Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee are trying to persuade us that the Internal Revenue Service did not exclusively target Tea Party, conservative and pro-life groups. Their statement opened.
The Internal Revenue Service today provided Congressional investigators with new information that shows that the term “progressives” was included on the IRS “Be On the Look Out” (BOLO) lists used to screen tax-exemption applications. The so-called BOLO lists were previously known to have included criteria singling out conservative organizations -- this is the first evidence, however, that the lists included "progressives" as an identifier. Separately, Ways and Means Committee Democratic staff has now verified that the list of 298 organizations reviewed by TIGTA included liberal organizations. Additional documents, including the full set of "Be On the Look Out" lists.
Okay, what's the evidence? The statement links to BOLO's that allegedly show the targeting. But if you look closely, you'll see an entry for "progressives" that mentions that it is "anti-Republican" and appears to be a new political party. Of course, this would be a legitimate exclusion since political parties are not eligible for the tax-exempt status. In addition, we don't know what political party that might be, but it well could be one that would take votes away from the Democratic Party. Which would mean that this is a case of politically motivated targeting that would benefit the Democratic Party.
I presume that the items in this "evidence" that aren't redacted are supposed to support the contention that other "progressives" also are targeted. But look closely (you'll have to save the document and then zoom in read) and you'll see that isn't so, unless you read "progressive" to include "open source software," "Puerto Rican," and "corporation sole" (the vehicle by which, for example, the Roman Catholic bishop owns property).
This is pretty thin evidence, I'd say, which Democrats hope that won't be looked at by reporters who write about the claim. But, beyond this murky paperwork "evidence," let those targeted progressive groups step forward, as those from the right have.
An additional 16 Tea Party and conservative organizations signed on to a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service filed in federal court in the nation's capital on Monday, according to the class-action suit's lead attorney.
Attorney Jay Sekulow, the founder and leader of the American Center for Law and Justice filed the amended lawsuit by adding an additional organizations, including a pro-life group, to the complaint.
According to Sekulow the addition groups brings the total number of organizations represented in the court challenge to 41.Thousands of Tea Party and conservative group members protest their treatment at the hands of the IRS and the Obama administration.
Following the discovery that the IRS targeted groups seeking legal tax-exempt status whose names contained certain words such as "patriots," "constitution," and others, the ACLJ filed the initial lawsuit on May 29 on behalf of 25 organizations.
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