published Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

A tea party witch hunt: IRS admits to political discrimination

How do liberals feel now?

After years of mocking tea party-types for believing that government is out to get them, left-leaning Americans found out that the tea party wasn't just being paranoid. We now know the IRS has used a different set of rules on conservative political groups applying for 501(c)(4) status.

Organizations set up as 501(c)(4)s are allowed to engage in political activities and publish political information, but they cannot be involved in political campaigns. Since tea party groups and other conservative organizations tend to focus on issue advocacy, such as reducing government spending or cutting taxes, instead of elections, a 501(c)(4) status is a natural fit.

As early as March 2010, the IRS began singling out conservative groups applying for tax exemption, according to a leaked inspector general's report that will be released later this week. This move began a scandalous series of bad behavior and discriminatory deeds on the behalf of the IRS that made it nearly impossible for tea party and other limited government and conservative groups to receive their tax exempt designations.

By the summer of 2010, IRS managers directed its specialists to "be on the lookout for tea party applications" and "various local organizations in the tea party movement" applying for tax-exempt status. In particular, groups with "Tea Party," "Patriot" or "9/12 Project" in their names were subjected to onerous scrutiny that slowed down their applications for tax-exempt status tremendously.

The IRS admitted to deliberately stalling the 501(c)(4) application process of at least 75 groups, including the Chattanooga Tea Party. Mark West, the president of the organization, noted that the Chattanooga Tea Party filed its application for tax exemption in 2009 and was met with a series of improper questions and inexplicable delays.

While most organizations receive 501(c)(4) designation within six months, according to the Houston Chronicle, the Chattanooga Tea Party's tax-exempt status wasn't granted until earlier this year, nearly four years after the group's leaders first applied.


On Monday, facing whispers that his administration has encouraged the IRS effort to target conservative groups that may oppose his policies, President Barack Obama called the scandal "outrageous." "There's no place for it," Obama told reporters.

Those are strong words, but imagine how much stronger they would be if, instead of conservative organizations, the groups the IRS targeted were women's outfits or minority organizations. The president wouldn't calmly address the issue as part of a news conference. Heads would be rolling and pink slips would be flying. No one involved in the disparate treatment of the organizations would be left standing.

This disgusting episode is just further proof that there's something to the belief that conservative groups aren't playing on a level playing field. From difficulties receiving event permits from local governments to being harassed and impeded by the IRS, there's no doubt that tea parties, 9/12 organizations and patriot groups often face unfair standards.

The government should work to ensure that all people — and all groups — receive equal treatment under the law. Instead, it seems that the IRS has bent laws to make sure that conservatives have a harder time than other Americans.

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fairmon said...

Why should any organization be exempt from taxes? Those donating take a double hit when they pay taxes then make up for those not paid by those receiving their money. Those claiming a tax reduction for contributing are shifting the tax burden to those that did not contribute. The only fair tax is a first time purchased consumption tax with no exceptions.

May 14, 2013 at 1:49 a.m.
fairmon said...

To say the tea party, acorn and similar organizations are charities and not politically motivated is ludicrous.

May 14, 2013 at 1:51 a.m.
gjuster said...

Fairmon The point is that all the groups should be treated the same - if you want to change the rules of tax exempt, no problem from me. We'd all be better without the IRS, the Fair tax does that, the flat tax limits them.

May 14, 2013 at 6:21 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I hope this is the issue that brings Obama down. Of course, I am sure he was very careful to insulate himself and will have plenty of fall guys between him and the outrageous acts committed by an agency under his direct control.

May 14, 2013 at 9:40 a.m.
Easy123 said...

"I hope this is the issue that brings Obama down."

Hasn't that been your wish all along?

May 14, 2013 at 10:33 a.m.
chet123 said...

THE REPUBLICAN ARE TONE-DEAF......THEY CONVENIENTLY FORGET GEORGE BUSH THREATEN TO AUDIT THE NAACP BECAUSE OF THE ANTI-GEORGE BUSH POSITIONS.....Hmmmmmmm!!! REALLY AMAZING.......

WHERE WAS THE REPUBLICAN TO PROTECT THOSE PEOPLE RIGHT......OK!

I GET IT.......WHEN REPUBLICAN ARE IN THE WHITE HOUSE ITS SEE NO EVIL SPEAK NO EVIL AND HEAR NO EVIL HA HA HA!!!

May 17, 2013 at 4:14 p.m.
chet123 said...

I HAVE ALWAYS SAID REPUBLICAN THROW STONES FROM GLASS HOUSES......

May 17, 2013 at 4:24 p.m.
chet123 said...

THIS PARTY HAVE NO CDRDIBILITY.....

THEY LOOKS FOR SCANDAL BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO POLOCY IN GOVERNING!!

THEY ONLY PROTECT THE RICH AND GREEDY....THEY ARE BOUGHT.....THEY TALK ABOUT CUTTING BUT RECEIVE GOVERNMENT INSURANCE...MEDICAL DENTAL.....RETIRE WITH A LARGE GOVERNMENT PENSION OVER 100,000 A YEAR.......THIS IS WHY THEY TRY TO BUY TIME WITH SCANDALS.....

WHAT A JOKE!!!

May 17, 2013 at 4:28 p.m.
chet123 said...

WHERE ARE THE REPUBLICAN....WHERE ARE THEY.....OH, OH OH I GET IT.....YOU NEED A PLATFORM....A MICROPHONE TO VOICE YOUR BELEIF.....BUT YOUR EARS ARE MISSING

May 17, 2013 at 8:52 p.m.
chet123 said...

I HEAR CRICKETS!!!

May 22, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.
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