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Wed May 15, 2013, 12:11 PM

82% of the IRS-targeted Tea Party applications found to be primarily politically driven?

Here's the official report, for those that want to read it: http://msnbctv.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/201310053fr-revised-redacted-12.pdf

I was browsing through it and decided to do some quick math. Let me know if you see an issue with my calculations or reasoning...

- As of 5/31/2012, there were 298 applications for tax-exempt status that were flagged as potential political cases that were to be reviewed by a team of specialists. Refer to PDF page 16 for further details.

- The organization names related to the 298 applications were as follows: Other (202), Tea Party (72), Patriots (13), 9/12 (11). Refer to PDF page 14 for further details.

- The investigation reviewed all 298 applications to identify significant political campaign intervention. In the majority of cases, evidence of significant political campaign intervention was found. Of the 298 applications...

- 2 were not reviewed due to inadequate documentation.
- 91 applications had no indication of significant political campaign intervention. Of these 91 applications, 17 involved Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 organizations.

Refer to PDF page 16 for further details.

So, here's where my math comes in...

While the report does not state this conclusively, based on the numbers that are given, I would assume that this means that the remaining applications (205) were identified to have evidence of significant political campaign intervention. If this is true, that means that of the 96 applications specifically flagged due to having names related to Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12, 79 of them -- or approximately 82% -- were found to have evidence of significant political campaign intervention and thus were justifiably flagged.

For anyone that wants to delve into the report, does this reasoning sound right to you? Or have I overlooked something?

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Reply 82% of the IRS-targeted Tea Party applications found to be primarily politically driven? (Original post)
W_HAMILTON May 2013 OP
Scuba May 2013 #1
W_HAMILTON May 2013 #2
Scuba May 2013 #4
W_HAMILTON May 2013 #5
Dragonfli May 2013 #6
Scuba May 2013 #7
W_HAMILTON May 2013 #8
amerciti001 May 2013 #9
former9thward May 2013 #13
Baitball Blogger May 2013 #3
hack89 May 2013 #10
W_HAMILTON May 2013 #11
hack89 May 2013 #12
W_HAMILTON May 2013 #15
hack89 May 2013 #17
hack89 May 2013 #14
W_HAMILTON May 2013 #16
hack89 May 2013 #18
W_HAMILTON May 2013 #20
reformist2 May 2013 #19
W_HAMILTON May 2013 #21
Dragonfli May 2013 #22
W_HAMILTON May 2013 #23

Response to W_HAMILTON (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2013, 12:15 PM

1. "91 applications had no indication of significant political campaign intervention."

91 applications had no indication of significant political campaign intervention. Of these 91 applications, 17 involved Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 organizations.

So those 91 just kept the money?



What is missing is this: what evidence was there of the social services they were supposed to be doing?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Wed May 15, 2013, 12:20 PM

2. I'm not sure what you mean about "kept the money"

From my understanding, the investigation found that 91 of the applications flagged as "potential political cases" did not truly warrant such a designation based on review of their application and the stated purposes for their organization.

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Response to W_HAMILTON (Reply #2)

Wed May 15, 2013, 12:50 PM

4. If they didn't spend it on campaigning, what did they spend it on? Themselves?

Again, is there evidence they spent it on the "social welfare" they claimed to do.

Most likely, at least some formed groups, took donations, and pocketed the money. Newt was famous for using his campaign's money to purchase

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Response to Scuba (Reply #4)

Wed May 15, 2013, 01:04 PM

5. I think this is more about scrutinization at the application level.

So, for 91 of the applications that were flagged as "potential political cases," when the investigation team reviewed these applications, they determined that they were not primarily focused on political activity and therefore should have not been flagged (i.e., they were "clean" applications and should not have been held up because of political suspicions).

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Response to Scuba (Reply #4)

Wed May 15, 2013, 01:21 PM

6. In theory at least, it would mean they spent it on promoting "social welfare"

As you said, I would also like to see such evidence that these groups so altruistically spend money and are formed to promote such "social welfare".

I do not believe right wing groups have ever been witnessed exhibiting signs of either altruism or social welfare advocacy, at least not in 50 years or so. The closest thing would be advocating for the end of spending government money on social welfare, sort of the opposite really.

I really don't understand why The IRS has, of course, apologized to offended RWers, but not liberals. I know the righties were falling all over their fainting couches, but that should not be proof of anything, certainly not that they were owed any apologies.

I find these groups on their face to be little more than front groups for collecting campaign money from sources that wish to remain anonymous. They also have flooded the markets with right wing political ads during campaign season, they are supposed to spend the bulk of their time and money on social welfare advocacy, yet I have not seen proof of any time or money spent on that, and it would have to be a much larger sum than what they have been seen spending electing right wingers, one would think such huge resource allocations would be obvious.

The other thing that pisses me of is the selective outrage at what was done to the baggers, yet no outrage or concern for liberal groups, it lends the appearance of favoring the right while ignoring the left

And at today's press conference, the President said that, if true, the IRS's actions were "outrageous and there's no place for it." Those responsible will "be held fully accountable."


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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #6)

Wed May 15, 2013, 02:06 PM

7. +1,000

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #6)

Wed May 15, 2013, 06:20 PM

8. The president is about to speak "on the situation regarding the Internal Revenue Service"

Get ready for more "I'm just as outraged as you are, Republicans!" type moments.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #6)

Wed May 15, 2013, 06:51 PM

9. I'm with you on this point...

are these so called groups really engaged in Social Welfare for the common good? What proof is there that all of these group do spend for the general welfare of the community? I think that this will come out one day that in fact all of these groups were nothing more than political front groups just for the collection of campaign money, that'll be used for local, state and federal elections campaign.

Remember, 501(c)4 organizations do have limited political lobbying, over that of a 501(c)3 organization. My greatest thought is that all of these so called 501(c)4, will eventually apply for government grants to further there so called social welfare programs. Anyone needs a new gun range in their community, to educate the people on gun safety and such gun nonsense. 501(c)4 organizations can apply for grants for something like this.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Wed May 15, 2013, 07:18 PM

13. "Social welfare" or "social services" is about as vague as you can be.

Very hard to police. Obama's campaign organization, Obama for America, changed one word in its title to Organizing for America and became a 501c4 in 2009. Does anybody really think a professional hard core campaign organization magically turned into a "social service" organization because one word changed? The system is ripe for abuse.

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Response to W_HAMILTON (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2013, 12:44 PM

3. hahahahaha!

Now we know the urgent need from the right to hush this story.

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Response to W_HAMILTON (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2013, 06:58 PM

10. The issue is not whether there was political activity - political activity is perfectly legal

the question is whether they were held to a stricter scrutiny than non-conservative organizations. It should be an easy issue to resolve.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #10)

Wed May 15, 2013, 07:10 PM

11. That's not the issue at hand.

There were approximately 300 applications that were flagged for further review by an IRS team that specialized in further determining whether an application for 501(c)(4) status was appropriate given the nature of the organization's stated purpose (i.e., weighing whether the organization was primarily politically driven, which is NOT allowed, or whether the organization was primarily promoting social welfare).

If I read the report correctly, approximately 82% of the "unfairly targeted" conservative applications ended up having a large enough component of political activity to warrant further scrutinization and therefore were appropriately flagged, even if they were identified through "inappropriate" criteria (i.e., based on their name).

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Response to W_HAMILTON (Reply #11)

Wed May 15, 2013, 07:12 PM

12. Except the inspectors were specifically told to concentrate on conservative organizations

why is that necessary if all applications get the same level of scrutiny?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #12)

Wed May 15, 2013, 07:22 PM

15. If screening of these applications is anything like how the IRS determines who to audit...

...it is done using a risk-based approach. This does not mean that all applications get the same level of scrutiny. It means that higher risk applications are scrutinized more closely. In this case, the applications that ended up being flagged were sent to a team that specialized in determining whether or not the organization was primarily political and therefore ineligible for 501(c)(4) status.

And no one was told to concentrate on "conservative organizations." The criteria to be used was organizations with Tea Party, Patriot, or 9/12 in their name. It was not a broad targeting of all conservative organizations, but a narrowly focused targeting of organizations with these exact names.

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Response to W_HAMILTON (Reply #15)

Wed May 15, 2013, 07:27 PM

17. The IRS says the criteria was inappropriate and wrong

are you really trying to argue that the IRS inspector general is wrong?

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Response to W_HAMILTON (Reply #11)

Wed May 15, 2013, 07:20 PM

14. Every single conservative organization's application was flagged for additional review.

every single one (pg 8 ).

By the IRS admission, that is a major statistical anomaly.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #14)

Wed May 15, 2013, 07:24 PM

16. That's incorrect.

The ones with Tea Party, Patriot, and 9/12 in their name were all selected, because that was the criteria being used at the time.

The criteria was not all conservative sounding organizations. Just ones with these three specific terms in their names.

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Response to W_HAMILTON (Reply #16)

Wed May 15, 2013, 07:28 PM

18. And the IRS says the criteria was inappropriate.

its in the fucking title. You are using a report that says you are wrong to say you are right.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #18)

Wed May 15, 2013, 07:38 PM

20. The criteria is inappropriate because it gave the appearance of being politically motivated.

Even after admitting the mistake, the criteria was refined (and then further refined) to achieve the same selective purpose.

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Response to W_HAMILTON (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2013, 07:33 PM

19. IDGI - is the OP suggesting that statistics can be used to justify harrassment?


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Response to reformist2 (Reply #19)

Wed May 15, 2013, 07:47 PM

21. The OP (me) is suggesting that...

...as un-PC as it may have been to use the specific naming criteria they used to select riskier applications for further scrutiny, if over 80% of those applications that ended up being flagged in this way turned out to have substantial political components that required further review, that is important to note.

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Response to W_HAMILTON (Reply #21)

Wed May 15, 2013, 09:49 PM

22. It appears we will need several gross of smelling salts and couches

The far right victim mentality seems to have caused an epidemic of the vapors even here. There appear to be a great many fragile sensitive flowers feeling great empathy for the abused and harassed altruistic tea party patriots.

It is cruel to review the legitimacy of the tax free status of groups that innocently promote our social welfare simply because a mere 80% of them have substantial political components.

Many of them are known to promote tax avoidance and libertarian politicians. Is that not the very definition of apolitical activism?

Many of them are in fact well known for a belief that there should be no tax money whatsoever spent on the social welfare of their fellow countrymen. Is that not the very definition of social welfare advocacy?

What is next, questioning the tax free eligibility of religious organizations simply because the words "bar and grill" or "end prayer now" appear in those churches names? Just the thought of the cruelty of the proposition is causing me nausea and dizziness, my knees are growing weak and ... I.............

Luckily I was near a couch when I lost consciousness for a moment, it saved me from possibly being harmed from the fall.

It is clearly harassment to expect tax free organizations to have to endure any review or scrutiny whatsoever of their eligibility for tax free status. A simple rubber stamp is the only policy I would consider to be fair for tea party astroturfers, anything else would be mean and very very rude!

The harassment imposed by review of compliance must end now! If I should fall victim to the vapors and no couch is near to break my fall, I will hold you personally responsible for any physical injury as well as any hurt feelings I may suffer. This will be my only warning to you sir! Good day!!!

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #22)

Wed May 15, 2013, 10:02 PM

23. Hehe.

Bravo!

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