IRS may have targeted conservative non-tax exempt groups and individuals
Just a few rogue employees who wanted to work more efficiently, right? So they bunched all the "tea party" and "patriot" applications together -- all because the workload was sooooo heavy.
Man, I've got a bee-utiful bridge over the Chicago River I can sell you for a song:.
A group of anti-abortion activists in Iowa had to promise the Internal Revenue Service it wouldn't picket in front of Planned Parenthood.
Catherine Engelbrecht's family and business in Texas were audited by the government after her voting-rights group sought tax-exempt status from the IRS.
Retired military veteran Mark Drabik of Nebraska became active in and donated to conservative causes, then found the IRS challenging his church donations.
While the developing scandal over the targeting of conservatives by the tax agency has largely focused to date on its scrutiny of groups with words such as "tea party" or "patriot" in their names, these examples suggest the government was looking at a broader array of conservative groups and perhaps individuals. Their collective experiences at a minimum could spread skepticism about the fairness of a powerful agency that should be above reproach and at worst could point to a secret political vendetta within the government against conservatives.
The emerging stories from real people raise questions about whether the IRS scrutiny extended beyond applicants for tax-exempt status and whether individuals who donated to these tax-exempt organizations or to conservative causes also were targeted.
The stories like the ones above are compelling, but not necessarily proof of an IRS targeting program beyond what we already know about tax exempt organizations. But it is certainly worth investigating and if it turns out that there was, indeed, an organized, deliberate effort against a wide range of conservative groups and individuals, the likelihood of this being an IRS scandal only virtually disappears. That kind of coordination comes from the top. And given Mr. Shulman, the former IRS chief's 157 visits to the White House during the Obama administration, the finger will be pointing straight at the president of the United States.