Wednesday, June 26, 2013
What IRS Scandal?
It’s another day and another misinformed letter submitted to our local newspaper.
Mr. Stokes, I will question your assertion that poor conservatives were the only ones singled out for special scrutiny. We have just found the initial report by the treasury inspector general omitted the fact that the word “progressive “was also listed on the “be on the lookout for” list but a lot more conservatives applied for the tax-exempt status. You do the math.
The only reason you don’t know who directed the illegal misguided effort to bring the 501(c) (4) tax-exempt status back into compliance is because Chairman Issa started his investigation by blaming the White House. If it wasn’t for the ranking minority member Rep.Elijah Cummings, we still would not have known the contents of the transcript of the interviews that were conducted, where the office manager in Cincinnati said that he was a conservative republican. The office manager also said that the actions of the agents were not politically motivated..
The IG report led to the congressional hearing and it was appropriate to ask for all the e- mails and phone calls that might be relevant. Yes, Democratic senators wrote to the IRS, asking why conservative groups like those associated with Karl Rowe were granted 501 (c) (4) statuses when they were not primarily involved in social welfare. Republican should have called for liberal groups who were also in violation of the tax-exempt status to be singled out for more scrutiny. Not one single application was ever denied. I take that back, a liberal group was rightfully denied.
“Almost all of the groups in question are organized under 501(c)(4) of the tax code, which regulates nonprofit groups engaged in promoting “social welfare.” At least 16 such organizations spent a million dollars or more on campaign advertising in the 2012 elections. (Crossroads GPS and Priorities USA also run “super PACs” with similar names that spent millions more.)
But because they purport to be engaged primarily in issue advocacy, not election advocacy, tax-exempt groups are not closely regulated by the Federal Election Commission. That task falls, instead, to the I.R.S., which can take years to investigate problems and is required to do so in strict secrecy.
Some groups, like Crossroads, filed applications for I.R.S. tax-exempt status, claiming that they would be engaged primarily on research and educational activities but spending the bulk of their money on what appears to be political advertising. Others, like the American Tradition Partnership, operate for years at a stretch without filing federal tax returns, in seeming violation of the law. Many boast of their impact on political campaigns.”
If President Obama questioned the validity of the tax-exempt applications, well he was in good company and correct in doing so. If that’s your smoking gun for some kind of collusion, then why were some liberal groups targeted? Let’s go back to the original allegation where no applications were denied, so where’s the crime? So I guess it was a botched attempt to scrutinize applications from groups that probably weren’t entitled to tax-exempt status in the first place.
You said, “we know who directed the IRS campaign against perceived enemies.” I don’t know the “we” you represent but those applicants were customers not enemies. You also stated, “the president’s signature is on the purloined letter. Huh? That doesn’t even make sense.