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May 10, 2013

Republicans call for an inquiry into IRS' targeting of conservative groups

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. on Friday called for the White House to conduct a "transparent, government-wide review" after the IRS admitted that they scrutinized conservative groups during the 2012 election. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, the Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus and others quickly followed.

“Today’s acknowledgement by the Obama administration that the IRS did in fact target conservative groups in the heat of last year’s national election is not enough," McConnell said. "Today, I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not underway at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views."

“The admission by the Obama administration that the Internal Revenue Service targeted political opponents echoes some of the most shameful abuses of government power in 20th-century American history," Boehner said. 

The IRS apologized for focusing on tea party groups during the camaign, but denied any political motive.

At an American Bar Association meeting, Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt groups, said organizations that included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status were singled out.

“Even the appearance of playing partisan politics with the tax code is about as constitutionally troubling as it gets,” said Michael Macleod-Ball, chief of staff at the ACLU’s Washington legislative office. “With the recent push to grant federal agencies broad new powers to mandate donor disclosure for advocacy groups on both the left and the right, there must be clear checks in place to prevent this from ever happening again.”

Conservative groups complained during the election that they were being targeted. Some tax-exempt charitable groups can conduct political activities but it cannot be their primary activity.

Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La. sent a letter to the IRS Friday requesting the agency release all communications containing the words “tea party,” “patriot,” or “conservative,” and names and titles of all individuals involved in the discrimination.  

"Despite their unwillingness to cooperate, more than a year later, the IRS has now admitted to what we long suspected – it was targeting tea party groups," he said. "The IRS’s ‘too little too late’ response is unacceptable, and I will continue to work to ensure there are protections in place so no American, regardless of political affiliation, has their right to free speech threatened by the IRS.”

In March 2012, Boustany asked the IRS to explain why it was "questioning new tax-exempt applicants, including grassroots political entities such as tea party groups, about their operations and donors." Boustany, chairman of the oversight subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the IRS denied the allegations.

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BuckRedstone

This President just finished warning a college commencement audience those who say tyranny can come to our federal government are mentally ill! Well guess what, we all woke up crazy today.

jt

I think ALL 501c4 and 6's need to be scruntized and combed thru with a fine tooth comb..

This is a conservative attack on voting rights brought to the USA by the roberts activist court under 'citizens united'!

ANOTHER ABORTION OF THE LAW GIVE AWAY TO THE WEALTHY and CORPORATIONS!

Thomas Nass

It would appear that if nothing illegal, unethical or self-serving was being undertaken, transacted, voted on or being devised to advantage their “Special Interest” benefactors at the expense of their constituents, Members of the House and the Senate, would have absolutely nothing to occupy their time.
It appears that men and women of maturity, common sense and integrity are becoming fewer and fewer throughout the entire Washington political complex. This being due entirely to the fact that the "Political Gates" are guarded, not by Marines, but by immature, ethically lame, morally impaired and intellectually round-shouldered, ersatz "voter representatives", beholden only to the greed-obsessed,”Special Interest” tribes who sponsored them. And these combine to insure that no one else is allowed in!

gunste

That is typical McConnell holier than thou position. Next he will claim that he puts the country first and gives out "fair and balanced" views and policies.

gunste

Political organizations that claim tax exemption should be investigated. Or is Carl Rove a social do gooder now?

Thomas Nass

All these GOP folks seem to do is call for Inquiries, Investigations, Reviews and criticize everyone else to distract from the fact that they don't do anything and seem too stand for nothing!

ypochris

It is only reasonable to suspect groups with the term "Tea Party" in their name are formed primarily for political purposes, and thus ineligible for tax-exempt status. I see nothing wrong with looking at groups with obvious red flags more closely.

Jerry

The last time I looked, the crooks were the ones claiming to support "truth, justice, and the American way"--in order to rip off the public. So going after a fake patriot is both reasonable and fair. After all, if they truly *are* a patriot and they are doing nothing wrong, what do they have to fear? LOL !!! Boehner, etc are just desperately trying to point the spotlight anywhere BUT at themselves.

don

I am sure that Obama had his personal law firm the United States Department of Justice and Eric Holder go to the IRS and demand that they go after the conservatives and Tea party groupes and Individuals that Donate to the groups

Fifty Ville

My, my. Obama made a joke at Arizona State University in 2009 about using the IRS to audit his political enemies.

At least most folks thought it was a joke.

kbcart

No groups - conservative or otherwise, should be singled out.

They ALL should be suspect and investigated.

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