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Top Dems Pressured IRS To Investigate 501c4s

From the Daily Caller:

Baucus, now investigating IRS, urged IRS to target conservative groups in 2010

By Patrick Howley | May 13, 2013

Democratic Montana Senator Max Baucus is leading an investigation into why the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative nonprofit groups for extra scrutiny despite the fact that Baucus once wrote a letter urging the IRS to do exactly that.

Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, will head the committee’s investigation into the IRS… However, Baucus once wrote a letter requesting that the IRS engage in that very conduct.

Which is why the Senate Democrats feel he is the ideal person to head their investigation.

Baucus wrote a letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman dated September 28, 2010 urging the IRS to investigative nonprofit conservative groups during the Tea Party-dominated 2010 midterm elections.

“With hundreds of millions of dollars being spent in election contests by tax-exempt entities, it is time to take a fresh look at current practices and how they comport with the Internal Revenue Code’s rules for nonprofits,” Baucus wrote in the letter.

“I request that you and your agency survey major 501(c)(4), (c)(5) and (c)(6) organizations involved in political campaign activity to examine whether they are operated for the organization’s intended tax exempt purpose and to ensure that political campaign activity is not the organization’s primary activity,” Baucus wrote in the letter…

Though Baucus identified 501 (c) (5) groups — or labor unions — as worthy of investigation, the only organizations cited in his request were conservative, pro-Republican groups.

Baucus specifically named Americans for Job Security, which is described as a “pro-Republican organization,” as a specific target for the IRS to investigate.

Crossroads GPS, co-founded by Karl Rove, and American Action Network, chaired by former Republican senator Norm Coleman, were also cited in press coverage related to Baucus’ letter as pro-Republican groups helping to elect GOP congressional candidates in 2010.

Those organizations appeared in a September 16, 2010 TIME article by writer Michael Crowley titled, “The New GOP Money Stampede.” Baucus cited that piece in his letter to the IRS…

And, we also have this March 2012 press release from Senator Chuck Schumer’s office:

SENATE DEMOCRATS URGE IRS TO IMPOSE STRICT CAP ON POLITICAL SPENDING BY NONPROFIT GROUPS—VOW LEGISLATION IF AGENCY DOESN’T ACT

March 12, 2012

Senators Seek To End Tax Code Abuse By Political Groups Masquerading As ‘Social Welfare Organizations’

Reforms Also Urged To Prevent Political Donors From Claiming Tax Deduction For Their Contributions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A group of seven Senate Democrats urged the Internal Revenue Service on Monday to impose a strict cap on the amount of political spending by tax-exempt, nonprofit groups.

The senators said the lack of clarity in the IRS rules has allowed political groups to improperly claim 501(c)4 status and may even be allowing donors to these groups to wrongly claim tax deductions for their contributions. The senators promised legislation if the IRS failed to act to fix these problems.

In fact, these Democrats were leaning on the IRS because they were unable to pass legislation overturning the Citizens United ruling. (The so-called ‘Disclose Act,’ which failed in 2010.)

“We urge the IRS to take these steps immediately to prevent abuse of the tax code by political groups focused on federal election activities.  But if the IRS is unable to issue administrative guidance in this area then we plan to introduce legislation to accomplish these important changes,” the senators wrote.

The letter was signed by Senators Charles E. Schumer, Michael Bennet, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen and Al Franken. It follows an earlier letter, sent to the IRS by the same of group of senators last month, that also urged the IRS to better enforce rules pertaining to 501(c)4 organizations…

So this was their second letter to the IRS!

For the record, the letter begins this way:

Dear Commissioner Shulman:

We write to ask the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) to immediately change the administrative framework for enforcement of the tax code as it applies to groups designated as “social welfare” organizations. These groups receive tax and other advantages under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code (hereinafter, “IRC” or the “Code”), but some of them also are  engaged in a substantial amount of political campaign activity. As you know, we sent a letter last month expressing concerns about the 501(c)(4) issue;  an investigation this week by the New York Times has uncovered new, specific problems on how c)4)s conduct  business. We wanted to address those new concerns in this letter…

Coincidentally, the Washington Post has reported that March 2012 actually marked the height of the IRS’s attacks on these conservative groups.

As we have also previously mentioned, even today (or rather, yesterday) Harry Reid is still insisting that the IRS do more to try to stop these conservative 501c4s.

From the Politico:

Harry Reid: IRS should probe some groups

By Ginger Gibson | May 14, 2013

“And I ask, what is Karl Rove ever done to improve the social welfare of the United States? That’s what these shadowy organizations are supposed to do,” Reid said. “That’s what their charter says.” …

Rove’s group was one that several Democrats singled out in 2010, when they asked the IRS to investigate whether they were violating their tax exempt status. Reid said he didn’t know if those requests were what prompted the eventual IRS overreach…

No, it was just a coincidence. The Democrats said ‘jump,’ and the IRS coincidentally said, ‘how high?’ (Also, note that this is described as an "overreach.")

Reid said the IRS was “inexcusable” for singling out up to 100 conservative groups seeking tax exempt status based on “tea party” or “patriot” being in their names, or those that focused on other conservative buzzwords.

[But] “There is another issue at stake here, and we cannot lose sight of this,” Reid told reporters. “There are these shadowy political groups masquerading as social welfare organizations in order to solicit anonymous donations from we don’t know who, big corporations and ultra-wealthy people. That needs to stop.” …

Reid is practically parroting Obama’s numerous comments on the subject, word for word.

Reid provided one of the first public defenses for the IRS activities, arguing that there is a legitimate need to investigate those groups that are “masquerading” as social welfare organizations…

He called on the Senate to again review the Disclose Act, legislation drafted in response to the Citizens United decision that would require more public disclosures from political organizations that collect unlimited donations.

“In 2010, we advanced, Democrats advanced, something called the Disclose Act that would have taken the IRS out of the business of investigating these groups, not a single Republican voted with us on the Disclose Act,” Reid said…

In other words, as usual, the Democrats turned to backdoor means when they couldn’t get their way through legislation. Which, by the way, is exactly what Obama does, too.

But, in any case, why are we getting all of this phony outrage from the Democrats? The IRS is only doing exactly what they wanted. This is Olympian hypocrisy, even by Democrat standards.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Top Dems Pressured IRS To Investigate 501c4s”

  1. The hell you say …

    Unexpected™




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