The year 2010 gave us Citizens United. Suddenly corporations were people who had the right of free speech. But corporations didn’t want their free speech to be disclosed. Enter the Koch Bros., Dick Armey and Freedom Works. In their basement lab, they concocted the very first para-political party, the Tea Party, disguised as a social welfare agency, a 501(c)4. Tea Party Groups were mysteriously born all over the US. Not surprisingly, people and the media began howling loudly that the Tea Party was a wholly political entity that should be a 527 entity for IRS purposes. The media mysteriously seems to have forgotten all this.
Again not surprisingly the IRS began to question this rash of new applicants. That’s how you make a determination. But ah, the Koch Bros were ready. In March 2012 a conservative legal foundation, the Landmark Legal Foundation filed a complaint with the Inspector General of the Treasury that the Tea Party groups were being unfairly targeted.
Shortly thereafter the IRS systematically changed its procedures to avoid the appearance of targeting. Also shortly after, Congress made substantial bi-partisan inquiries into the matter, including conducting an investigation. They also concluded that unless/until the rules are changed, there can be no appearance of targeting. …..
So the Tea Party which is a 100% political organization can pretend it is a social welfare agency until the rules are changed by Congress. To fault IRS workers who were responding to complaints is an ex post facto re-investigation of something that has already been examined and addressed.
It must be Ground Hog Day. The media mysteriously seems to have forgotten all this.