Just as gay marriage proponents were demanding the information, the IRS appears to have illegally given them exactly what they were looking for. The tax return released by the HRC contained the names and addresses of dozens of major donors to NOM. And there’s little doubt where the documents came from. The tax returns contained internal coding added by the IRS after the returns were originally submitted.
For the IRS to leak any organization’s tax return to its political opponents is an outrageous breach of ethics and, if proven, constitutes a felony. Every organization — liberal and conservative — should shudder at the idea of the IRS playing politics with its confidential tax return information. But the situation here is even more egregious because the head of the HRC was at the time serving as a national co-chair of President Obama’s re-election campaign.
The release of NOM’s confidential tax return to the Human Rights Campaign is the canary in the coal mine of IRS corruption. Contrary to assertions that the targeting of Tea Party groups was an error in judgment by low-level IRS bureaucrats, the release of NOM’s confidential data to a group headed by an Obama campaign co-chair suggests the possibility of complicity at the highest levels of politics and government. This wasn’t a low-level error in judgment; it was a conscious act to reward a prominent Obama supporter while punishing an opponent.