From the (blechhh) Blaze. (Excuse the all caps, this is a copy and paste of the headline)
REVEALED: READ THE LETTER THE IRS SENT TO ONE LOCAL TEA PARTY AND THE DETAILED DEMANDS IT MADE
The IRS asked another Ohio tea party organization, the Liberty Township Tea Party, about its political views and relationships with an individual and another group.This is from the Liberty Township website Our History.
We (Liberty Township Tea Party) have conducted candidate forums that have been very well attended. We have hosted groups from outside the state and have had a very diverse group of speakers and topics at our meetings. Our first year culminated with a “Watch Party” held on Election Night at the Ronald Reagan Lodge at Voice of America Park in West Chester, OH. This event was attended by over 300 people and included a video link with the now Speaker of the House John Boehner our Congressman in the 8th District. We are now gearing up for the race for 2012 so there is much to do. We have also become an independent group and are a 501c3 tax exempt organization.Definition of a 501(c)(3) organization:
The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.Now, "lessening the burdens of government" may be interpreted several ways. I would suggest that due to the altruistic nature of the other classifications, this phrase would pertain to assisting the government by helping the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged, erecting monuments, etc.
But, the Tea Party seems to believe the term applies to lessening their personal financial burdens rammed down their throats by the government. Whatever they believe, it is fairly obvious that it has little to do with the exempt purposes set fort in section 501(c)(3).
So, now they are wondering why they are being investigated?
Here is your answer, Patriots.
Section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from supporting political candidates, and are subject to limits on lobbying. They risk loss of tax exempt status if these rules are violated.UPDATE from Liberty Township Tea Party website:
Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.