This is a shocking admission by a governmental organization that works for the President. To confess that they actively harassed groups who likely oppose President Obama, during an election cycle, sounds borderline criminal.
But, no worries … the IRS has restored their image by assuring these groups that they’re really, really sorry for their actions.
Via the Associated Press:
The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status, a top IRS official said Friday.
Organizations were singled out because they included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their applications for tax-exempt status, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups.
In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.
“That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review,” Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.
“The IRS would like to apologize for that,” she added.
Oh also, it was just a few low-level staffers who did this. Totally not a widespread problem. And totally without political bias. Pinky swear.
Lerner said the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias. After her talk, she told The AP that no high level IRS officials knew about the practice.
Of course, the problem with that argument is that this wasn’t based solely in Cincinnati. It was a nationwide problem.
As for respecting the privacy rights of Obama’s foes? Not so much.
It seems to me no small coincidence that this disclosure charade comes just as numerous tea party organizations are reporting that the Internal Revenue Service has targeted them for audits. According to Colleen Owens of the Richmond (Va.) Tea Party, several fiscal-conservative activist groups in Virginia, Hawaii, Ohio and Texas have received a spate of IRS letters. The missives demand extensive requests to identity volunteers, board members and … donors.
Amazing. Even when they apologize, they can’t tell the truth.
How do those bus tires on your back feel, random nameless low-level staffers in Cincinnati?