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Lazenby: IRS Scandal Expands … Again

Documents released this week revealed that the targeting of groups seeking a 501(c)(4) designation from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was more widespread than previously revealed – and also continued up until this month, which is more than a year later than previously disclosed. The criteria used by the IRS to evaluate these groups,…

Documents released this week revealed that the targeting of groups seeking a 501(c)(4) designation from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was more widespread than previously revealed – and also continued up until this month, which is more than a year later than previously disclosed.

The criteria used by the IRS to evaluate these groups, also known as “Be on the Lookout” (or BOLO) lists, used language that targeted liberal organizations, not just conservative “Tea Party” groups. This revelation comes after the audit that began the scandal and launched Congressional investigations, as reported by Treasury Inspector General, J. Russell George, failed to mention any increased scrutiny of liberal groups, giving the impression that this improper targeting was politically one-sided.

Acting IRS commissioner Daniel I. Werfel said “there was a wide-ranging set of categories and cases that spanned a broad spectrum.”

The documents show that IRS officials were using “key word” searches in an attempt to find both liberal and conservative political groups that were trying to obtain favorable tax status by saying they were social welfare organizations, when in fact the majority of their activities were political in nature. To qualify for 501(c)(4) status, no more than 40 percent of an organization’s expenditures and time may be used on campaigns for candidates seeking public office. At least 60 percent of the group’s time and expenses must be dedicated to social welfare activities, which is what gains them the tax-exempt status.

While “Tea Party” and “Patriots” were some of the BOLO key words used, so were “Progressive” and “Occupy,” which are certainly not terms that politically conservative groups use to self-identify.

Also on the IRS watch list were medical marijuana groups, organizations promoting Obamacare, “Israel,” and applications dealing with “with disputed territories in the Middle East.”

One lookout list included instructions to single out for scrutiny groups where a “common thread is the word ‘progressive.’ Activities appear to lean toward a new political party. Activities are partisan and appear as anti-Republican.”

According to the IRS documents, groups centered around “occupied territory advocacy” also received enhanced scrutiny. “Applications may be inflammatory, advocate a one-sided point of view, and promotional materials may signify propaganda,” according to instructions that accompanied one lookout list.

This paints a much broader picture than the one presented to Congress and the American public in May when it was first reported. While it is now clear that both conservative and liberal groups were improperly targeted, the use of some lists of conservative key words for further screening was supposed to have stopped in May 2012 when IRS officials were first notified of the practice, according to the Inspector General’s report.

However, acting IRS Commissioner Werfel was informed on June 12, 2013, that other BOLO lists were still in use by the IRS unit that handles tax exempt applications, at which point he immediately suspended the practice.

In addressing the situation, Werfel’s report said:

“Several key leaders, including some in the commissioner’s office, failed in multiple capacities to meet their managerial responsibilities at various points during the course of these events. Most notably, there was insufficient action by these leaders to identify, prevent, address, and disclose the problematic situation that materialized with the review of applications for tax exempt status.”

Five IRS managers have been replaced, from the previous acting commissioner whom Werfel succeeded to the head of the unit based in Cincinnati, OH that handles applications for tax-exempt status.

The White House ordered the review by Werfel when he assumed the role of acting IRS commissioner in late May after George’s audit revealed targeting of some conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. Why George failed to include the information on targeting of liberal groups turned up by Werfel is a question many in Congress and the American public want answered. In fact, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee are calling for a second hearing with Treasury Inspector General George to address the omissions.

In the meantime, the House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a hearing for Thursday on Werfel’s report.

amy lazenby

Amy Lazenby is the associate opinion editor at FITSNews. She is a wife, mother of three and small business owner with her husband who splits her time between South Carolina and Georgia. Follow her on Twitter @Mrs_Laz or email her at amy@fitsnews.com.

***

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56 comments

Manray9 June 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

The fundamental issue with this so-called scandal is misuse
of tax law for political purposes. The
501(c) (4) section of the code has been amended several times, but its predecessor
goes back to 1913. Unfortunately, the
pertinent section of the code has become simply a dodge to allow for preferred
treatment of certain organizations involved in political activities. It all comes back to how we allow money to be
funneled into our politics. Both Dems
and Reps exploit 501(c) (4). It is wrong,
but legal. The IRS was just doing its
job. If there is a problem, as usual, it
lies with Congress. You can’t blame this
on Obama.

Reply
Frank Pytel June 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

BS

Reply
Manray9 June 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

The fundamental issue with this so-called scandal is misuse
of tax law for political purposes. The
501(c) (4) section of the code has been amended several times, but its predecessor
goes back to 1913. Unfortunately, the
pertinent section of the code has become simply a dodge to allow for preferred
treatment of certain organizations involved in political activities. It all comes back to how we allow money to be
funneled into our politics. Both Dems
and Reps exploit 501(c) (4). It is wrong,
but legal. The IRS was just doing its
job. If there is a problem, as usual, it
lies with Congress. You can’t blame this
on Obama.

Reply
Frank Pytel June 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

BS

Reply
GrandTango June 25, 2013 at 11:44 am

LMAO: NOW targeting by the IRS is a SCANDAL, according to Lizenby….Hhahahaha..you leftwingers are SO Predictable…

Let’s just bet…if there was an IRS BOLO for liberal groups, it was to FAST-TRACK their applications to get them in the streets before the election…

This is just fodder for all the Lock-Step Propaganda Puppets on MSNBC, CNN, FITS and ABC, a weapon to blunt the consequences Obama is Feeling for his Targeting his politcal enemies…

You are LIARS and Excuse-makers….this is just another one….I don’t buy it for a moment…

Reply
Please June 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm

In what universe do you “FAST-TRACK” a group’s application when you mark it for extra scrutiny based on a key word? That would only slow the process down. Simple logic, T – it appears to escape you.

Reply
BigT's Little Tantrum June 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm

No no no nonoooo! ‘bama’s fault, ‘bama’s fault!!!

Reply
Frank Pytel June 25, 2013 at 11:57 am

I’m not buying it. While I have no love for the TP (I tried it. Mikey no likey), It’s been over a month. Easy to fabricate this crap. Especially when the top dog quits refusing to discuss anything about the situation.

Kind of like what will happen with Snowden. “There already changing their tactics.” No one knows what their tactics were because of ‘national security’. How the hell do we know if it’s true?

Reply
Curious June 25, 2013 at 11:59 am

So you’re saying the IRS fabricated the documents and the acting commissioner submitted a fake report to Congress?

Reply
Frank Pytel June 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Hell Yes. I’ll go even further and say there is not one administration since somewhere in the mid 1800’s that hasn’t done it.

Reply
Curious June 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Sorry, Frank, once you’ve donned the tin foil hat, I’m done talking to you.

Reply
Frank Pytel June 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Fuck off. Like your opinion is gold. Fuck You.

Not exactly (New)s June 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Funny, I read about this on one of those liberal media sites…abouta month ago…

Smirks June 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

It’s all an agenda. To be honest, I read that too on other sites, but didn’t know to trust it or not. It seems like that is very much the case now.

Infinite cash flows from corporations, the obscenely rich, and special interest groups don’t make Washington any more honest, far from it. Even worse than the unrestricted buying of politicians and their seats is that we don’t even have a window to look through to see who is influencing what. Best not to let the public see you purchasing your legislation of choice, lest the illusion of democracy be dispelled.

Please June 25, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Wasn’t the report just released yesterday? You may have seen liberals saying they were targeted, too, but this is actual evidence of that.

Smirks June 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Even if you want to be skeptical about “progressive” being a BOLO word, I’m not surprised at all that the IRS investigated groups with “occupy” in their title at all. The feds had extensively monitored Occupy talks and even infiltrated Occupy protests, just as they have done for a number of peaceful and non-peaceful groups.

Reply
Frank Pytel June 26, 2013 at 4:41 am

Ah Curious? Now who’s wearing the foil?
Smirks, doubt it. Can’t prove it, but doubt it.

Reply
Frank Pytel June 25, 2013 at 11:57 am

I’m not buying it. While I have no love for the TP (I tried it. Mikey no likey), It’s been over a month. Easy to fabricate this crap. Especially when the top dog quits refusing to discuss anything about the situation.

Kind of like what will happen with Snowden. “There already changing their tactics.” No one knows what their tactics were because of ‘national security’. How the hell do we know if it’s true?

Reply
Curious June 25, 2013 at 11:59 am

So you’re saying the IRS fabricated the documents and the acting commissioner submitted a fake report to Congress?

Reply
Frank Pytel June 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Hell Yes. I’ll go even further and say there is not one administration since somewhere in the mid 1800’s that hasn’t done it.

Reply
Curious June 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Sorry, Frank, once you’ve donned the tin foil hat, I’m done talking to you.

Reply
Frank Pytel June 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Fuck off. Like your opinion is gold. Fuck You.

Not exactly (New)s June 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Funny, I read about this on one of those liberal media sites…abouta month ago…

Smirks June 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

It’s all an agenda. To be honest, I read that too on other sites, but didn’t know to trust it or not. It seems like that is very much the case now.

Infinite cash flows from corporations, the obscenely rich, and special interest groups don’t make Washington any more honest, far from it. Even worse than the unrestricted buying of politicians and their seats is that we don’t even have a window to look through to see who is influencing what. Best not to let the public see you purchasing your legislation of choice, lest the illusion of democracy be dispelled.

Please June 25, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Wasn’t the report just released yesterday? You may have seen liberals saying they were targeted, too, but this is actual evidence of that.

Smirks June 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Even if you want to be skeptical about “progressive” being a BOLO word, I’m not surprised at all that the IRS investigated groups with “occupy” in their title at all. The feds had extensively monitored Occupy talks and even infiltrated Occupy protests, just as they have done for a number of peaceful and non-peaceful groups.

Reply
Frank Pytel June 26, 2013 at 4:41 am

Ah Curious? Now who’s wearing the foil?
Smirks, doubt it. Can’t prove it, but doubt it.

Reply
Finius Nullis June 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm

BOLO ALERT:

Subject: GrandTango

Distinguishing features: Wears rubber mask of Abraham Lincoln and a beaver top hat. Speaks at a decibel level equivalent to a freight train braking to a stop in an emergency. Also speaks in capital letters.

If located DO NOT APPROACH without adequate backup.

Reply
little rocky from arkansas June 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Finius, if he is located wandering the streets, all anyone needs to do is call Harpootlian – it won’t matter if any of his crew are hurt during capture. Then they can put him on display at Riverbanks Zoo ($2 for admission).

Reply
Smirks June 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm

If located DO NOT APPROACH

I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that.

Reply
Finius Nullis June 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm

BOLO ALERT:

Subject: GrandTango

Distinguishing features: Wears rubber mask of Abraham Lincoln and a beaver top hat. Speaks at a decibel level equivalent to a freight train braking to a stop in an emergency. Also speaks in capital letters.

If located DO NOT APPROACH without adequate backup.

Reply
little rocky from arkansas June 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Finius, if he is located wandering the streets, all anyone needs to do is call Harpootlian – it won’t matter if any of his crew are hurt during capture. Then they can put him on display at Riverbanks Zoo ($2 for admission).

Reply
Smirks June 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm

If located DO NOT APPROACH

I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that.

Reply
This just in . . . June 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Supreme Court Frees Americans from Burden of Voting

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — By a five-to-four vote, the Supreme Court today acted, in the words of Justice Antonin Scalia, “to relieve millions of Americans from the onerous burden of having to vote.”

Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia stated, “Since 1965, citizens across the nation have lived under the tyranny of being forced to elect people to represent them. This is an important step to free them from that unfair and heinous obligation.”

Justice Scalia added that the Voting Rights Act had “thrust upon the shoulders of millions of Americans the terrible and unwanted burden of exercising their rights in a democracy.”

“Many of them have been forced to drive to polling places, wait in line, and then cast their vote because of the oppressive requirements of this Act,” he wrote. “It is our honor and duty to free them from those hardships.”

In conclusion, Justice Scalia wrote, “Our message today to the American people is simple: we are voting so you won’t have to.”

Reply
This just in . . . June 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Supreme Court Frees Americans from Burden of Voting

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — By a five-to-four vote, the Supreme Court today acted, in the words of Justice Antonin Scalia, “to relieve millions of Americans from the onerous burden of having to vote.”

Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia stated, “Since 1965, citizens across the nation have lived under the tyranny of being forced to elect people to represent them. This is an important step to free them from that unfair and heinous obligation.”

Justice Scalia added that the Voting Rights Act had “thrust upon the shoulders of millions of Americans the terrible and unwanted burden of exercising their rights in a democracy.”

“Many of them have been forced to drive to polling places, wait in line, and then cast their vote because of the oppressive requirements of this Act,” he wrote. “It is our honor and duty to free them from those hardships.”

In conclusion, Justice Scalia wrote, “Our message today to the American people is simple: we are voting so you won’t have to.”

Reply
GrandTango June 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm

No question what the liberals and the media are trying to pull here…I just don’t think the people are as Stupid as you and Obama have to have them to be…

Obama’s record is catching up to him…I doubt this saves your god and idol….but nice try…

Reply
Joe Walsh June 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Got any gum?

Reply
Smirks June 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm

So they targeted “progressive” and “occupy” too? Oh joy! I’m sure Fox will be OUTRAGED at that!

Seriously, the only problem I had with this is the notion that they targeted one side of the aisle. If there is no one-sided aspect, then I have no problem with it. Let’s be honest, this is just a loophole being used and abused. There should be something in place to weed out that kind of bullshit.

Reply
Frank Pytel June 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

There was.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/watchdog-knocks-down-dem-claim-that-liberal-groups-were-targeted-by-irs/

Oh Shit Jan. Hows that working for you now.

“”We found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘Progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” IRS Inspector General J. Russell George wrote in a letter to Democrats. ”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/watchdog-knocks-down-dem-claim-that-liberal-groups-were-targeted-by-irs/#ixzz2XR73yEJl

Reply
Smirks June 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm

So they targeted “progressive” and “occupy” too? Oh joy! I’m sure Fox will be OUTRAGED at that!

Seriously, the only problem I had with this is the notion that they targeted one side of the aisle. If there is no one-sided aspect, then I have no problem with it. Let’s be honest, this is just a loophole being used and abused. There should be something in place to weed out that kind of bullshit.

Reply
Frank Pytel June 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

There was.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/watchdog-knocks-down-dem-claim-that-liberal-groups-were-targeted-by-irs/

Oh Shit Jan. Hows that working for you now.

“”We found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘Progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” IRS Inspector General J. Russell George wrote in a letter to Democrats. ”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/watchdog-knocks-down-dem-claim-that-liberal-groups-were-targeted-by-irs/#ixzz2XR73yEJl

Reply
Recovering Lobbyist June 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

So what you are saying is that the IRS was doing its job by making sure that groups that received c4 status were actually eligible for c4 status. As a part of that effort, they specifically looked for groups that were political in nature, which are not eligible for c4 status, no matter the political leaning of the group.

Well forgive me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that the IRS may have actually been dong its job. On the other hand, they may have just issued a press release in an effort to cover up the whole thing. It is Washington, after all, where the truth never got in the way of a good lie.

What we need now is for Congress to do their job and hold the IRS accountable if they were wrong, and praise them if they were doing their job. Oh, that’s right, we are talking about Washington.

My only complaint here is about the competency of IRS officials, who don’t seem to know what is going on inside their own agency.

Reply
Jan June 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm

This was a Faux scandal from the start and remains a Faux scandal. There was never any targeting based on political beliefs. The targeting was based on the type of tax free status sought. Something the IRS should have been doing. Over the years 501(c)(4) status has become heavily abused and after Citizens United the applications soared.

Reply
Frank Pytel June 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/watchdog-knocks-down-dem-claim-that-liberal-groups-were-targeted-by-irs/

Oh Shit Jan. Hows that working for you now.

“”We found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘Progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” IRS Inspector General J. Russell George wrote in a letter to Democrats. ”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/watchdog-knocks-down-dem-claim-that-liberal-groups-were-targeted-by-irs/#ixzz2XR73yEJl

Reply
Recovering Lobbyist June 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

So what you are saying is that the IRS was doing its job by making sure that groups that received c4 status were actually eligible for c4 status. As a part of that effort, they specifically looked for groups that were political in nature, which are not eligible for c4 status, no matter the political leaning of the group.

Well forgive me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that the IRS may have actually been dong its job. On the other hand, they may have just issued a press release in an effort to cover up the whole thing. It is Washington, after all, where the truth never got in the way of a good lie.

What we need now is for Congress to do their job and hold the IRS accountable if they were wrong, and praise them if they were doing their job. Oh, that’s right, we are talking about Washington.

My only complaint here is about the competency of IRS officials, who don’t seem to know what is going on inside their own agency.

Reply
Jan June 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm

This was a Faux scandal from the start and remains a Faux scandal. There was never any targeting based on political beliefs. The targeting was based on the type of tax free status sought. Something the IRS should have been doing. Over the years 501(c)(4) status has become heavily abused and after Citizens United the applications soared.

Reply
Frank Pytel June 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/watchdog-knocks-down-dem-claim-that-liberal-groups-were-targeted-by-irs/

Oh Shit Jan. Hows that working for you now.

“”We found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘Progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” IRS Inspector General J. Russell George wrote in a letter to Democrats. ”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/watchdog-knocks-down-dem-claim-that-liberal-groups-were-targeted-by-irs/#ixzz2XR73yEJl

Reply
Smirks June 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm

The biggest culprit here is Issa, who released only a piece of the transcript that supported the narrative he wanted Americans to hear. He became outraged when someone threatened to release the full transcript, and now that it has been released, we see why. The idea for the BOLO list came from a self-described conservative Republican. No surprise, we were also told the administration “knew about this” since June 2012 when, surprise surprise, that was just a notification that they were investigating something and, surprise surprise, Republicans, including Issa himself, got the same memo.

Issa is a fucking douchebag.

Reply
Curious June 25, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Totally on point, Smirks. Issa knew he was full of shit, but he had an agenda to push, and he ignored or outright hid the information that didn’t conform to his narrative. What a POS.

Reply
Smirks June 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm

The biggest culprit here is Issa, who released only a piece of the transcript that supported the narrative he wanted Americans to hear. He became outraged when someone threatened to release the full transcript, and now that it has been released, we see why. The idea for the BOLO list came from a self-described conservative Republican. No surprise, we were also told the administration “knew about this” since June 2012 when, surprise surprise, that was just a notification that they were investigating something and, surprise surprise, Republicans, including Issa himself, got the same memo.

Issa is a fucking douchebag. Time to eat your crow.

Reply
Curious June 25, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Totally on point, Smirks. Issa knew he was full of shit, but he had an agenda to push, and he ignored or outright hid the information that didn’t conform to his narrative. What a POS.

Reply
Frank Pytel June 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm

BA BA BUMP BABA. I’M LOVIN IT.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/watchdog-knocks-down-dem-claim-that-liberal-groups-were-targeted-by-irs/

Oh Shit Jan. Hows that working for you now.

“”We found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘Progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” IRS Inspector General J. Russell George wrote in a letter to Democrats. ”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/watchdog-knocks-down-dem-claim-that-liberal-groups-were-targeted-by-irs/#ixzz2XR73yEJl

Reply
Frank Pytel June 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm

BA BA BUMP BABA. I’M LOVIN IT.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/watchdog-knocks-down-dem-claim-that-liberal-groups-were-targeted-by-irs/

Oh Shit Jan. Hows that working for you now.

“”We found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘Progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” IRS Inspector General J. Russell George wrote in a letter to Democrats. ”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/watchdog-knocks-down-dem-claim-that-liberal-groups-were-targeted-by-irs/#ixzz2XR73yEJl

Reply

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