From The Hill:
Durbin: No regrets calling out Crossroads to the IRS
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Sunday defended his decision to single out a key GOP group in a 2010 letter to the IRS.
Durbin said Crossroads GPS, co-founded by Karl Rove, had been boasting about how much money they had been raising, and the role they were playing in the 2010 midterms.“Citizens United really unleashed hundreds, if not thousands of organizations, seeking tax-exempt status to play in political campaigns,” Durbin said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Durbin said he didn’t mention any liberal groups in his letter because an IRS examination into Crossroads would have put organizations across the political spectrum on notice.
During the current IRS scandal, Democrats like Durbin have said there need to be broader questions raised about how and if political groups like Crossroads and Tea Party groups should be allowed the tax-exempt status reserved for social welfare groups.
“There is no basis for targeting within the IRS,” Durbin said. “What we basically need to say is all groups need to have the law applied to them equally.”
From The Atlantic:
From The Hill:
Congress Put Pressure on the IRS to Investigate Conservative Tax-Exempt Groups" Peter Welch is a Democratic congressman from Vermont and sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by California Republican Darrell Issa. Welch's March 2, 2012 letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman explicitly called on the IRS to crack down on 501(c)(4)s: ""In a statement accompanying the letter, Welch's office urged the IRS to "investigate whether nonprofit 501(c)(4) organizations affiliated with Super PACs—such as Crossroads GPS, the Karl Rove-backed group spending millions of dollars in campaigns across the country—are in violation of federal law and IRS regulations.' " Congress Put Pressure on the IRS to Investigate Conservative Tax-Exempt Groups
Report: IRS leaked confidential documents to investigative media
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) leaked confidential materials submitted by some conservative groups to investigative journalists at ProPublica, the group reported on Tuesday.
Last year, ProPublica, an investigative journalism outlet, was researching “how dozens of social-welfare nonprofits had misled the IRS about their political activity on their applications and tax returns.”
As part of the investigation, “ProPublica regularly requested applications from the IRS’s Cincinnati office, which is responsible for reviewing applications from nonprofits.” According to the report, the same IRS office in Cincinnati that has admitted to targeting conservative groups provided confidential documents submitted by some of those nonprofit organizations to ProPublica.
“In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups,” ProPublica reports. “Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)”
Among the applications sent to ProPublica was one for Crossroads GPS, the Karl Rove-backed group and one of the biggest spending conservative groups in the 2012 election cycle. Applications are supposed to remain confidential until a group’s status has been determined.
ProPublica says it followed up with the IRS at the time to find out why it had been provided the confidential materials. The IRS responded by saying it would be illegal for ProPublica to publish the documents.
ProPublica published the materials but redacted some financial information.
The ProPublica report expands the scope of what has become a political firestorm in Washington. The IRS apologized last Friday for targeting conservative groups, including those with the words “Tea Party” and “patriot” in their names, for extra scrutiny when determining whether they were eligible for tax-exempt status.
Call for an investigation of your political opponents and then leak the private information. Nothing to see here? A special prosecutor INDEPENDENT of the partisan Eric Holder's Justice Department is required to investigate the I.R.S. and those involved in the abuse of power and corruption.