A Pennsylvania-based nonprofit educational group that styles itself Constitutional Organization of Liberty (COOL), a project of the Alexander Hamilton Institute for Constitutional Studies, has informed LU in an exclusive that it was singled out by the IRS for additional scrutiny because of its focus on the U.S. Constitution. Thems should be fighting words for a constitutional scholar like President Obama.
Mark Thomas, Chairman for COOL, said he is convinced the IRS targeted COOL because of its emphasis on an interpretation of the Constitution based upon the original intent of the Founding Fathers.
COOL originally submitted its request for tax-exempt status in August of 2011, but as of December 2012 — and two IRS specialists later — they still had not received their exemption. The group had responded to various requests for additional information, and in some instances, was asked to provide the same information multiple times.
Even after tax-exempt status was granted, COOL continued to experience difficulties.
According to Thomas, the delays caused by the IRS jeopardized potential fundraising opportunities, which have caused some setbacks in COOL’s efforts to maintain steady growth over the past two years.
In a statement, Thomas said:
Based upon all of the information that has come to light in the last few days, we believe that COOL was purposely targeted by the IRS for purely political reasons, which resulted in an unnecessary and burdensome delay in COOL securing its tax-exempt status.
No one has a loving place in their heart for the IRS, but it’s outrageous to think that a federal agency, which is supposed to keep politics out of its actions, resorted to picking and choosing who should be put under the microscope based upon perceived political affiliations.
And why deliberately antagonize people who simply want to promote America’s founding documents? Doesn’t the IRS have enough problems with public relations without playing games like this?
A number of other targeted groups have indicated that they are pursuing legal action against the IRS. When asked if COOL was considering any legal action, Thomas said that they have made an inquiry with their own legal counsel and are currently weighing their options.