Liberal groups: We weren’t targeted for extra scrutiny

posted at 10:01 am on June 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

When presented with an opportunity to present their own witnesses at House hearings on the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, Democrats declined — and now we know why.  According to McClatchy, no liberal groups felt targeted or harassed by the IRS during the same period that conservative groups were being told to disclose their prayer life and pledge not to protest at abortion mills:

The storm over the Internal Revenue Service’s dealings with groups seeking tax-exempt status is now nearly a month old, and virtually no organizations perceived to be liberal or nonpartisan have come forward to say they were unfairly targeted since then.

Some have been rejected for special status, but groups both denied and given exemptions contacted by McClatchy said they thought the scrutiny they got was fair.

“During the Bush administration we often thought the IRS was not doing enough, so the scrutiny we got was fair,” said Liz Wally, the executive director of Clean Elections Texas. The nonpartisan group and its education fund, which promote public financing of elections, received tax-exempt status within months of applying in 2010.

When the House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony Tuesday from aggrieved organizations, all were conservative. Democrats were invited to have witnesses but declined.

In other words, Democrats really didn’t want to have to put on display the differences in treatment between the two kinds of groups. For instance:

Progress Texas, which bills itself as “communicating progressive values,” is based in the capital city of Austin. Eleven months after it applied for tax exempt status in March 2011, it received a nine-page, 21-question letter from Lois Lerner, the IRS executive who was placed on administrative leave recently after she refused to answer questions from Congress. …

His group wasn’t asked all the same questions that were asked of True the Vote, which has close ties to conservatives and, like Progress Texas, a mission to keep an eye out for voter irregularities. In February 2012, the IRS sought data on “all of your activity on Facebook and Twitter,” as well as detailed questions about whom the group recruits.

Still, the decision to leave the field to just the real victims has had an impact on perception of the IRS.  A new CBS News/NY Times poll shows that more than two-thirds of respondents — including 60% of Democrats — think the IRS believe political bias drove the extra scrutiny.  However, the poll splits nearly evenly on whether the White House was involved in the effort:

Most Americans regardless of party believe political reasons drove the Internal Revenue Service to single out for burdensome and unnecessary scrutiny some conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll out Thursday. The public splits across party lines, though, about whether President Obama and his administration were involved.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents- 80 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of independents – said they think the IRS targeting was motivated by politics, rather than adherence to the tax code policy. But while forty-four percent think the Obama administration had a hand in the targeting, 40 percent said they believe the agency acted on its own.

There are partisan differences: 70 percent of Republicans think the Obama administration was involved – a belief shared by only 19 percent of Democrats. Sixty-five percent of Democrats said they think the IRS acted independently.

For some reason, CBS doesn’t mention the independents on that question (neither does the NYT); more data will come out this evening from the poll.  The 44/40 split on White House involvement is interesting, and dangerous for the Obama administration.  Given that no evidence has yet linked the White House to the IRS targeting, the assumption seems to be heading in that direction anyway, which makes the scandal an acute problem for the Obama administration.  If subsequent testimony starts to name some people in the West Wing with at least awareness of the targeting, that 68% will start to influence that 44% number, and fast.

Oh, and as for the Jim McDermott et al strategy of blaming the victims, the poll also finds that only 26% of respondents think that the IRS did nothing wrong.  Good luck trying to win elections with that demographic alone.

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Exit question: How many liberal groups were given 501c4 status that should not have?

How many millions of dollars went to buy votes in Ohio?

faraway on June 6, 2013 at 10:04 AM

The higher up this gets the more Team Obama has to hope someone within the IRS system can either be cajoled, threatened or — just out of love for the Democratic Party and the current administration — be willing to fall on their sword and not point the finger at higher-ups in the system.

jon1979 on June 6, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Only 26% of respondents think that the IRS did nothing wrong

That’s 1/4. 1/4 of the country’s potential voters see nothing wrong here, move along. Think about that. Tipping point if you ask me.

WitchDoctor on June 6, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Of course they are not complaining, they got the Express Lane for approval and were pardoned for any lack of compliance since their existence.

ONLY jail time will suffice.

hillsoftx on June 6, 2013 at 10:12 AM

It may smell like it leads to the White House, but no actual “smoke” has been seen … which explains why the even split on White House involvement.

Frankly, every time somebody mentions the IRS and Obama I have to wonder “why?”

Treating this as a failure of the Obama Administration plays well. Blaming Obama directly doesn’t. And please, no impeachment crap.

J_Crater on June 6, 2013 at 10:12 AM

1/4 of the country’s potential voters see nothing wrong here, move along.

This after the IRS fessed up that something wrong had been done.

cbenoistd on June 6, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Wait! Didn’t the Democrats receive any line-dancing instructions? This just isn’t fair!

Rovin on June 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM

I’m thinking the demorats on the congressional panel didn’t want any liberal 501′s as witnesses because of the cross examination they would receive from the GOP members, so no one was truly invited.

Bishop on June 6, 2013 at 10:22 AM

1/4 of the country’s potential voters see nothing wrong here, move along.

This after the IRS fessed up that something wrong had been done.

cbenoistd on June 6, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I think the IRS found enough new agents for ObameCare

Electrongod on June 6, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Obama and Jarrett gave the orders. Everyone knows that no one in the regime acts without a directive from the Emperor.

He MUST be impeached and imprisoned. Look what happened to Nixon. All he did was vent about using the IRS.

But he never did. And nobody died in Watergate.

dogsoldier on June 6, 2013 at 10:26 AM

No wonder the lsm won’t talk about this……

OFA anyone?

cmsinaz on June 6, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Wait! Didn’t the Democrats receive any line-dancing instructions? This just isn’t fair!

Rovin on June 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM

The Dems could have made a Star Trek video. McDermott could have played Capt. Kirk while that tool Blumenthal (sp?) could have played Spock.

BuckeyeSam on June 6, 2013 at 10:29 AM

“Here you go, Socialist Brothers of the Soil Against Evil Baby-Eating Capitalists. This is your tax-exempt certificate, and here’s a gift certificate for a massage. It’s the least we could do after making you fill out that one page form.”

CurtZHP on June 6, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Treating this as a failure of the Obama Administration plays well. Blaming Obama directly doesn’t. And please, no impeachment crap.

J_Crater on June 6, 2013 at 10:12 AM

I have zero doubt that Obama not only knew about the IRS crimes but that he was “leading from behind” as he likes to say.

If so nothing less than impeachment can be accepted. We absolutely can not have the President of the United States targeting good and decent American citizens because he doesn’t like their beliefs. It is unconscionable behavior and must not be tolerated on any level for any length of time.

HotAirian on June 6, 2013 at 10:32 AM

In 2010 Scott Brown won a Senate seat in Massachusetts running as a Republican, with tea party support. Right after that victory the IRS started targeting groups with the name tea party or patriot in their name.

In November 2010 the House switched to Republican, with tea party support, shortly after the tea party started to organize and apply for tax exempt status. The IRS was still targeting groups with tea party or patriot in their name. However, there was nothing political about that.

In 2012, while a Democratic Senate hadn’t passed a budget in almost 4 years, with a Democratic President whose Obamacare was unpopular, won re-election, tea party groups were still shut out of the election process by the IRS, but there was thing political involved.

This may well be the first time an election was successfully stolen, and the press is still out the lunch on it.

bflat879 on June 6, 2013 at 10:34 AM

The higher up this gets the more Team Obama has to hope someone within the IRS system can either be cajoled, threatened or — just out of love for the Democratic Party and the current administration — be willing to fall on their sword and not point the finger at higher-ups in the system.jon1979 on June 6, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Well, the promotion of Susan Rice sends a fine example, don’t you think? Take the hit, hunker down, and good things will happen for you.

a capella on June 6, 2013 at 10:35 AM

HotAirian on June 6, 2013 at 10:32 AM

He isn’t going to be impeached. I’ll be satisfied if he leaves in a cloud of disgrace and Obamacare gets overturned. I agree with you, he’s done a lot of damage, but, impeachment just won’t happen.

a capella on June 6, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Why bother asking a Liberal group about the contents of its prayers? You’d just get an N/A on the form.

Akzed on June 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM

And please, no impeachment crap.

J_Crater on June 6, 2013 at 10:12 AM

So I take Banghazi isn’t a big deal to you?

Badger40 on June 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

If it happens, this administration is going to collapse under a death-by-papercuts sort of scenario. Each successive scandal weighs more upon the administration than the ones that preceded it. Each successive scandal further erodes the trust in and confidence of the government that the American people have.

I’d love to get the reactions of those polled in this survey on the breaking NSA Super-Snooper Operation. Even those that may have thought that the IRS didn’t do anything wrong by targeting conservative groups have to be concerned now that they are in the government’s cross-hairs. And, anyone, who thinks she is safe because she isn’t a Verizon customer, needs to get a reality check for 2 reasons:

1. The Verizon order requires the gathering of info on BOTH PARTIES to a communication. So, if one person is a Verizon customer and the other AT&T customer, the latter’s data gets gathered, too.

2. Does anyone actually believe that Verizon is the only communications company that has been slapped with such an order? Does it make ANY sense that ONLY Verizon customers and their contacts would be of interest to the government?

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Why bother asking a Liberal group about the contents of its prayers? You’d just get an N/A on the form.

Akzed on June 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM

“Our father who art in Washington
0bama be thy name….”

CurtZHP on June 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

So I take Banghazi isn’t a big deal to you?

Badger40 on June 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I’d actually rather see Team Obama and Team Hillary in a mutual throw-each-other-undeer-the-bus effort on Benghazi than to focus on impeaching the president. Benghazi’s the only one of the scandals that touches Mrs. Clinton and threatens to derail her 2016 campaign — focusing all the blame of the White House is a ‘get out of jail free’ card for her (which is also why even Democrats who’ll admit there might be a few problems with the IRS and AP/Fox/Verizon scandals will go to the mat to deny anything was done wrong on Benghazi, not to protect Obama as much as to keep Hillary viable for 2016).

jon1979 on June 6, 2013 at 10:47 AM

This really chaps me. The IRS is functioning as an arm of OFA/ACORN/Center for American Progress (I’m lookin’ at you Tom Perriello) and the DNC. The ultimate goal is to reduce competition on the political field of battle. The hard socialists of the democratic party are using the tax collecting functionaries of the government to disrupt, disarm, destroy and disperse their political enemies.

ted c on June 6, 2013 at 10:49 AM

The public splits across party lines, though, about whether President Obama and his administration were involved.

Head of the IRS union meets with 0bama right before the harrassment started. 157 (161?) meetings with the head of the IRS. Right. Nothing to see there.

If 0bama put the effort into fixing the economy that he puts into plausible deniability, unemployment would be 5%.

iurockhead on June 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Here is my new mantra:

SOMEONE HAS TO GO TO JAIL BEN

(a reference from the movie National Treasure if you don’t recognize it)

neyney on June 6, 2013 at 11:10 AM

For some reason, CBS doesn’t mention the independents on that question

Here’s a strange-I was listening yesterday to C-BS Radio “News” and they talked about the liberal groups not being targeted, and they strangely “reported” it this way: the Democrats were asked to produce examples of liberal groups being targeted by the IRS, but in the words of C-BS, they “declined”, because they felt that the IRS snooping was “non-partisan”.

And now you know why the Democrat Party lost the college graduate vote in 2012, and had to depend on getting a record high 80% of high school dropouts to return them to office.

Del Dolemonte on June 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Liberal groups absolutely love Big Government. Using government to solve all social ills is the basis of their whole advocacy. They wouldn’t object to the intrusions even if they had been given equal scrutiny as the Conservatives. They would think it fair and proper.

How can they get up in front of Congress to testify against something that they embrace?

ss396 on June 6, 2013 at 11:23 AM

the poll also finds that only 26% of respondents think that the IRS did nothing wrong. Good luck trying to win elections with that demographic alone.

McDermott runs in Seattle. He doesn’t need any actual sober voters to win. It’s mail in voting so all they need is for people to sign that they filled out the ballot. Anyone can tell them what to mark for a few bucks.

You can’t imagine what it is to lose your vote until you move to WA State.

petunia on June 6, 2013 at 11:45 AM

I believe Lois Lerner was sworn and when she gave her little speech before taking the fifth. If so, she committed purgery when she said that she did not do anything wrong. She may have also said she did not do anything illegal.

burt on June 6, 2013 at 12:00 PM

This may well be the first time an election was successfully stolen, and the press is still out the lunch on it.

bflat879 on June 6, 2013 at 10:34 AM

No, they aren’t out to lunch on it. They are smack dab in the thick of promoting it and then covering it up. You are giving them way too much credit by saying they are just out to lunch.

As to no liberal groups being targeted, the front page of XFINITY news has some homosexual actor’s bow tie for homosexual ‘marriage’ group claiming it was targeted.

pannw on June 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

This may well be the first time an election was successfully stolen, and the press is still out the lunch on it.

bflat879 on June 6, 2013 at 10:34 AM

No, they aren’t out to lunch on it. They are smack dab in the thick of promoting it and then covering it up. You are giving them way too much credit by saying they are just out to lunch.

As to no liberal groups being targeted, the front page of XFINITY news has some homosexual actor’s bow tie for homosexual ‘marriage’ group claiming it was targeted.

pannw on June 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Naah. The presidential election of 1960 was stolen by the Kennedy Crime Family using old-fashioned democratic party vote theft techniques.

The presidential election of 2012 is only the first election to be stolen via a corrupt IRS.

slickwillie2001 on June 6, 2013 at 12:10 PM

I have heard several Democratic Congressmen and liberal taking heads suggest the liberal groups were targeted during the Bush Admin…how come no reporter has called their bluff on this? They just allow them to make stuff up and never call them to produce evidence.

rich8450 on June 6, 2013 at 12:22 PM


IRS Scandal: The Soros Connection

By Joy Tiz | Published: June 4, 2013

Whenever something bad happens to America, look for the connection back to Obama’s boss, George Soros. This time, it’s the IRS using its considerable muscle to bully conservative organizations with the ultimate goal of voter suppression.

Jeffrey Lord, writing for The American Spectator points to Jason Furman, Obama’s top economic adviser. It’s a position that, by the way, did not require senate approval. While Lord’s column was focused on 17 year tax cheat, Charlie Rangel who was never harassed by the IRS, it reveals some interesting facts about Furman as well as former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.

Just last week Furman was promoted to his post as Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Before that he was Deputy Director of the National Economic Council in the White House.

Doug Shulman must certainly have thought highly of Furman. You remember Shulman, former IRS Commissioner. He’s the one who smirked about being at the White House for the Easter egg roll. Furman accompanied Shulman to the White House at least six times out of the 157 visits Shulman made, none of which were on Easter egg roll day.

Not to re-litigate the Bush years, but his IRS Commissioner visited the White House once. The position is supposed to be apolitical.

Why was such access granted to Furman? Cynical types could suspect it’s because of his mother. Gail Furman is a funder for Soros groups, including Media Matters, which had no problems getting their 501(c)(3) status under the IRS’ watchful eye.

Gail Furman also heads her own foundation that donates not just to Media Matters but to Soros funded J Street, the Tides Foundation and the hair raising Center for American Progress. Gail also serves on the board of Soros’ Democracy Alliance.

Imagine if the IRS had given Media Matters the same scrutiny it gave to organizations it’s been bestowing on groups that mention such inflammatory language as “patriot” or “prayer”. If your organization’s mission is to destroy America, your application will slide right on through.

Akzed on June 6, 2013 at 12:58 PM

I would say, “Enemies punished.”

jukin3 on June 6, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Sixty-five percent of Democrats said they think the IRS acted independently.

Really?

The IRS just independently decided to target Obama’s political enemies, and Obama knew nothing about it?

Seriously, what good is a poll when so many are not attempting to answer the questions honestly?

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 6, 2013 at 4:05 PM

It may smell like it leads to the White House, but no actual “smoke” has been seen … which explains why the even split on White House involvement.

Frankly, every time somebody mentions the IRS and Obama I have to wonder “why?”

Treating this as a failure of the Obama Administration plays well. Blaming Obama directly doesn’t. And please, no impeachment crap.

J_Crater on June 6, 2013 at 10:12 AM

It’s past time to quit pretending that Obama could have had nothing to do with it. Just say the truth, that it’s not yet been proven that Obama directed it. But there’s more than enough evidence pointing his way to demand in investigation.

Impeachment? If Obama is proven to have used the IRS against his political enemies, then we should be demanding it.

The only real question is, can it be proven?

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 6, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Here’s the dirty little secret that Pubs. don’t want to talk about. I’m talking about the so called Conservative gods like Rush, Hannity and Levin. And 99.99% of the HA commenters.

The IRS targeting started under a Bush appointee. Bush and his turd blossom butt bud, Karl Rove and 98% of the Pub party had no use for t-party groups. The pub establishment hated Michelle Malkin, Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint, and opposed t-party candidates. The Pub establishment, the Republican Sen. Committee, and the RNC did not support Pub. t-party candidates. Look at Delaware, Alaska, Missouri, Texas, NY 23rd., Florida (Crist over Rubio)Pa.(Toomey vs.Spincter)and Trey Gowdy vs. Englis, just to name a few.

Karl Rove and the majority of Pubs. Mitch McConnel,and “Boner” hate T-party candidates and conservatives. THe pub. establishment had more to lose than the Dems. because the T-party had no use for the RINOs and were going to primary as many of them as possible and was going to get rid of establishment Pubs. who knew this and caught hell from tparty pubs in town hall meetings. So pubs were happy to see tparty groups get screwed anyway possible. THey knew about the targeting in 2010, and did nothing about it except write a letter to the IRS. Big fkg. deal. A letter to the IRS. Whoopdeedoo. Karl turd blossom Rove hates the tparty so much, he recently formed a new PAC to oppose tparty groups, and made the statement that he and his elitist RINO clan knew how to select candidates and that the tparty crowd should stay out of selecting candidates. Old turd blossom and his elitist RINO pubs. only want your conservative vote and donations. Other than that, you can just shut up. Remember Harriette Myers? Remember the Amnesty bill pushed by pubs under Booooosh?

Pubs. who are now feigning outrage over the tparty being targeted by the IRS can kiss my ass. It’s all dog and pony show for conservatives. Where was the outrage by Pubs. in 2010 when tparty groups were complaining of being targeted? It was no where to be found because the RINOS, and that is 98% of elected Pubs.,were not wanting to be primaried and did not want to be held accountable for their sorry records of helping to tax us and increase the size of gov’t. The Pubs. are worse than the Dems. At least the dems. stand for Marxism and don’t back down. Pubs. stand for nothing except to produce dog and pony shows which never result in any one being held accountable.

they lie on June 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM