According to ABC News, the targeting of conservative groups began earlier ‚??and was more extensive‚?Ě than the Internal Revenue Service acknowledged last week.
As we reported on ‚??Good Morning America‚?Ě this morning, the IRS began targeting ‚??Tea Party or similar organizations‚?Ě in March 2010. That was when the Cincinnati-based IRS unit responsible for overseeing the applications for tax exempt status starting using the phrases ‚??Tea Party,‚?Ě ‚??patriots‚?Ě and ‚??9/12‚?≥ to search for applications warranting greater scrutiny.
The IRS had flagged over 100 Tea Party groups by the summer of 2011, ¬†taking aim not only at groups that used slogans like ‚??Tea Party‚?Ě or ‚??Patriot‚?Ě ¬†but also groups that used ¬†‚??government debt,‚?Ě ‚??taxes‚?Ě or, as ABC points out, “even organizations making statements that ‚??criticize how the country is being run.‚?Ě”