IRS Targeting Tea Party Groups Is "Unconscionable," Says Rep. Darrell Issa

Courtesy of Congressman IssaCourtesy of Congressman IssaAfter the IRS admitted today that Tea Party and "patriot" groups "were singled out for additional reviews" during the 2012 election, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) promised that his team would "aggressively follow up" on the revelations. 

"The fact that Americans were targeted by the IRS because of their political beliefs is unconscionable,"Issa said in a statement released today. "The Committee will aggressively follow up on the IG report and hold responsible officials accountable for this political retaliation.”

Issa first investigated reports of the IRS targeting Tea Party groups in spring 2012. Back then, IRS Commissioner Douglas told Congress, "There's absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people." 

Today, the IRS's Lois Lerner is singing a very different song: "That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review." 

"In some cases," the AP reports in a story titled "IRS Apologizes for Targeting Conservative Groups," Tea Party organizations "were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases." 

Reason's Scott Shackford noted the story earlier today. Over at his post you can read the full complaint several Tea Party groups filed back in 2012. 

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  • KPres||

    "The fact that Americans were targeted by the IRS because of their political beliefs is unconscionable,"

    Meh. It's less "conscionable" than targeting people because they're productive.

  • ||

    I, for one, welcome our new IRS overlords.

  • UnCivilServant||

    How many overlords have you welcomed today?

  • Irish||

    There can never be too many overlords.

  • ||

    He's an overlord groupie. Which ever one crooks a finger, he's on it.

  • ||

    Only if they crook it imperiously.

  • UnCivilServant||

    A proper overlord would never do so in any other manner.

  • ||

    "The fact that Americans were targeted by the IRS because of their political beliefs is unconscionable,"

    It was also inevitable. Welcome to our super-politicized world, the inevitable result of more government, and government in general.

  • ||

    Hey, if you're going to teach your own supporters to be totally paranoid about the Tea Party and think it's funded by evil corporations, don't be surprised if the people who work for you start behaving like paranoid political zealots who want to investigate the Tea Party's funding.

    After all, the Tea Party is an evil astroturf thing created by sub-human racists and has to be fought by any means necessary. Corporations raen't people and shouldn't be allowed to speak.

  • robc||

    Can Douglas be charged with perjury?

    Its possible he didnt know about it, but I would like to see him under pressure of charges, see who he throws under the bus to get to the truth.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I plan to pursue this investigation very aggressively. I won't rest until I have an apology from the IRS commissioner on my desk.

  • AlexInCT||

    They meant well. After all. The IRS was targetting the enemy, and that's always a bonus when it gets done around elections...

    /moonbat off

  • John||

    Come on now. This was just a few low level people who got a little out of control. Lets not get out of hand here and starting thinking that maybe some higher ups were responsible or that anyone higher up in the IRS had any kind of supervisory responsibility to keep this from happening. Never. Just a few rogue employees who have been given a stern talking to. Shut up with your faux news memes, ok?

  • entropy||

    Just like with the Mexican nepot who likes to sick health inspectors on restaurants.

  • ||

    Yes, lets not think the demonization of the Tea Party had anything to do with it either.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • entropy||

    Anti-tax groups trying to dodge paying taxes is hypocritical because... uh,... because.

  • UnCivilServant||

    How does a tax-exempt organization dodge taxes?

  • Generic Stranger||

    By becoming a tax exempt organization. Duh.

  • GILMORE||

    This worked great for me. I filed my 3rd-world child-labor diamond mine as a "Program for Promotion of Geological Literacy in the Developing World"

  • NeonCat||

    You could also throw Wellness in there, I bet none of those kids has a BMI that's too high.

  • ||

    "The fact that Americans were targeted by the IRS because of their political beliefs is unconscionable,"

    Blah. Enough people voted for the team that openly praised Hugo Chavez that they got elected. I wouldnt expect anything less than unconscionable behavior from them. It has been one unconscionable act after another since the day they took office, and all the while our shitty little trolls run around in circles waiving their arms yelling "Bush! Bush!". All the while the MSM covering their asses for them.

    It is so absurd that it is hilarious.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    It is almost like a spoof of itself. That House of Cards show really doesn't have to make anything up, reality is messed up enough in Washington.

  • ||

    I just went back to re-read the benghazi thread. I see that while I was out our dear Tony was running around in circles waving his arms and yelling "Bush! Bush!"

    Amazing. What a piece of shit.

  • ||

    People need to be fired for this. Immediately.

    You can't have people working at the IRS who would even conceive of targetting people for their political beliefs. Any suggestion that they could get away with that ought to be publicly and forcefully stomped out.

    They should be fired and possibly even prosecuted for misuse of data.

    Of course, that won't happen, because the liberal media doesn't want it to happen, doesn't care if Republicans get targetted because of their beliefs, and would honestly prefer a society where they are, since they all thing the Tea Party is funded by evil sinister interests anyway.

  • robc||

    It wont happen, because it they are fired, they will blow the whistle on who told them to do it.

    Then when those people are fired, etc, etc.

  • John||

    Yup. No one will be fired. The media will yawn and ignore this and then when forced to report about it say it is an old story. And that will be it.

    No Democratic scandal no matter how appalling will ever stick. The media has too much control over the narrative and thus what your typical low information voter things and is far to committed and uniformly ideological to ever let one stick.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You can't have people working at the IRS who would even conceive of targetting people for their political beliefs.

    How about "targetting" them because they're trying to cheat the tax system by claiming an obvious political advocacy group is a "social welfare organization".

  • ||

    You mean like what Acorn, and PIRG do ?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    yep, and the IRS should investigate them (or better yet deny their NPO application).

  • ||

    They approved their NPO applications like, decades ago. That horse has left the barn.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    NPO approval isn't eternal. The status can be removed.

  • Paul.||

    Government never abuses data it collects. Which is why having cameras placed every 11 feet, recording your every move would never violate your privacy.

  • Michael||

    What absolutely killed me was the request for printouts of Facebook pages as noted in one of the articles Scott linked earlier. I guess that simply clicking the "like" button on an organization's page is an undertaking far too efficient for federal employees to comprehend.

  • UnCivilServant||

    No, it was something to waste their time and to try to get them to pushback so that they can be cited for "noncompliance" and so that they can't spend as much time on their advocacy activities.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    I would bet people on the donor lists got audited as well.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    This whole "scandal" is stupid. There is no way Tea Party groups should have been granted nonprofit status. They're political advocacy groups in the most transparent sense.

  • ||

    Lots of progressive political groups have non-profit status. They have a veneer of social-service covering political advocacy.

    I'd bet anything that every one of the PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) groups has non-profit status. And every single one of them is a front for progressive political advocacy.

    These shitheads actually have paid employees on college campuses - paid for by student fees - whose job is to organize political advocacy. They pretend to be non-partisan, but they are basically Democratic party shock troops.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Then the IRS should go after them too. The answer is not to lay off the TP groups breaking the law but to ruthlessly enforce the law against everyone.

  • ||

    Yeah, they have been doing it for 40 years, so don't hold your fucking breath.

    The progressive groups are just smarter about packaging themselves and pretending to be non-partisan.

  • G-dub||

    Which is why this is a scandal: the IRS clearly doesn't give a shit about tax-exempt political advocacy when it's for a progressive cause but goes out of its way to punish conservatives. This is unacceptable behavior from a government institution.

  • Brett L||

    The word is not "unconscionable", it is "unacceptable" as in, the President fires the top guy at the IRS pour les encourager les autres or he gets no cooperation from any Republicans in Congress. That's the only way the system continues to function.

  • ||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.....arch_Group

    The PIRGs emerged in the early 1970s on U.S. college campuses. The PIRG model was proposed in the book Action for a Change by Ralph Nader and Donald Ross.
    ...
    At the national level, the PIRGs are running campaigns around the following issues:[6]

    Stopping the flow of special interest money in our elections;
    Closing corporate tax loopholes and making corporations pay the taxes they owe;
    Making our health care system work;
    Consumer protection;
    Stopping reckless banking and financial practices;
    Ending taxpayer subsidies for junk food ingredients;
    Promoting public transportation;
    Making higher education affordable;
    Promoting transparency and accountability in government; and
    Safeguarding public health.

    The PIRGs are members of a larger network of non-profit organizations called the Public Interest Network, a coalition of independent groups that fosters new and existing organizations that work to make corporations and government more responsive to the public interest.[10] The PIRGs have also helped to launch a number of other independent public interest non-profits, including Green Corps,[11] the Toxics Action Center, Environment America, and the National Environmental Law Center.

    Progressive political advocacy groups have been using non-profit status for a LONG FUCKING TIME .

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