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Got into a facebook argument with a conservative friend today. He said there is no way that the Bush-bashing media would ignore such an abuse of power as the current scandal that is occuring with the tax exempt tea party groups. Therefore, he said, it is inplausable that the IRS went after Greenpeace without anyone noticing.

Well, I said, we noticed. And then I went looking for information. I found various notes of this on websites that he would not believe and a WSJ article under a subscription firewall.

Then I took a crack at the congressional hearing records. I found that the GOP did, in fact notice. They just did not consider it an abuse of power.

They wanted to extend it to the entire environmental movement......

Your side noticed, I said. Here is the Congressional hearing with Senator Inhoffe's remarks:

"These groups [League of Conservation voters, Greenpeace, NRDC, Sierra Club and Pew Charitable Trust] profess to be stewards of the environment and solicit contributions from a variety of sources using these claims, but they demonstrate more interest in hyping the extreme environmental scenarios to raise money for raw political purposes than working toward actual real-world environmental change for the benefit of all Americans. Not surprisingly, given these deceptions, these nonprofit groups are tightly affiliated with and fund the 501(c)(4) lobbying organizations and 527 organizations. And we all know that 501(c)(4) organizations and 527 organizations are lobbying organizations that get involved in political campaigns.

With these intertwined organizations, it is extremely difficult to differentiate
the source of funds and track their use. This problem is highlighted
in a report prepared by my staff which provides preliminary examples based on the five most politically active environmental groups. The report describes their activities, the foundations that provide their financial support, and the interconnected web
among these organizations."

He goes on to state that they lack the required policing of their political activities.

For good measure, here are Senator Inhofe's donations:

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