For Release: September 17, 2013 Contact: Joe Trotter Phone: 210-352-0055 (Cell)
The Center for Competitive Politics released a timeline today about the events leading up to and surrounding the IRS targeting scandal, in which the Agency targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny in its review of tax exemption applications. The timeline examines a wide variety of actions by elected officials, IRS executives, and outside organizations.
“For years, the IRS was under intense pressure from a coordinated band of lawmakers and pro-regulation groups to crack down on nonprofit groups,” said CCP External Relations Director Matt Nese.
Although the IRS began scrutinizing groups applying for non-profit status using politically biased criteria in March of 2010, pressure to closely examine 501(c)(4) groups started well before then. Initially, groups with names containing the words “Tea Party” or “patriot” were singled out for additional scrutiny.
“In a number of cases, organizations and congressmen sent multiple letters to the IRS demanding additional scrutiny for Tea Party groups,” said Nese. “The IRS did not act in a vacuum. Over the course of several years, a loud, irresponsible, but effective cast of characters launched investigations, filed complaints, cheered government intrusions into constitutionally-protected speech and association, and still shouted for greater regulation.”
In many cases, organizations spent years waiting to hear back from the IRS about their applications for tax-exempt status and some long-delayed applications still have not been approved.
“When organizations finally did hear back about the status of their applications, the responses routinely came in the form of excessive and onerous demands for additional information,” said Nese. “The IRS required many groups to send the Agency their donor lists, names of board members, copies of minutes from all board meetings, resumes of individuals involved in the organization, intern history, and copies of all social media postings. Some groups’ responses to IRS inquiries were over 20,000 pages in length.”
As hearings and investigations into the targeting are still ongoing, CCP’s timeline will be regularly updated. Organizations and individuals who were targeted by the IRS are welcome to share their story with us at: www.CampaignFreedom.org/YourStory, and an interactive version of the timeline can be found at this link. A PDF version of CCP’s timeline of the events surrounding the IRS harassments scandal is available here.
The Center for Competitive Politics promotes and defends the First Amendment’s protection of the political rights of speech, assembly, and petition. It is the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights.