Officials at the Internal Revenue Service were encouraged to flag groups with the word "emerge" in their names as well as potential successors to the anti-poverty organization ACORN, according to documents released by Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday.Organizations with "emerge" in their name tend to be Democratic, just like organizations with "9/12" in their name tended to be Republican. Given that one of the key requirements of achieving tax exempt status is that an organization not be primarily involved in electoral activity, exposing such groups to additional scrutiny seems pretty reasonable. And given that the agency used keywords to track both Democratic and Republican groups, Darrell Issa's claim that the GOP was unfairly targeted doesn't hold water.
It's possible that keywords aren't the best way to conduct screening—perhaps the IRS should have used other factors, like proximity to elections. But that sort of question is really mostly technical in nature and certainly doesn't come anywhere near the level of the political scandal that Issa had claimed it to be. In fact, it's frankly kind of boring, which makes it no surprise that Issa's reaction to the news would be to keep his mouth shut:
A request for comment from House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa's (R-Calif.) office was not immediately returned.Sure, the facts are against Issa. But what does he care? His job is to
Tell the House Ethics Committee that the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee is not a place for politically motivated inquisitions that build campaign coffers. Rep. Darrell Issa should be investigated and censured for his misconduct.