The REAL IRS scandal finally goes to court


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Just in time for this Tea-Publican dog and pony show on Thursday:

Reps. Gosar, Salmon, Schweikert and Franks to Host Congressional Field Hearing

Thursday, August 22, 2013


TIME:  3:30PM- 7:30PM (Doors will open at 2:00PM)
LOCATION: Mesa Arts Center
Virginia G. Piper Repertory Theater
1 E. Main Street
Mesa, AZ 85211

The Washington Post reports today that Congressman Chris Van Hollen will file a lawsuit today over the REAL IRS Scandal — that any of these 501(c)(4) organizations engaged in politics ever received tax exempt status in the first place. Pay attention Doug MacEachern, you GOP agitprop hack. High-ranking
Democrat to sue IRS over tax-exemption rules

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Budget
Committee, said Tuesday that he will serve as lead plaintiff in the
case, which addresses one of the main concerns that surfaced with the
recent IRS targeting controversy: differences between federal law and the IRS rules on eligibility for 501(c)(4) candidates.

Current law says the organizations must engage “exclusively” in social welfare activities, but IRS tax code
requires only that they are “primarily engaged” in such purposes. That
discrepancy has led to confusion for application processors, who have
struggled to determine what constitutes political activity and how much
should disqualify groups from tax-exemption, according to agency

“I don’t think the IRS should be in the business of
determining whether the primary purpose of an organization is political
or educational,” Van Hollen said in an interview Tuesday. “The statute
is very clear they should not be in that business.”

Three campaign-finance watchdog groups — Democracy 21, the Campaign
Legal Center and Public Citizen — are joining Van Hollen in the lawsuit.
They have scheduled a joint teleconference Wednesday to discuss the
legal action.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a similar lawsuit against the IRS. The case is ongoing, according to Dave Merchant, spokesman for the group.

Congressman Van Hollen was a guest on the The Last Word Tuesday night with Lawrence O'Donnell, who is the only Beltway media villager to have gotten the REAL IRS Scandal right — that any of these 501(c)(4)
organizations engaged in politics ever received tax exempt status in the
first place. The ‘real IRS scandal’: Now, a lawsuit:

Rep. Chris Van Hollen is preparing to file a lawsuit in federal
district court challenging the Treasury Department and the Internal
Revenue Service over the agency’s interpretation of the 501(c)(4) law
that determines tax-exempt status for social welfare organizations.

Hoping to force the agency to clarify its rules, the ranking member
of the House Budget Committee said Tuesday that he will serve as lead
plaintiff in the lawsuit, which will address one of the primary concerns
with the recent IRS targeting controversy: differences between federal
law and the IRS rules on eligibility for 501(c)(4) status. The lawsuit,
also filed by three campaign-finance watchdog groups—Democracy 21, the
Campaign Legal Center and Public Citizen—challenges IRS regulations
adopted in 1959 that govern eligibility for tax-exempt status under

“What we’re asking the court to do is to instruct the IRS to apply
the law as it was written,” the Maryland congressman said on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.

“The way the law was written – it was never intended that the IRS would
be in the business of trying to determine whether an organization that
was seeking this special 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status, whether it’s
primarily engaged in political activities or primarily engaged in social
welfare activities.”

The original Revenue Act of 1913 states that organizations must
engage “exclusively” for the promotion of social welfare
, but IRS rules
say that organizations can qualify if they are “primarily engaged” in
social welfare purposes. This inconsistency has confused Democrats and
other critics who have said that the IRS’s interpretation of the law has
made it impossible to determine what fully constitutes political
activity and how much of this engagement should bar groups from
tax-exempt status.

Rep. Van Hollen added, “The law is clear. You can only get that
status if you’re exclusively involved in social welfare activities
because they totally  mangled the English language when they put forward
the regulations, the guidelines, the IRS has  been in this position of
trying to dig into the backgrounds of organizations to say ‘Are you
primarily involved in social welfare activities or political?’”

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GOP agitprop hack Doug MacEachern at The Arizona Republic has been beating the GOPropaganda "IRS scandal" drum even after it had been debunked by the evidence. The world is still waiting for your correction and retraction, MacEachern, and how about an apology? A 'nail in the coffin' of the IRS 'scandal':

With every passing revelation, the misguided uproar looks a little sillier.

The ranking Democrat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means
Committee ranking member, Sander Levin, D-Mich., released new
information Tuesday from the Internal Revenue Service to provide further
evidence that progressive groups were singled out for scrutiny as were
conservative groups.

The documents include an IRS training presentation that instructs IRS
employees to screen tax-exemption applications for Democratic leaning
"Emerge" organizations alongside "progressive" and "tea party"

Three organizations tied to the national Emerge America
organization — Emerge Nevada, Emerge Maine and Emerge Massachusetts —
sought tax-exempt status in 2011. They were denied — the group, which helps recruit and train Democratic women for electoral politics, was deemed too political.

so, when it came time for the IRS to scrutinize organizations, it
instructed IRS employees to screen for "Emerge" along with
"progressive." If the tax agency were singling out conservatives, as
Republicans and a few too many reporters claimed, this obviously
wouldn't have happened.

Making matters slightly more amusing, the
same new materials show the IRS had a "Be On the Look Out" warning that
called for heightened scrutiny to "ACORN successor" organizations.

said in a statement, "Once again it is clear that the Inspector
General's report left out critical information that skewed the audit's
findings and set the stage for Republicans to make completely baseless
accusations in an effort to tarnish the White House. These new documents
make it clear the IRS scrutiny of the political activity of 501(c)(4)
organizations covered a broad spectrum of political ideology and was not
politically motivated. Republicans should stop trying to twist the
facts to fit a faulty 'enemies list' narrative and instead join in the
effort to fix the mismanagement problems at the IRS tax-exempt division
as I have called for since day one."

Government Reform Committee
Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) added, "This new information
should put a nail in the coffin of the Republican claims that the IRS's
actions were politically motivated or were targeted at only one side of
the political spectrum."

And yet, even now, the right continues to insist there's an IRS "scandal" that only conservatives can see.

* * *

What was annoying has since become tiresome. Republicans were so
heavily invested in this controversy that they feel the need to keep up
appearances, but it seems they're just going through the motions — no
one could honestly take the story seriously anymore.

To reiterate a point from July, this would be a great time for at least some
accountability. There were countless Republicans and mainstream pundits
— left, right, and center, from Limbaugh to Jon Stewart — who were
absolutely convinced that this story was legitimate and President Obama bore responsibility for the wrongdoing we now know didn't exist.

yet, the scandal that evaporated into nothing has led to precious
little introspection among those who demanded the public take it
seriously. The political world flubbed this one, and instead of
acknowledging that, it's simply moved on as if it hadn't made a mistake

That would be you, Doug MacEachern. Man up.