Sunday, May 12, 2013

(I)t (R)eally (S)tinks

Word has come down that the IRS has been engaging in a partisan witch hunt against Tea Party and “Patriot” labeled groups - something that we have already spoken about here at length;

“Senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011, according to a draft of an inspector general's report obtained by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner.

The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.” (
We commented on this partisan inappropriateness last year because we were concerned that the agency had ignored out request that it investigate the patently illegal political actions of the Claire Shulman LDC;

We have been tracking the lackluster efforts of law enforcement in bringing the illegal lobbying work of Claire Shulman's Flushing/WilletsPoint/Corona Local Development Corporation to some sort of just enforcement conclusion. We have harped on the fact the NYS Attorney General's Office has completely tanked its original investigation of the illegal lobbying (under Section 1411 of the not for profit laws of NY), but haven't dwelled too much on our complaint to the IRS-something that we had written to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about.

Now, however, a disturbing story prompts us to re-visit the federal aspects of Shulman's illegal lobbying scheming-the fact that the IRS is hounding Tea Party groups, forcing them through hoops to qualify for their not for profit status. (

What these new revelations tell us is that the IRS - supposedly an independent agency thoroughly detached from political bias - is actually no such thing. The nature of the inquiries were extensive and intrusive - as Kevin Williamson has pointed out;

“Third, and perhaps most troubling, those tea-party organizations were sent letters of inquiry demanding information that would seldom if ever be demanded of any other applicant in the process. The IRS demanded lists of donors, names of spouses and family members, detailed information about political views and associations — all of that “under penalties of perjury.” Many applicants dropped out of the process. The questions were remarkably invasive: For example, the IRS demanded to know not only whether political candidates participated in public forums conducted by the groups, but which issues were discussed, along with copies of any literature distributed at the forum and material published on websites. (
So the IRS, using a political litmus test, was singling out conservative groups in what can only be seen as a tendentious focus on groups that the Obama Administration didn’t like. Ann Althouse has the money quote on the injustice that is involved in selective enforcement;

"We can disagree about what the tax laws should be and how strictly or harshly they should be enforced, but everyone knows it is fundamentally wrong to vary the degree of enforcement, selecting victims by their politics. If government cannot be trusted to avoid that fundamental wrong, it cannot be trusted with any power at all." (
Even liberals like Joe Klein are outraged;

“The Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups is outrageous. Those who did this should be fired immediately. That’s obvious…And now they have violated one of the more sacred rules of our democracy: you do not use the tax code to punish your opponents.” (
Which leaves us with the lawbreaking Ms. Shulman. Her LDC was a nonprofit that engaged in direct lobbying that was expressly illegal under the laws of NY State and she submitted fraudulent documents to the IRS claiming that her not for profit group was not engaged in the very lobbying that her group was formed to do-as she herself told the NY Times;

As the group’s director Claire Shulman told the NY Times in 2009 lobbying was the "primary purpose" of FWPCLDC and "the whole idea." However, when filling out the IRS forms under lobbying the group wrote, “No.” (

We plan to re-write to Senator McConnell and see if we can now get the agency to act on a matter that it should have acted on over a year ago but didn’t because apparently it was too busy violating its charter and targeting the political enemies of the president. We’ll give Williamson the last word:

“The misuse of government resources is subject to civil, misdemeanor, and felony charges under federal and Ohio law. The abuse of IRS resources, including the collection of “confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and [causing], in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner,” were cited in the second article of impeachment against Richard Nixon.”