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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 334

IRS Logo 2House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Debunking the Myth that the IRS Targeted Progressives: How the IRS and Congressional Democrats Misled America about Disparate Treatment (Apr. 7, 2014) (141 pages):

The Committee’s investigation demonstrates that the IRS engaged in disparate treatment of conservative-oriented tax-exempt applicants. Documents produced to the Committee show that initial applications transferred from Cincinnati to Washington were filed by Tea Party groups. Other documents and testimony show that the initial criteria used to identify and hold Tea Party applications captured conservative organizations. After the criteria were broadened in July 2012 to be cosmetically neutral, material provided to the Committee indicates that the IRS still intended to target only conservative applications.

The IRS’s independent watchdog, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), confirms that the IRS treated conservative applicants differently from liberal groups. The inspector general, J. Russell George, wrote that while TIGTA found indications that the IRS had improperly identified Tea Party groups, it “did not find evidence that the criteria [Democrats] identified, labeled ‘Progressives,’ were used by the IRS to select potential political cases during the 2010 to 2012 timeframe we audited.” He concluded that TIGTA “found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘Progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention.”

An analysis performed by the House Committee on Ways and Means buttresses the Committee’s findings of disparate treatment. The Ways and Means Committee’s review of the confidential tax-exempt applications proves that the IRS systematically targeted conservative organizations. Although a small number of progressive and liberal groups were caught up in the application backlog, the Ways and Means Committee’s review shows that the backlog was 83 percent conservative and only 10 percent were liberal-oriented.9 Moreover, the IRS approved 70 percent of the liberal-leaning groups and only 45 percent of the conservative groups. The IRS approved every group with the word “progressive” in its name.

In addition, other publicly available information supports the analysis of the Ways and Means Committee. In September 2013, USA Today published an independent analysis of a list of about 160 applications in the IRS backlog. This analysis showed that 80 percent of the applications in the backlog were filed by conservative groups while less than seven percent were filed by liberal groups. A separate assessment from USA Today in May 2013 showed that for 27 months beginning in February 2010, the IRS did not approve a single tax-exempt application filed by a Tea Party group. During that same period, the IRS approved “perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups.” ...

For months, the Administration and congressional Democrats have attempted to downplay the IRS’s misconduct. First, the Administration sought to minimize the fallout by preemptively acknowledging the misconduct in response to a planted question at an obscure Friday morning tax-law conference. When that strategy failed, the Administration shifted to blaming “rogue agents” and “line-level” employees for the targeting. When those assertions proved false, congressional Democrats baselessly attacked the character and integrity of the inspector general. Their attempt to allege bipartisan targeting is just another effort to distract from the fact that the Obama IRS systematically targeted and delayed conservative tax-exempt applicants.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/04/the-irs-scandal-7.html

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Comments

According to this latest GOP “report,” TIGTA “did not find evidence that the criteria [Democrats] identified, labeled ‘Progressives,’ were used by the IRS to select potential political cases during the 2010 to 2012 timeframe we audited.” TIGTA “found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘Progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention.” Really? What about–

● the 2010 PowerPoint presentation in Chairman Issa’s possession that used images of a donkey and an elephant to instruct IRS screeners to look for the term “progressive” alongside “tea party” when reviewing tax-exempt applications;

● the screening workshop notes from July 28, 2010, which are also in Chairman Issa’s possession, showing that groups with “Emerge” and “Progressive” in their titles were flagged for further review along with “9/12 Project” and “Rally Patriots.” Tea-Party and Progressive groups were all sent to the same secondary screening group – number 7822 – for additional review; and

● the New York Times report from last summer highlighting the fact that the IRS denied tax exemptions to a variety of local, liberal organizations – Emerge Nevada, Emerge Maine, and Emerge Massachusetts –because, the agency wrote in denial letters, they were set up specifically to cultivate Democratic candidates.

No evidence?

Posted by: Publius Novus | Apr 8, 2014 8:37:31 AM

You seem to have a strict definition of evidence that includes all available information. most pundits and political hacks recognize evidence as the information one chooses to accept. So your problem is solved, the committee has chosen not to accept the items you detailed, therefore they cannot be evidence. :)

Posted by: Daniel W. | Apr 8, 2014 11:36:16 AM

When I hear about the collusion among five Federal agencies against the founder of TRUE THE VOTE, it makes me wonder if the Progressives/Socialists/Communists have infiltrated every Federal agencies and are colluding to attack anyone they think could be political foes of the Obama Administration.

Posted by: JoyO | Apr 8, 2014 3:20:24 PM