Left-wing groups sailed past the politicized IRS
The flip side of the IRS scandal is that liberal groups sailed easily through the same tax-exemption process that turned into the Bermuda Triangle for conservative, Tea Party, and pro-Israel Jewish groups. This corrupt department of the IRS is looking more and more like an active wing of the Obama 2012 campaign.
USA Today has the scorecard:
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.
Amusingly, the IRS official at the heart of the storm, Lois Lerner, claimed that progressive groups were also being subjected to heightened scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status… but she couldn’t provide a single example.
It was particularly helpful for liberal groups to have the word “Obama” in their names. It was even more helpful to be run by the President’s half-brother, as in the case of the “Barack H. Obama Foundation,” which soared through the approval process in just one month… even though it had been operating illegally. And who signed off on this absurdly expedited application? Why… none other than Lois Lerner.
The Daily Caller reports:
The National Legal and Policy Center filed an official complaint with the IRS in May 2011 asking why the foundation was being allowed to solicit tax-deductible contributions when it had not even applied for an IRS determination. In a New York Post article dated May 8, 2011, an officer of the foundation admitted, “We haven’t been able to find someone with the expertise” to apply for tax-exempt status.
Nevertheless, a month later, the Barack H. Obama Foundation had flown through the grueling application process. Lerner granted the organization a 501(c) determination and even gave it a retroactive tax exemption dating back to December 2008.
The group’s available paperwork suggests an extremely hurried application and approval process. For example, the group’s 990 filings for 2008 and 2009 were submitted to the IRS on May 30, 2011, and its 2010 filing was submitted on May 23, 2011.
The New York Post brings up Obama’s old campaign operation, Organizing for America, which was reconfigured as an advocacy group called Organizing for Action, and secured tax-exempt status almost instantly. Talk about groups with political agendas – everyone knows OFA is still nothing more than an appendage of Barack Obama’s permanent campaign.
As blogger Jammie Wearing Fool asks, “So why does OFA gets special privileges? First, it only was spun off of Organizing for America in January, yet apparently by early February had 501(c)(4) status; not only that, they do not have to answer any questions about who they’re affiliated with or to disclose donors.”
But we’ve got to pin those little “constitutional” and “patriotic” groups under an electron microscope for years, because they might have a partisan political agenda!
And then there’s Enroll America, run by a former White House official and an Obama 2012 campaign operative. They’re almost as fishy as the foundation run by Obama’s half-brother, and is tied deeply to another exploding Obama Administration scandal, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ shakedown of health insurance companies for ObamaCare cash. From the New York Post:
Enroll America started as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt group in 2010, the same time conservative groups began to face obstacles to IRS recognition. What information did it have to provide? Did anyone ask about its board chairman, Ron Pollack, whose own Families USA nonprofit was intimately involved in passing ObamaCare — a law that helped the group’s revenues soar from $4.3 million in 2010 to $11 million in 2011?
Politico reported these ties months ago. Has any IRS official shown an interest? The Politico article began, “Several former White House staffers have found a new way to promote ObamaCare: They’re spending millions in secret corporate and union cash, and they’re harnessing grass-roots tactics to some of the biggest names in the health-care industry.”
The February 2013 Politico article referenced above can be read in full here. The title of the article is, “Secret Donors Back New ObamaCare Push.” Seems like the sort of thing our crack investigative squads at the IRS might have wanted to look into, doesn’t it? But they were too busy forcing home-schooling moms who wanted to start little Tea Party groups to list every social media post they’d ever written. There was no time to scrutinize massive Obama-linked groups chaired by people who raked in millions of dollars by helping to force a disastrous health care program on the rest of us.
The number of conservative organizations targeted by the corrupt IRS turns out to be far higher than the 300 or so it originally admitted to. “Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Tuesday that the number has actually risen to 471,” Fox News reports. “Further, they said it is ‘unclear’ whether Tea Party and other conservative groups are being targeted to this day.” Is it also “unclear” whether liberal and Obama-linked groups are still enjoying quick and easy approval?
This all stinks to high heaven, and it’s increasingly difficult to swallow that it might have been the work of rogue agents acting spontaneously in offices across the country, driven by their individual political biases without coordination. Didn’t those “low-level” goons get some training to avoid bringing their personal politics into official procedures? Is there any principle that would be more important to drill into the agents who process applications for tax-exempt status? At this point, the IRS itself could not meet the standards it held those Tea Party groups to.