BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

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Henry Vilas
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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue May 14, 2013 12:02 pm


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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Huckleby » Tue May 14, 2013 1:15 pm

This investigation needs to go right to the top! Since a Bush appointee was heading the IRS during the scandalous behavior, I suspect a plot by establishment Republicans against the Tea Party.

edit: only kidding, but who knows?

I suspect this scandal is going to come down to some mid-level idiots. I'm talking about the managers who decided to take no action when they discovered it, not the real Einsteins who cooked-up the idea in the first place.

Honestly, the facts are not going to matter, the damage is done. This is a tragic event that really damages our government and country. Many heads should roll.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Donald » Tue May 14, 2013 2:49 pm

The IRS should be looking into these groups, because the "Tea Party" was just a big scam.

What happened is that the righty funders wanted to shield their money churning and political operations from taxes. They encouraged people to set up dummy non-profits to funnel tax exempt money to them. Then these groups were encouraged to kick a good chunk of that money back over to other righty groups for righty-oriented "services" and "products," and to do the political work of the funders, who shielded themselves by propping up these dummy groups. The conservative groups that didn't play ball with the righty funders had funding cut off. That's one of the reasons you saw a big split within the Tea Party movement. A lot of grassroots folks got tired of being a cog in the righty corporate machine.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue May 14, 2013 3:34 pm

Donald wrote:The IRS should be looking into these groups, because the "Tea Party" was just a big scam.


Perhaps some genuis in the Cincinnati office felt the same way. The problem with that is that there were specific rules set out for what a non-profit organization needed to do to be tax exempt. Whether you think they are a fraud or not, as long as they stayed within those parameters, they have the same rights as every other tax exempt non-profit. Singling one type of non-profit out based solely on their name or political beliefs violates those rights. I'm all for deeper investigations on all applicants, but if you are going to select only a few it needs to be either random, or based on specific evidence; neither of which seem to be the case here.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby snoqueen » Tue May 14, 2013 5:14 pm

i...t's not about changing opinion. It's about the difference between right and wrong and speaking out when something wrong is occurring. Why don't you support people speaking out about injustice?


Of course I'm not unsupportive of people speaking out about injustice.

if you read the comments, nobody here is in favor of an unequal application of the tax code.

I am unsupportive of people who spend days trying through innuendo or through making more noise than necessary to pin this thing on the President, or for dragging it out repeatedly just to pound into people's heads the nonsensical idea the President did it. You have zero evidence for that.

That includes people who start topics titled "BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies."

If you call that speaking out about injustice, you're on your own. Putting that name on a topic is a good example standing right the edge of injustice, if not crossing the line.

Every single thing that happens in the country between 2011 and 2013 is not caused by the president. For instance, construction on US route 151, otherwise known as E. Wash, was not caused by the president. It would be silly to start a topic and name it "BO's highway department screws with the commute of his political enemies."

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Donald » Tue May 14, 2013 5:22 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
Donald wrote:The IRS should be looking into these groups, because the "Tea Party" was just a big scam.


Perhaps some genuis in the Cincinnati office felt the same way. The problem with that is that there were specific rules set out for what a non-profit organization needed to do to be tax exempt. Whether you think they are a fraud or not, as long as they stayed within those parameters, they have the same rights as every other tax exempt non-profit. Singling one type of non-profit out based solely on their name or political beliefs violates those rights. I'm all for deeper investigations on all applicants, but if you are going to select only a few it needs to be either random, or based on specific evidence; neither of which seem to be the case here.

Wrong. Of course there are rules set out for non-profits, but the name of the group is certainly one thing that can tip off whether there is activity going on that violates those rules. Political activity beyond a certain small amount violates those rules. The name "Party" certainly connotes more than a little bit of political activity.

I have said earlier that my non-profits welcomed IRS oversight, but we were actually proactive in asking advise when we had a question. We had lots of small, grassroots donors whom we didn't want to disappoint. They got a small tax deduction as long as we didn't violate rules. The problem was the funders in the case of many Tea Party groups were controlling the groups through the money in classic astro-turf fashion.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue May 14, 2013 7:47 pm

Donald wrote:Wrong. Of course there are rules set out for non-profits, but the name of the group is certainly one thing that can tip off whether there is activity going on that violates those rules. Political activity beyond a certain small amount violates those rules. The name "Party" certainly connotes more than a little bit of political activity.


So you think it is ok to open an investigation into a person or group of people based on superficial "evidence"? No actual evidence of wrong doing, just "hey they have party in their name", or "hey their against government spending" or "hey they are black"? It's profiling when the police do it and it's illegal, why would you think it was OK for the IRS to engage in that sort of activity?

As a non-partisan government agency they are obligated to enforce the rules in a fair and even handed manner and only deviate based on real evidence. It's awesome that you went above and beyond for your non-profit, but that's not the rule that all non-profits are obligated to follow (though I agree it should be).

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby snoqueen » Tue May 14, 2013 7:56 pm

But if an organization calls itself a Party, doesn't that kinda sorta imply they might maybe possibly be intending their potential donors or members to think they're doing something a little itty bit political?

Put another way, it's reasonable to assume the donors didn't think they were selling tea. And it's easy enough to make up some lame name like People For The American Way. The Tea Party was kinda playing the edge if they didn't want anyone to dream of the foolish notion they were a political party, or wished they were.

I wish I had a complete list of all the other organizations the Cincy IRS flagged. This might be an even smaller tempest in a teapot than it already is, if we knew.

.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue May 14, 2013 8:11 pm

snoqueen wrote:But if an organization calls itself a Party, doesn't that kinda sorta imply they might maybe possibly be intending their potential donors or members to think they're doing something a little itty bit political?

Put another way, it's reasonable to assume the donors didn't think they were selling tea.

.

#1 the rules don't prohibit political activity just bar it from being the primary focus.
#2 I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the party in Tea Party originated as more of a historical reference. And they are not as far as I am aware an official political party.
#3 Let me be clear I'm not defending the TPs right to be a non-profit at all, I'm just saying the IRS (who also think what they did was wrong) should enforce their rules in an evenhanded and unbiased manner.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue May 14, 2013 8:18 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote: And they are not as far as I am aware an official political party.

So what makes a political party official?

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby snoqueen » Tue May 14, 2013 8:41 pm

Here ya go:

http://www.treas.gov/tigta/auditreports ... 0053fr.pdf

This link goes to the actual audit report of the IRS by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration with regard to the IRS targeting conservative groups.

The whole pdf is 54 pages long (though at least half is appendices) so it'll take a while to read, but from the looks of the table of contents, it should answer a number of questions that have arisen.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue May 14, 2013 9:53 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote: And they are not as far as I am aware an official political party.

So what makes a political party official?


Why Henry, I'm glad you asked.

the FEC has pretty clear guidelines on what constitutes an recognized political party committee

To qualify as a national party:
  • Nominating qualified candidates for President and various Congressional offices in numerous states;
  • Engaging in certain activities--such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives--on an ongoing basis;
  • Publicizing the party's supporters and primary issues throughout the nation;
  • Holding a national convention;
  • Setting up a national office; and
  • Establishing state affiliates.


For state committee status, the Commission has generally looked to see if the committee engages in activities that are commensurate with the day-to-day operations of a party at the state level, and if the committee has gained ballot access for its federal candidates.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Comrade » Tue May 14, 2013 10:18 pm

Snowqueen, your attempt to rationalize the IRS giving special scrutiny to conservative groups that they did not give to liberal groups is not only appalling, but deeply disturbing. This is all kinds of wrong....

The liberal leaning group ProPublica claims the IRS shared confidential data they collected from dconservative groups with them. They acknowledge this was wrong and refused to use it.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby Sandi » Tue May 14, 2013 11:08 pm

snowqueen wrote:I wish I had a complete list of all the other organizations the Cincy IRS flagged. This might be an even smaller tempest in a teapot than it already is, if we knew.


According to Lois Lerner IRS Director of Exempt Organizations.

They used names like Tea Party or Patriots, and they selected cases simply becaude the application had those names in the title. That was wrong. The IRS would like to apologize for that.

....

I said that about a quarter of the cases were selected for full developments had either Tea Party or Patriot in their name.


So out of 300 cases 75 had Tea Party or Patriot in the name. That is more than a tempest in a teapot.

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Re: BO's IRS Targets Political Enemies

Postby pjbogart » Wed May 15, 2013 12:18 am

Sandi wrote:So out of 300 cases 75 had Tea Party or Patriot in the name. That is more than a tempest in a teapot.


I think you might be on to something, Sandi. Naturally, your analysis is only keen and penetrating by accident, but the fact that so many "Tea Party" groups were seeking tax exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election, and strangely claiming that the purpose of their organizations was not political would surely raise a red flag with anyone possessing a brain. If you don't believe me, just ask someone with a brain.

Myself, I agree with Francis. The problem isn't that they put Tea Party groups through the ringer but that they seemed to target them. None of these groups, left or right, should be tax exempt, but perhaps screaming at the top of your lungs about how much you hate the IRS draws too much attention.

That, and when a group of people collectively standing with one foot in the grave suddenly gets a fat check from a billionaire 2000 miles away, it's hard to label yourself "grass roots". That might raise a red flag too.

And from a more partisan perspective, if you're so stupid that you can't form coherent sentences, yet you claim to be some sort of tax exempt charity, one might suspect that you're a Republican... and a liar. So there's that.


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