Economics Magazine

IRS Targeting Timeline Goes Back To March-April 2010

Posted on the 13 May 2013 by Susanduclos @SusanDuclos
By Susan Duclos
IRS Targeting Timeline Goes Back To March-April 2010 Headlined news yesterday and the day before focused on the IRS targeting conservatives groups and that recent deatils showed the targeting went back to 2011, but the Washington Post has obtained documents from the audit conducted by the agency’s inspector general, which shows the targeting of "Tea Party, Patriots and 9/12," groups began in March-April of 2010, just two months after the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting political independent expenditures by corporations, associations, or labor unions.
That case was Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
That Supreme Court decision was highly criticized by liberals and publicly criticized by Barack Obama in his 2010 Sate of the Union address, less than a week later..
“Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign companies -- to spend without limit in our elections,” Obama said tonight. “Well, I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, and worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that’s why I’m urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.”

According to the timeline published by the Washington Post, just two months later, the IRS targeting began:
IRS Targeting Timeline Goes Back To March-April 2010
Barack Obama amd Democrats were unhappy with the Citizens United ruling and just two months later, the IRS starts targeting "Tea Party, Patriots and 9/12" groups.
According to a lawsuit filed by Z-STREET, Tea Party, Patriot and 9/12 groups were not the only targets but also Israel-related organizations have been assigned to “a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.” (Source- The Jewish Press)
As was pointed out in July 2012, Mitt Romney donors, publicly named on Barack Obama's campaign website were also targeted by the IRS for audit. (The Daily Caller is touching on the Romney donor audit today)
IRS exempt organizations division chief Lois Lerner is not an IRS political appointee, but she is a Democrat and the changes to the criteria which specifically started targeting “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform movement., started in January 2012, after Lerner knew about the previous targeting, according to the  appendix in the IG report.
The report does appear to contradict what Lerner told reporters on Friday about when she first discovered the targeting. On a conference call, Lerner implied that she first began inquiring with her staff during the run-up to the November presidential elections — when she read about conservative groups complaining that the agency was in some cases asking for donor or member lists.
But the TIGTA report says Lerner learned about the program at a June 29, 2011, briefing. Lerner raised concerns about the language used to flag groups for additional scrutiny during that meeting, the report said.
In January 2012, the criterion was changed to “political action-type organizations involved in limiting/expanding government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement.” This change was put in place because the field officers felt previous search terms were “too generic,” the report says.
In May 2012, the agency informed the groups that it would destroy “some of the inappropriately collected information.”

Some conservatives believe that the Obama administration, via the IRS, were targeting groups and individuals with the specific purpose of intimidating them. Statements from those targeted groups confirm that they did, in fact, feel intimidated.
While the IRS awarded the Waco Tea Party tax-exempt status about six weeks ago, Walker said the group was now considering suing the agency since the process not only consumed time and effort but prompted the group to scale back its 2012 get-out-the-vote operation. “We were afraid to do it and get in trouble,” she said.

The whole situation is beyond bad, but what is worse in the eyes of certain liberal media outlets, is that it "gives the GOP an issue to seize on," and that it "threatens to become a major issue for Democrats." Those quotes were taken directly from the New York Times and Washington Post headlines.
Could this issue become any more of a major headache for the Obama administration and the IRS?
Why yes, it can.
May 10, 2013- "Obamacare: Taxpayers Must Report Personal Health ID Info to IRS."
[UPDATE]  IRS is still attempting to claim there was nothing partisan about targeting conservative groups.
"While Exempt Organizations officials knew of the situation earlier, the timeline reflects that IRS senior leadership did not have this level of detail," the statement from the IRS read. "The timeline supports what the IRS acknowledged on Friday that mistakes were made. There were not partisan reasons behind this."

At this point is anyone buying that? At all? 
IRS Knew Tea Party Was Targeted In 2011- What About Romney Donors, Pro-Israel Groups?
More WH Spin: IRS Also Targeted Pro-Israel Group To Determine If They Contradict Admin Policies
July 2012- IRS Really Is Obama's Gestapo Now - IRS Targets Romney Donor After Obama Publicly Targets Him  

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