Just Like Carlos Danger
The New York Times on Thursday featured an exposé on what appears to be continued IRS targeting of conservatives, but this time, we're not talking about just any conservatives. In the tax agency's crosshairs is Hollywood's "Friends of Abe," a small band of right-leaning Hollywood power players mostly trying to keep their politics under the radar for fear of industry blacklisting.
The Friends of Abe story follows many other "additional information" tales told by tea party groups since the IRS scandal broke, but perhaps the most sinister request made by the IRS during the group's now two-year wait for 501(c)(3) status was a request for insider access to the group's web site. The Times explains:
The application had been under review for roughly two years, and had at one point included a demand -- which was not met -- for enhanced access to the group's security-protected website, which would have revealed member names.
The Times charitably notes that "tax experts said that an organization's membership list is information that would not typically be required."
I suppose not.
In politics, the most salacious political scandal is the relapse scandal, particularly one that occurs after apparent contrition. When the infamous alias "Carlos Danger" proved New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner's infidelity apology a sham, it sunk his candidacy and (if anyone has any sense) his entire political career. If Chris Christie or his staff again targeted political foes for more "traffic studies," the New Jersey governor might not survive his term.
So what of Obama and his IRS?
After the President avowed no knowledge of the targeting, called the IRS behavior "outrageous" nearly a year ago, we find out today what is perhaps the most disturbing of all the allegations, an effort to gain access to the guarded list of Hollywood's conservatives.