, we ultimately represented 27 Tea Parties from 18 states (including Maui TEA Party, see links below) and began the painstaking process of resisting, group by group, the IRS’s demands.  To date, 14 of our clients have been approved, eight are pending, and none have been denied.

The IRS denied targeting the Tea Parties, and some on the Left ridiculed the Tea Party’s claims, passing off the IRS inquiries as “standard” and “much ado about nothing.”  Today, however, the Associated Press reported the IRS now admits targeting conservative groups and is very, very sorry:

The Internal Revenue Service is apologizing for inappropriately flagging conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt groups, said organizations that included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status were singled out for additional reviews.

Lerner said the practice, initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati, was wrong and she apologized while speaking at a conference in Washington.

While I appreciate the honesty, “sorry” is just not enough.  Where is the compensation for hundreds of hours of attorney time?  Where is the compensation for thousands of hours spent by Tea Party groups compiling tens of thousands of pages of documents?

Mark this day well: The Obama Administration’s IRS just admitted targeting conservative organizations in the months before a presidential election.

And to think, through Obamacare we dramatically expanded IRS power.  A chilling thought.

---30---   

AP: IRS APOLOGIZES FOR TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS

Note that Lerner’s statement does not line up with the denials in this IRS news release sent out today (May 10, 2013):

IRS News Release:

Between 2010 and 2012, the IRS saw the number of applications for section 501(c)(4) status double. As a result, local career employees in Cincinnati sought to centralize work and assign cases to designated employees in an effort to promote consistency and quality.  This approach has worked in other areas. However, the IRS recognizes we should have done a better job of handling the influx of advocacy applications.

While centralizing cases for consistency made sense, the way we initially centralized them did not.  Mistakes were made initially, but they were in no way due to any political or partisan rationale. We fixed the situation last year and have made significant progress in moving the centralized cases through our system. To date, more than half of the cases have been approved or withdrawn.

It is important to recognize that all centralized applications received the same, even-handed treatment, and the majority of cases centralized were not based on a specific name. In addition, new procedures also were implemented last year to ensure that these mistakes won’t be made in the future.  The IRS also stresses that our employees - all career civil servants -- will continue to be guided by tax law and not partisan issues.

---30---

WaPo: IRS Probe Expands To Groups Opposed To Gov't, Teaching Constitution...

An inspector general’s report due for release this week says senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011, nine months before the IRS commissioner assured Congress the targeting was not happening. (Translation: The IRS news release above is a lie.)

The report is certain to raise questions about the timing of the IRS’s disclosure of the targeting on Friday, how high up were the officials who knew about the practice, and whether anyone outside the agency was aware of it.

WSJ: Scrutiny Was Deeper Than Thought...

At various points over the past two years, Internal Revenue Service officials targeted nonprofit groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution, according to documents in an audit conducted by the agency’s inspector general.

The documents, obtained by The Washington Post  from a congressional aide with knowledge of the findings, show that on June 29, 2011, IRS staffers held a briefing with senior agency official Lois G. Lerner in which they described giving special attention to instances where “statements in the case file criticize how the country is being run.” Lerner, who  oversees tax-exempt groups for the agency, raised objections and the agency revised its criteria a week later.

But six months later, the IRS applied a new political test to groups that applied for tax-exempt status as “social welfare” groups, the document says. On Jan. 15, 2012 the agency decided to target “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform movement.,” according to the appendix in the IG report, which was requested by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and has yet to be released.

UPDATE: IRS also targeted tax-exempt status of Jewish groups...

'Absolutely chilling'...

House committee demands all communications by Wednesday...

NEW 'ENEMIES LIST'...

IRS Began Targeting Conservatives in March 2010...

Tea Party groups threaten to sue...

BOOK: IRS retaliates against outspoken business leaders...

Probe Expands To Groups Opposed To Gov't, Teaching Constitution...

Scrutiny Deeper Than Thought...

McConnell: 'Just The Beginning'...

'Kept shifting targets in tax-exempt groups'...

Agency accused of leaking confidential tax documents during election...

FLASHBACK: Romney donor vilified by Obama campaign, then subjected to 2 audits...

Did Plouffe Justify IRS Targeting Conservative Groups?

Obama on Benghazi: 'There's No There There'


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