If only there were some media outlets that had interest a year ago to look into the Democrats who clearly were guiding forces into the criminal harassment of GOP and Tea Party groups. Perhaps we wouldn’t have had to wait 12 months for this bombshell to drop.
Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) repeatedly pressed the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the tax-exempt status of specific conservative nonprofit organizations in letters to then-IRS commissioner Doug Shulman and director Lois Lerner in 2012.
Levin said he was concerned nonprofit organizations were abusing their tax-exempt status and engaging in partisan politics and requested information from the IRS on 12 organizations.
“Organizations are using Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(4) to gain tax exempt status while engaging in partisan political campaigns,” wrote Levin in one letter on July 27, 2012. “Making the problem worse is that the IRS knows there is a problem because of the public nature of the activity but has failed to address it.”
He asked whether the 12 organizations “applied for [tax-exempt status]; and if so … received the described exemption for political activity from the IRS.”
Levin’s list contained nine conservative groups, including Club for Growth, Americans for Tax Reform, and Americans for Prosperity. It also included two liberal groups and one centrist group.
It wasn’t just Levin, as reported last May.
The 2010 Congressional midterm elections were approaching. Attacks on the Tea Party and groups calling for less government spending and taxation were in full swing.
President Barack Obama in his state of the union address in January had attacked the Supreme Court with the justices in attendance for signing off on the Citizens United case, for opening the ”flood gates” for special-interest money in U.S. elections
And 2010 was the year Democrats went full bore pressuring the IRS to investigate nonprofit politicking, which resulted in the IRS targeting Tea Party and other nonprofit applicants who were ideological opponents.
Letters from 10 high-profile Democrats to then-IRS commissioner Doug Shulman pressured the IRS to investigate nonprofit politicking, even threatening legislation to change IRS standards if the IRS didn’t act.
The letters show how elected officials pressured the IRS during an election season, fearing opponents were unfairly using the tax law to raise money to their advantage.
Shulman testified yesterday that back in March 2012, there was “absolutely” no special targeting of conservative groups going on. “At no time, to the best of my memory, was I ever given the impression that these [IRS employees] were only [looking closely] at conservative groups,” Shulman told Congress on Wednesday.
And now it’s quite clear Shulman lied to Congress.
In March 2012, nine days after Welch wrote to the IRS, seven Democrat senators — Charles E. Schumer (NY), Michael Bennet (CO), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Jeff Merkley (OR), Tom Udall (NM), Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and Franken (Minn.) — sent a letter to Shulman which demanded the IRS “immediately change the administrative framework for enforcement of the tax code as it applies to groups designated as ‘social welfare” organizations.’”
The senators cited an “absence of clarity in the administration of” nonprofit laws, which groups could be “tempted to abuse” to their advantage, noting “worse,” they may take advantage of the law “even though they are not legitimate social welfare organizations.”
We eagerly await the media feeding frenzy going after all these Democrats to explain why they urged the IRS to harass innocent American citizens. In fact, citizens in those states should seek to have them removed from office for obvious dereliction of duty. Let’s break it down in simpler terms: This was a political witch hunt: