Funny how the truth is gradually coming out about this IRS scandal.  USA Today reported some new revelations last night:

Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about “anti-Obama rhetoric,” inflammatory language and “emotional” statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status.

The internal 2011 documents, obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as “propaganda.”

The list provides the most specific public accounting to date of which groups were targeted for extra scrutiny and why. The IRS has not publicly identified the groups, repeatedly citing a provision of the tax code prohibiting it from releasing tax return information.

Now we’re getting better insight into the internal conversations the IRS had about tea party groups and conservative groups in general.

From the beginning, the IRS has vigorously denied that this scandal has to do with politics, which is a little like saying the Superbowl has nothing to do with football.

We now see very clearly that this has everything to do with politics – in fact, politics is at the very heart of the scandal.  The Washington Times breaks down the shocking statistics:

In a letter sent late Wednesday and released Thursday, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George said that just 30 percent of groups with the word “progressive” in their name were put through special scrutiny for tax-exempt applications, but 100 percent of groups with “tea party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their name were subjected to invasive questioning…

“TIGTA concluded that inappropriate criteria were used to identify potential political cases for extra scrutiny — specifically, the criteria listed in our audit report. From our audit work, we did not find evidence that the criteria you identified, labeled “Progressives,” were used by the IRS to select potential political cases during the 2010 to 2012 time frame we audited,” Mr. George said.

Plus, as we saw in Lois Lerner’s e-mails that were released last week, key IRS official see Tea party matter as “very dangerous.” Now we know that conservative constitutional educational efforts were regarding by the IRS as “propaganda.”

This is particularly ironic, given the fact that liberal advocacy organizations have long had 501c4 status, and use that status to promote their own point of view as aggressively as possible in the public square.  For example, MoveOn.org and the NAACP both have 501c4 status, and they never miss an opportunity to share their point of view.

In fact, it’s their right.

Guess what?  Conservatives enjoy these rights as well.

Ths latest release decisively settles the bogus claim that this was an “equal opportunity scandal.”  It wasn’t.  The numbers are undeniable.

More conservative groups were targeted, asked more questions, faced longer delays, and were approved at a lower rate.

In other words, it was political after all.

But we already knew that, didn’t we?

 

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About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.