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IRS documents show liberal groups vetted like Tea Party: Democrats

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IRS documents show liberal groups vetted like Tea Party: Democrats

By Kim Dixon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Liberal-leaning "Occupy" groups received similar tax scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service as conservative "Tea Party" groups, according to documents released on Friday by a Democratic lawmaker, who said the IRS had been subjected to one-sided attacks.

Representative Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives' Oversight and Government Reform Committee, released documents from 2010 and 2012 used by IRS staff reviewing tax-exempt applications that suggest the key word "Occupy" was in the same category for added review as Tea Party applications.

"Occupy Wall Street" and similar left-leaning groups have sprouted up in recent years to protest corporate power.

Cummings blasted the chief of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), who issued a report two months ago that said the agency targeted conservative terms like "Tea Party" and "Patriot" when examining applications from non-profit political groups seeking federal tax exemption.

"This investigation ... has been characterized by one-sided and partial information leading to unsubstantiated accusations with no basis in fact," Cummings said in his letter to Representative Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the panel.

Cummings called for TIGTA's chief, J. Russell George to be summoned before the committee.

The IRS documents released by Cummings add another wrinkle to the Tea Party targeting inquiry that has triggered the worst crisis in years at the tax collecting agency.

Two months ago, the affair burst into view when an IRS official acknowledged that conservative groups seeking tax exempt status were inappropriately targeted, after agency officials had denied to lawmakers that the groups had received such treatment.

The scandal led President Barack Obama to oust the IRS chief from his job. Other IRS officials were also removed. The use of the targeting, or "BOLO" lists, was suspended and the FBI, as well as congressional committees, are conducting investigations.

Documents released by Cummings include a May 3, 2013 email between George and his deputy for investigations, with the deputy concluding after a search of 5,500 IRS emails there was no indication of political motivation in the Tea Party searches.

The potential use of liberal terms to select applications for added scrutiny came up last month when another Democratic lawmaker, Representative Sandy Levin, released several BOLO lists with terms like "Progressive."

TIGTA said in a letter to Levin that although liberal terms were on BOLO lists, there was no indication that they received the same added review and delay as Tea Party and other conservative groups.

The inspector general noted that in many BOLO lists, the word "historical" was used next to progressive, suggesting it was not an active issue.

Cummings released internal documents, including emails and Power Point presentations that showed words like "Occupy" were actively being used as late as February 2012.

One document suggests "Progressive" was used during a July 2010 training, along with "Tea Party," as key words that indicated potential political activity.

Groups seeking tax exemption under federal law may engage in limited amounts of political activity, depending on the type of exemption sought. This and the vagueness of the rules often make it difficult for IRS agents to tell which groups overstep and become ineligible for tax exemption.

The scandal led President Barack Obama to oust the IRS chief from his job. Other IRS officials were also removed. The use of the BOLO lists was suspended and the FBI, as well as congressional committees, are conducting investigations.

by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 10:26 AM
Replies (21-24):
GLWerth
by Gina on Jul. 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

They've set a precedent now though, so they can scream if any of 'their' groups is questioned on anything. 

Even though the only group that was denied status was a group registering minority women to vote. 

But, OH NOES! I had to answer QUESTIONS and CLARIFY answers! The horror!  

Quoting NWP:

I know right!? I've said from the beginning of all this crap that its silly to complain they were targeting political groups when it was thier job to do so.

Quoting cjsbmom:

The more I learn about this, the more I think the IRS was doing its job. They are supposed to fully vet any organization that has applied for non-profit status that may have a political agenda. Non-profits are not allowed to practice politics. At least not 501(c)(3) nonprofits, which are what is at issue here. 


 

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jul. 14, 2013 at 9:04 AM
Yep

Quoting GLWerth:

They've set a precedent now though, so they can scream if any of 'their' groups is questioned on anything. 


Even though the only group that was denied status was a group registering minority women to vote. 


But, OH NOES! I had to answer QUESTIONS and CLARIFY answers! The horror!  


Quoting NWP:

I know right!? I've said from the beginning of all this crap that its silly to complain they were targeting political groups when it was thier job to do so.


Quoting cjsbmom:


The more I learn about this, the more I think the IRS was doing its job. They are supposed to fully vet any organization that has applied for non-profit status that may have a political agenda. Non-profits are not allowed to practice politics. At least not 501(c)(3) nonprofits, which are what is at issue here. 




 

grandmab125
by Gold Member on Jul. 14, 2013 at 1:05 PM

 Keep drinking that kool-aid.  It not only rots your teeth, but also your brain.

Quoting NWP:

That's because there was no scandal.

Quoting grandmab125:

 This, is full of crap.....


Quoting sweet-a-kins:

This is in the republican Playbook

Now when election time comes up they can mention this, fast and furious, Benghazi and all the other made up "scandals" the rubes will only remember the lies and not the actual truth behind them..

That way, we spend months debunking their made up bullsh*t and not talking about any real issues or solutions



Quoting Happymamax2:


The "liberal" media must have missed that one!  Strangely enough, as soon as that came out, the whole "scandal" got no more press mania....


 

 

grandma B

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jul. 14, 2013 at 1:51 PM
1 mom liked this

you do realize that folks like you who keep spouting this crap are the reason folks are leaving the GOP and why you can't win the popular vote any longer?

I sure hope that you keep it up though, because its working for my side. Do go on....

Quoting grandmab125:

 Keep drinking that kool-aid.  It not only rots your teeth, but also your brain.

Quoting NWP:

That's because there was no scandal.

Quoting grandmab125:

 This, is full of crap.....


Quoting sweet-a-kins:

This is in the republican Playbook

Now when election time comes up they can mention this, fast and furious, Benghazi and all the other made up "scandals" the rubes will only remember the lies and not the actual truth behind them..

That way, we spend months debunking their made up bullsh*t and not talking about any real issues or solutions



Quoting Happymamax2:


The "liberal" media must have missed that one!  Strangely enough, as soon as that came out, the whole "scandal" got no more press mania....


 

 


Not Without Panties

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