I always suspected that the Tea Party groups weren't the only organizations seeking 501(c)(3) tax status that were being singled out for extra scrutiny by the IRS. Now it turns out that was the case at the IRS.
IRS employees used terms including ‘progressive,’ ‘Israel’
Documents show that “progressive,” “Israel” and “occupy” appeared on versions of “be-on-the-lookout” lists used by employees in the office that reviewed tax-exempt applications for tea-party groups and other small-government advocates.
Now, documents obtained by Bloomberg News show that “progressive,” “Israel” and “occupy” appeared on versions of “be-on-the-lookout” lists used by employees in the office that reviewed tax-exempt applications in an effort to coordinate similar issues.
Employees were told to watch for applications that were “partisan and appear as anti-Republican.”
“The audit served as the basis and impetus for a wide range of congressional investigations and this new information shows that the foundation of those investigations is flawed in a fundamental way,” Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means panel, said in a statement.Of course for that several weeks the Tea Party and the Republicans did their best to paint this as the Obama White House out to get Republicans.
Werfel said Monday that he was suspending the use of such lists, which were used as recently as last month.
The IRS took several weeks to release the documents, as it had to scrub the be-on-the-lookout lists of taxpayer-specific information before making them public.
This kind of scatter-shot targeting may have been abusive, but now it doesn't appear to be partisan in nature, as the Far Right has been hyperventilating so vigorously to depict it.