IRS ‘targeted progressives’ more than it targeted the Tea Party

IRS ‘targeted progressives’ more than it targeted the Tea Party

[Ed. – The usual obfuscation going on here.  The IRS had good reason from years’ worth of criminal activity to be suspicious of “marijuana-education” and ACORN-type groups.  In their case, it wasn’t political targeting; it was a documented pattern of such groups misusing tax-exempt status, along with other forms of criminal activity.]

A series of IRS documents, provided to ThinkProgress under the Freedom of Information Act, appears to contradict the claims by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that only Tea Party organizations applying for tax-exempt status “received systematic scrutiny because of their political beliefs.” The 22 “Be On the Look Out” keywords lists, distributed to staff reviewing applications between August 12, 2010 and April 19, 2013, included more explicit references to progressive groups, ACORN successors, and medical marijuana organizations than to Tea Party entities. …

Explicit references to “Tea Party,” included in the “emerging issues” section of the lists, also began in August 2010 — but stopped appearing after the May 10, 2011 list.  From that point on, the lists instructed agents to flag all political advocacy groups of any stripe. The documents instructed the agents to forward any “organization involved with political, lobbying, or advocacy” applying for 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) status be forwarded to “group 7822″ for additional review.  Groups under both categories are limited in the amount of of lobbying and political activity each can undertake.

Other types of groups received explicit scrutiny for longer than “progressive” or “Tea Party” organizations.  These included applicants involved with “medical marijuana” but not “exclusively education” (19 appearances in the “watch list” section of the lists), which were to be forwarded to a “group 7888″ and groups believed to be possible successor-groups to ACORN, the now-shuttered Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (12 appearances on the “watch list” section).

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