IRS and Politics

Recall that in the last election season, the Internal Revenue Service demanded of a number of nonprofit organizations information about the nature of their politics, who their contributors were, even asking about family members.  The IRS intended to use this information to challenge the organizations’ nonprofit status.  That this was a biased request is demonstrated by the fact that only conservative nonprofits were targeted, and they were targeted on the basis of the presence of terms like “patriot” and “tea party” in their organizational names.

The then-IRS commissioner, of course, denied this.  Douglas Shulman told Congress in March 2012,

There’s absolutely no targeting.  This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people….

Turns out he was lying.  Lois Lerner, head of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups, said,

That [demand] was wrong.  That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive, and it was inappropriate.  That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review[.]

Then she said,

The IRS would like to apologize for that[.]

Well, Madam, when will the IRS apologize for that, instead of just talk about wanting to?  And what assurances are you or Steven Miller, the acting IRS Commissioner, going to provide that guarantee this politicization of the IRS’ function has been erased and will not recur?  When will we see IRS action on these assurances?

This…behavior…makes me wonder if David Axelrod has gone to work for the IRS.  Or whether Janet Napolitano, DHS Secretary, is directing the IRS’ oversight function.

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