The IRS Abuse Story: It's Not As Bad As You Feared. It's Worse. Much Worse.
Let me get this straight: The acting IRS commissioner who was in charge when the agency admitted its wrongdoing has resigned, but will keep his pension and there's no sign he will face criminal charges . . . and this is accountability?
Clearly, this guy was part of the problem:
Don't let any of your liberal friends get away with this "low-level employee" nonsense.
At the time when tea party groups were targeted, Miller was a deputy commissioner who oversaw the division that dealt with tax-exempt organizations.
The report by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration does not indicate that Miller knew conservative groups were being targeted until after the practice ended. But documents show that Miller repeatedly failed to tell Congress that tea party groups were being targeted, even after he had been briefed on the matter.
The director of the Internal Revenue Service division under fire for singling out conservative groups sent a 2012 letter under her name to one such group, POLITICO has learned.
The March 2012 letter was sent to the Ohio-based American Patriots Against Government Excess (American PAGE) under the name of Lois Lerner, the director of the Exempt Organizations Division.
Don't let them claim that this wasn't politically motivated:
In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no questions asked.
That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn't be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months.
In that time, the IRS approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows.
As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months. With names including words like "Progress" or "Progressive," the liberal groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups. They included:
- Bus for Progress, a New Jersey non-profit that uses a red, white and blue bus to "drive the progressive change." According to its website, its mission includes "support (for) progressive politicians with the courage to serve the people's interests and make tough choices." It got an IRS approval as a social welfare group in April 2011.
- Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment says it fights against corporate welfare and for increasing the minimum wage. "It would be fair to say we're on the progressive end of the spectrum," said executive director Jeff Ordower. He said the group got tax-exempt status in September 2011 in just nine months after "a pretty simple, straightforward process."
- Progress Florida, granted tax-exempt status in January 2011, is lobbying the Florida Legislature to expand Medicaid under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, one of President Obama's signature accomplishments. The group did not return phone calls. "We're busy fighting to build a more progressive Florida and cannot take your call right now," the group's voice mail said.
The exact same folks could apply with names that didn't sound conservative, and get fast-tracked:
Like the Tea Party groups, the liberal groups sought recognition as social welfare groups under Section 501©(4) of the tax code, based on activities like "citizen participation" or "voter education and registration."
Eight months passed without word from the agency about the group's application, Ryun said. In February 2012, Ryun's attorney contacted the IRS to ask if it needed more information to secure its non-profit status as a 501©3 organization. According to Ryun, the IRS told him that the application was being processed by the agency's office in Cincinnati, Ohio—the same one currently facing scrutiny for targeting conservative groups—and to check back in two months.
As directed, Ryun followed up with the IRS in April 2012, and was told that Media Trackers' application was still under review.
When September 2012 arrived with still no word from the IRS, Ryun determined that Media Trackers would likely never obtain standalone non-profit status, and he tried a new approach: Starting over. He applied for permanent non-profit status for a separate group called Greenhouse Solutions, a pre-existing organization that was reaching the end of its determination period.
The IRS approved Greenhouse Solutions' request for non-profit status in three weeks.
I am trepidacious about the IRS issue. I heard once that the Russian mafia was funding some of the tea party events and also it's administration, heard it from a GOP source. If this is the case, then they should be strongly monitored by the IRS.
Edited by regeneratia, 16 May 2013 - 03:52 PM.