When Dave Johnson, a blogger at the Huffington Post, wrote a lead sentence reminding readers that they needed to remember the ACORN manufactured videos when they read about the IRS so-called scandal, he had my full attention. Looking past the headlines, he brought attention to the testimony of IRS officials that of the 300 applications – out of thousands – they pulled for scrutiny only 70 involved the Tea-people types or less than 25% of the total. Of the other 230 pulled, many were from progressive or liberal groups, some of which were actually denied, and that happened to none of the Tea applications.
For evidence Johnson didn’t have to look too hard.
From the Congressional hearing record:
Rep. Peter Roskam, R-IL: “How come only conservative groups got snagged?”
Outgoing acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller: “They didn’t sir. Organizations of all walks and all persuasions were pulled in. That’s shown by the fact that only 70 of the 300 organizations were tea party organizations, of the ones that were looked at by TIGTA [Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration].”
And, from business source Bloomberg in an article appropriately entitled, “IRS Sent Same Letter to Democrats that Fed Tea Party Row:”
“One of those groups, Emerge America, saw its tax-exempt status denied, forcing it to disclose its donors and pay some taxes. None of the Republican groups have said their applications were rejected. Progress Texas … faced the same lines of questioning as the Tea Party groups from the same IRS office that issued letters to the Republican-friendly applicants. A third group, Clean Elections Texas, which supports public funding of campaigns, also received IRS inquiries.
In a statement late yesterday, the tax agency said it had pooled together the politically active nonpartisan applicants — including a “minority” that were identified because of their names. “It is also important to understand that the group of centralized cases included organizations of all political views,” the IRS said in its statement.”
Johnson also makes the very good point that most of the applications drowning the IRS in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision, which opened the floodgates for corporate political contributions and the special c4 exempt status that allowed all of these operations to keep the names of the donors on secret, got a free ride and were approved with no questions asked. A mixed bag from all over the political map had to fill out some forms for additional information, but most of those including what appears to be all of the Tea Party related applicants ended up being approved.
Once again it is worth remembering that “things are not always the way they seem,” especially when we are being manipulated by many to only see what they want us to see.