HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » My challenge to DU: Cite ...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Thu May 16, 2013, 07:44 PM

My challenge to DU: Cite me an official source that says the Tea Party was "singled out" by the IRS

We have been hearing over and over for the past week that the IRS "singled out" the Tea Party for special scrutiny when they applied for tax exempt status for their "social welfare" organizations. It is an allegation that has been screamed loudly by the right-wing and the media and it has even been repeated by many on the left end of the political spectrum.

I have read a great deal about this "scandal" and I have heard the allegation that the Tea Party was "singled out" many times, but I have yet to find a single official source that confirms they actually were singled out. There have been many stories in the media that have made this claim, but I have yet to find one of these stories that was actually able to back that allegation up with a source.

Many of you may be saying, "The IRS apologized for singling the Tea Party out and the Inspector General's report confirmed they did just that." If you actually read either the apology or the Inspector General's report however neither of them actually state that the Tea Party was singled out.

Let us start out with IRS official Lois Lerner's apology; here are the words that sparked the firestorm:

So our line people in Cincinnati who handled the applications did what we call centralization of these cases. They centralized work on these in one particular group. They do that for efficiency and consistency — something we do whenever we see an uptick in a new kind of application or something we haven’t seen before. Folks might remember from back a few years ago we had credit counseling organizations and we centralized those cases. We had mortgage foreclosure cases and we centralized those cases. We do it for consistency So they went ahead and did that. How they do centralization is they have a list in their office that they give out to folks who are screening cases that says if it is one of these kind of cases and it can’t be screened it needs to go to group X. So centralization was perfectly fine.

However, in these cases, the way they did the centralization was not so fine. Instead of referring to the cases as advocacy cases, they actually used case names on this list. They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate — that’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review. We don’t select for review because they have a particular name.


Now that you have seen what those words say, let's think about what they do not say. Lerner says that they searched out terms like "Tea Party" and "Patriots", but she never says those are the only terms they searched for. They may have also been searching on terms like "Democratic" and "Progressive", we don't know because the IRS has yet to provide us a complete list of all the search terms that may have been used. Lerner never mentions anything at all about how left-leaning groups may have been handled by the IRS, but she was asked about it by a reporter. Here is what she said...

"I don't have any information on that."


WHAT??! This is a high level official that oversees groups seeking tax exempt status and she can tell us how Tea Party groups are flagged, but she can not provide us with even one shred of information on how left-leaning groups were flagged. As a person who is in charge of overseeing tax exempt groups it seems that she should be able to explain to us how groups are flagged, yet she only claims to have knowledge of the process they used to flag one small subset of applicants. Does anyone really find this believable? How could someone in her position have absolutely no information on the flagging process of on any left leaning groups? How are we supposed to determine that the Tea Party was singled out when we are not even given anything to compare their experience with?

The Inspector General's Report acknowledges that the Tea Party groups were not the only groups flagged for scrutiny, in fact the Tea Party only made up about 30% of the flagged groups. If you read the report however the focus is nearly entirely on the way Tea Party groups were flagged and says almost nothing about how other groups were flagged. It cites questions that were asked to Tea Party groups but were not asked to "other groups", yet it never specifies what other groups it is talking about. It is common knowledge the IRS does scrutinize some groups more than others because it has limited resources, we already knew that some groups don't get the same level of scrutiny but that is not the issue here. The issue is whether or not the Tea Party was singled out based on their political views, but the Inspector General's report does not say that left leaning groups who were flagged were not asked the same questions.

according to the IRS, a Determinations Unit specialist was asked to search for applications with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in the organization’s name as well as other “political-sounding” names. EO function officials stated that, in May 2010, the Determinations Unit began developing a spreadsheet that would become known as the “Be On the Look Out” listing (hereafter referred to as the BOLO listing), 15 which included the emerging issue of Tea Party applications. In June 2010, the Determinations Unit began training its specialists on issues to be aware of, including Tea Party cases. By July 2010, Determinations Unit management stated that it had requested its specialists to be on the lookout for Tea Party applications.

In August 2010, the Determinations Unit distributed the first formal BOLO listing. The criteria in the BOLO listing were Tea Party organizations applying for I.R.C. § 501(c)(3) or I.R.C. § 501(c)(4) status. Based on our review of other BOLO listing criteria, the use of organization names on the BOLO listing is not unique to potential political cases. 16


Interesting, the report says that they have a "Be on the Look Out" group that not only includes applications for "Tea Party", "Patriots", or "9/12", but they also flag "other political sounding names". What those "other political sounding names" are they do not tell us. They do tell us that there are groups on the BOLA listing that are not based on political cases, right after that statement we see the number 16 which indicates a footnote, let us take a look at what that footnote says.

16 We did not review the use of other named organizations on the BOLO listing to determine if their use was appropriate.


WHAT??!! There were other groups on the list that were not affiliated with the Tea Party, but the Inspector General's report did not review ANY of them? What the hell kind of report is this? How the hell are we supposed to know that the Tea Party was singled out when they don't even review the treatment of other groups that were on the exact same BOLO list that they were?

If this scandal swirls around whether or not the Tea Party was treated differently than other groups then knowing how other groups were treated is absolutely crucial information in determining whether or not there was political bias, yet the Inspector General's Report did not even review it.

Who the hell would initiate a review like this without including such crucial information as to the scrutiny placed on other non Tea-Party groups, well the report gives us the answer to that question...

TIGTA initiated this audit based on concerns expressed by members of Congress.


So members of Congress called for this report, presumably Republicans. Did these members of Congress order the Inspector General to only evaluate the treatment of the Tea Party and not look at any other groups? If so is this not an example of abusing a government investigation for partisan political purposes?

I issue my challenge again, I challenge anyone to find me a piece of evidence from an official source that shows the Tea Party was singled out. I have heard the allegation many times this week, but I have yet to find a single piece of evidence that proves the Tea Party was treated differently, all I can find is reports on how Tea Party applications were handled with silence on how the applications of non-Tea Party groups who were also flagged were handled.

Can anyone cite me a source, or can we conclude that this "scandal" is not about the Tea Party being singled out?

On edit: I want to thank Chathamization who is a relatively new DUer that pointed me to the footnote used in the Inspector General's report. The contributions Chathamization provided were invaluable.

40 replies, 2691 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply My challenge to DU: Cite me an official source that says the Tea Party was "singled out" by the IRS (Original post)
Bjorn Against May 2013 OP
The Magistrate May 2013 #1
Vinnie From Indy May 2013 #2
Cha May 2013 #3
Bjorn Against May 2013 #4
Cha May 2013 #6
Control-Z May 2013 #10
Bjorn Against May 2013 #5
Cha May 2013 #7
grasswire May 2013 #27
Bjorn Against May 2013 #8
uppityperson May 2013 #9
rufus dog May 2013 #11
yodermon May 2013 #12
Bjorn Against May 2013 #13
yawnmaster May 2013 #14
Bjorn Against May 2013 #15
yawnmaster May 2013 #16
Bjorn Against May 2013 #18
yawnmaster May 2013 #20
Bjorn Against May 2013 #24
magellan May 2013 #17
Bjorn Against May 2013 #19
spanone May 2013 #21
Bonobo May 2013 #22
Bjorn Against May 2013 #25
Dragonfli May 2013 #23
MannyGoldstein May 2013 #26
grasswire May 2013 #28
Bjorn Against May 2013 #29
burnodo May 2013 #30
Bjorn Against May 2013 #32
cali May 2013 #31
Bjorn Against May 2013 #33
cali May 2013 #34
Purplehazed May 2013 #35
Bjorn Against May 2013 #40
One_Life_To_Give May 2013 #36
John1956PA May 2013 #37
Bjorn Against May 2013 #39
BlueCheese May 2013 #38

Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 07:53 PM

1. You Lay Out A Sound Case, Sir

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 08:03 PM

2. You can bet that this meme originated

at some right-wing news outlet. It would be interesting to know when the very first story about this was published and by whom.

Cheers!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 08:04 PM

3. thanks for doing all this research, Bjorn. I said

last night that "I couldn't see what they did wrong" and got this answer..

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2850851

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cha (Reply #3)

Thu May 16, 2013, 08:10 PM

4. That is what a lot of people are saying, but they are missing a very important point

The IRS did search on terms like "Tea Party" and "Patriot", but the fact that they searched on those terms does not mean those were the only search terms they used. We know they used other search terms as well, it says so right in the Inspector General's report. It does not say what the other terms searched on were, but I would be very surprised if they did not include words like "Democratic" and "Progressive" as well. As long as you use search terms that would apply to groups on all ends of the spectrum there is no singling out taking place.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #4)

Thu May 16, 2013, 08:18 PM

6. It's freaking confusing to me.. because

Steven Miller has already been fired over it.

Here's his resignation letter..

In his resignation letter, Miller alluded to the fact that his term as acting commissioner was soon to expire.

"It is with regret that I will be departing from the IRS as my acting assignment ends in early June," Miller wrote in his resignation letter on Wednesday. "This has been an incredibly difficult time for the IRS given the events of the past few days, and there is a strong and immediate need to restore public trust in the nation's tax agency. I believe the Service will benefit from having a new acting commissioner in place during this challenging period."

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/resignation-fired-irs-commissioner-planned-leave-post-june/story?id=19193192

I don't like to see someone fired for no reason.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #4)

Thu May 16, 2013, 08:50 PM

10. Your research on this is excellent, imo.

You should send it around to the news shows. Rachel, Heyes, O'Donnell. Bashir. (I'd include Tweety but he's back on shark jumping detail.) I'd love to see one of them lay this out the way you have.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cha (Reply #3)

Thu May 16, 2013, 08:13 PM

5. I also should state that I have found three things that the IRS most definitely did do wrong.

1. They did not enforce tax laws and allowed too many political organizations to get non-profit status.

2. They apologized for scrutinizing the tax exempt status of groups that do not qualify for tax exempt status.

3. They showed political favoritism by only apologizing to the right-wing despite the fact that they were scrutinizing left leaning groups in the same way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #5)

Thu May 16, 2013, 08:19 PM

7. I know, huh? Creepy Whacko Orwellian

world.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #5)

Fri May 17, 2013, 02:19 AM

27. absolutely nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 08:47 PM

8. It has been one hour since I posted this and still no takers on my challenge?

Interesting. As many times as I have heard the words "singled out" in the last week it sure does not seem that there is much evidence to back up the allegation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 08:50 PM

9. I just got a phone call from an anxious man yelling that it was and even FACEBOOK PAGES were

DEMANDED to be TURNED OVER TOTHE IRS OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG. My phone's battery went dead just then. Funny thing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 08:57 PM

11. Could be even less offensive than singling out the baggers

Since they had an influx of apps and had to process them all quickly, did they prioritize some to get them approved faster? Right now we have a lot of hysteria and very few facts. Just like with the beginning of the fast and furious scandal, once the facts came out the whistleblower was largely responsible.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 09:24 PM

12. Why did Lois Lerner only mention "tea party" and "patriots" in her original mea culpa statement,

if, in fact, other "left-sounding" names were also profiled? what possible reason would she have for apologizing to the right wing and not the left wing?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yodermon (Reply #12)

Thu May 16, 2013, 09:36 PM

13. That is the question people need to be asking.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 09:37 PM

14. Suspicion is high, and I suspect evidence, one way or the other will follow...

It is still quite early for the hard evidence that you ask for. That would come from an investigation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yawnmaster (Reply #14)

Thu May 16, 2013, 09:38 PM

15. Hopefully an investigation that does not ignore half the story like the Inspector General did

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #15)

Thu May 16, 2013, 09:40 PM

16. The thing is that it is not clear if there is another half of the story. eom

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yawnmaster (Reply #16)

Thu May 16, 2013, 09:54 PM

18. It is clear, it is an undisputed fact that most of the flagged applications were not Tea Party

The Inspector's General report did not even examine the way any of the non Tea-Party cases were handled, if the Tea Party is being singled out then we need to know how left leaning groups were treated differently if they were treated differently at all. So far the IRS and the Inspector General have completely ignored the process they used to flag left leaning groups.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #18)

Thu May 16, 2013, 11:18 PM

20. we don't know if they did or didn't...that is the point. They may have, but it is also possible...

that they may not have. We do need to know how all groups were handled.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yawnmaster (Reply #20)

Thu May 16, 2013, 11:49 PM

24. True, but many people have explicitly stated they had been singled out

You are right, we don't know and that is important for everyone to understand. We don't know all the facts of the case, but there are lots of crucial details that are not even being addressed. We should not just accept the Tea Party narrative of what happened when no one seems to be able to cite facts to back up their claims.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 09:43 PM

17. Thank you, awesome post

I've been trying to make the same point for the last day. So have a few others. You laid it out concisely.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 10:36 PM

19. Nearly three hours and still no citation

I also posted this on Daily Kos and am getting a much more hostile response there than I am over here. A few people are trying to launch personal attacks on me for saying this, but so far none of them have been able to give a citation.

The longer this goes with out a citation the more I can see that the media narrative is completely wrong.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 11:19 PM

21. the media takes republicans at face value, whatever they say, the media repeats...that simple

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 11:40 PM

22. So what, then, to make of Obama's capitulation on this?

Clearly it is politics, but the question is "what political end is being served by capitulation on this (and in contrast, strong defense on the AP story)?" or put another way "Who is being targeted in the attempts to mitigate political damage and/or to make a political appeal to?"

My feeling is that capitulation on the IRS issue (despite the lack of need to do so) suggests an appeal to the right-wing who claims to fear overreaching govt. power in the form, usually, of "Git yer gosh-darned hand outta my pocket!" type thinking. The old Reagan proverbial "knock on the door" fear. The capitulation is an attempt to assuage or disempower that segment of the populace.

On the other hand, or perhaps on the same hand, the strong defense of the Justice Dept. on the AP story is similarly one that makes an appeal to the right on the basis of "strong defense" while at the same time not recognizing the Democratic base which is usually more concerned with issues like "freedom of the press".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bonobo (Reply #22)

Fri May 17, 2013, 12:30 AM

25. I think Obama is wise to distance himself from this

He needs to try as much as possible to not be a target on this so he is best off to play along and express outrage, call for an investigation and then wait until that investigation shows liberal groups were targeted in the same way. For Obama that is the politically wise thing to do.

We are not Obama however. We can challenge this every step of the way without having to worry about impeachment hearings being held against us.

Let me also be clear that this is not about Obama, this is about dark money taking over our electoral system. If we don't challenge this tax-free corporate cash will flood into our electoral system, it is a real threat to democracy and it needs to be confronted.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 16, 2013, 11:42 PM

23. There is no answer to your challenge because the "singled out" meme is without evidence

We would have to know how all the groups were treated to glean evidence of anyone being "singled out" as you correctly argued.

I have noticed these things as well and asked similar questions about information regarding the bulk of those flagged, yet I've only heard replies speaking of how a minority that were "outraged" were handled. Of course we need to know the same specifics regarding the majority of those targeted, yet they will not even talk about the majority, only baggers (who lets face it play the victim from dusk to dawn as a matter of habit).

Another Duer noticed oddly that it appeared that of the minority (The Tea Party Patriots) that were taking to their fainting couches over being singled out, 82% turned out to have substantial political components that required further review, so the targeting was functionally effective even if they were identified through "inappropriate" criteria (i.e., based on their name). Unfortunately what was not effective as you have pointed out, was the enforcement of the rules as not a single one of that 82% lost their tax exempt status. Some liberal groups that they refused to discuss details about did lose their exempt status, so who was singled out and who was held above the rules in the end?

I Can't say as they only talk about the teflon baggers and disclose no such information regarding the majority on the list.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2013, 01:07 AM

26. "Make no mistake... If I pull this off, the Republicans will finally love me, and

together we can Grand Bargain working Americans... Yes We Can..."

I've noticed massive dancing around this issue as well. If they're dancing, there must be a big pile of $&@% that they're trying to not step in.

Great work, thanks!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2013, 02:22 AM

28. also notice the word "unfairly" in news and commentary

The process used to identify conservative groups has been described as "unfair".

I don't seen any evidence of that, either.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2013, 07:17 AM

29. This has been up all night now, still no citations

I hope people are starting to realize that the media coverage of this is reading in far more than has actually been alleged by anyone in a position to know what is happening.

On edit: I should mention that I have to get ready for work now so if someone does respond I probably won't be able to reply for a while.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #29)

Fri May 17, 2013, 07:26 AM

30. Someone else said this, but I'm curious

 

Given that it seems that the IRS was doing its job investigating a "non-profit" organization for political advocacy, why did the president feel the need for a pre-emptive apology and statement of outrage?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to burnodo (Reply #30)

Fri May 17, 2013, 07:47 AM

32. Before I go to work I will say Obama is trying to keep this from becoming his scandal.

His reaction is probably largely political. If he were to try to defend the IRS the right-wing would eat him alive based on completely false allegations.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2013, 07:29 AM

31. except that this is now academic as the President's apology ensures that the American

people almost uniformly accept that the IRS targeted tea party and conservative groups.

Might as well ask how many angels fit on the head of a pin.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #31)

Fri May 17, 2013, 07:51 AM

33. Gotta go to work now, but had to quickly respond...

"Targetting" the Tea Party is not the same as singling them out. The fact is that other groups were targeted as well, as long as groups across the political spectrum are targeted the same way there is no singling out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #33)

Fri May 17, 2013, 09:24 AM

34. I don't think you got the gist of my post.

All that is irrelevant. The narrative is firmly in place.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2013, 10:21 AM

35. The only credible source is the Inspector Generals Report.

Perhaps the words "singled out" is an exaggeration of bias. Expected these days, when all news stories are so sensationalized.

The Inspector Generals report concludes that there was bias and that Teaparty groups were treated differently than all other groups. The backup to the conclusion is all in the report. Teaparty was identified in emails prior to the BOLO list. They took longer to process compared to all other groups.

Read through the email documentation. The IRS identified this as a problem in 2011, well before the Inspector General began its investigation in 2012.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purplehazed (Reply #35)

Fri May 17, 2013, 06:33 PM

40. The Inspector General's report does not say the Tea Party was treated differently...

than all other groups. It explicitly states they did not examine the treatment of other groups besides the Tea Party. They may have been treated differently than groups who were never flagged, but there is nothing to suggest that there were no other groups that received the same treatment.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2013, 11:23 AM

36. Keyword search?

the office revealed that two of the terms on the list were “Tea Party” and “patriot.” As such, about 75 Tea Party groups were singled out for additional scrutiny.


Deciding who needs extra scrutiny based upon presence of Keyword's in the name. Doesn't sound particularly fair unless you can demonstrate that the keywords had an equal probability of identifying groups regardless of potential leanings. If the search was based only on the two terms listed above than it was certainly not a fair and even handed process of identifying applications for additional scrutiny.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/05/10/1996261/irs-targeted-tea-party-tax-exempt-groups-for-increased-scrutiny-and-missed-the-real-problem/

edit to add link

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to One_Life_To_Give (Reply #36)

Fri May 17, 2013, 03:47 PM

37. You raise a good question: Were searches based only on the "patriot" and "Tea Party" search terms?

Maybe all of the relevant facts have not been revealed yet, or maybe I am uninformed. My question is: "Were there any searches performed by use of terms such as "libertarian" or "progressive" or others which signify political ideologies?"

However, even if the only search terms which were used were "patriot" and "Tea Party" I am still inclined to withhold judgment until I have a better understanding of the facts. For instance, if the largest subset of 501(c)4 applications came from Tea Party groups, and the number of those Tea Party applications was ten times greater than the number of applications from the next-highest submitting political group, then I think the argument can be made that the IRS was justified in using "patriot" and "Tea Party" as search terms in looking for applications which warranted further scrutiny.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to One_Life_To_Give (Reply #36)

Fri May 17, 2013, 06:29 PM

39. And the Inspector General's report says there were other terms used as well

The report does not say what those other political terms were, but it did say there were others. They almost certainly included some words to flag Democratic groups as well, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest they were all right-wing terms.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Fri May 17, 2013, 04:04 PM

38. Bayes Rule is useful here.

The fact that about 25% of scrutinized applications were Tea Party ones doesn't mean much by itself. You have to also know what fraction of the original applications were Tea Party ones, or similarly, what fraction of Tea Party applications were approved without review, compared to how many other ones.

As I wrote in another thread, suppose you found out that about 25% of drivers being pulled over in a state are black. Would this be evidence that police are not engaging in racial profiling? No-- you'd have to know what fraction of the population is black. If it turns out that blacks only make up 5% of the population, then you have a problem.

The inspector general's report says that 70% of applications overall pass without review. However, it appears that almost no Tea Party applications made it through without review (they found none in a sample of approved applications). Given that, and the fact that Tea Party terms were on the BOLO list, means that the Tea Party applications were in fact given special, negative treatment.

Does this mean that only Tea Party applications got negative treatment? No, it's possible other terms were also (inappropriately) added to the BOLO list. I would be curious as to what those were as well. But the inspector general report makes it clear that using the organization's name and policy positions as criteria is wrong, and the IRS was wrong to do so.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread