Democrats: New Documents Show ‘Progressive’ Groups Targeted Too

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, Friday, March 22, 2013.
National Journal
Shane Goldmacher
Add to Briefcase
Shane Goldmacher
Aug. 20, 2013, 8:40 a.m.

The doc­u­ment drip in the IRS probe con­tin­ued on Tues­day, with top con­gres­sion­al Demo­crats re­leas­ing new in­form­a­tion that they said defin­it­ively shows the tax agency ap­plied heightened scru­tiny to both pro­gress­ive and con­ser­vat­ive groups.

Demo­crats and Re­pub­lic­ans have en­gaged in a series of stra­tegic leaks since the probe of the In­tern­al Rev­en­ue Ser­vice began months ago.

On Tues­day, newly re­leased in­tern­al minutes from 2010 show that “pro­gress­ive” was lis­ted along­side “tea parties” as cri­ter­ia that “should be flagged for re­view.”

In a let­ter to con­gres­sion­al Demo­crats, the IRS said that oth­er, pre­vi­ously un­dis­closed, search terms used in­cluded “ACORN suc­cessors” and “Emerge” (there is a na­tion­al pro­gress­ive group, Emerge Amer­ica). The aud­it­or who set off the scan­dal has said that tax au­thor­it­ies had singled out tea-party groups for ex­tra scru­tiny.

“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,” said Rep. Eli­jah Cum­mings of Mary­land, the top Demo­crat on the House Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee.

The chair­man of the pan­el, Re­pub­lic­an Rep. Dar­rell Issa of Cali­for­nia, is un­likely to be de­terred in his probe, however. Earli­er this month, Issa said he was ex­pand­ing his in­quiry to look in­to pos­sible im­prop­er co­ordin­ate between the tax agency and the Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion.

“How many times have Con­gres­sion­al Demo­crats now tried to de­clare the IRS tar­get­ing in­vest­ig­a­tion over?” said Issa spokes­man Fre­d­er­ick Hill. He said there was “no com­par­is­on” between the agency’s treat­ment of Emerge and tea-party groups. “The fact that Emerge was ini­tially ap­proved for tax ex­empt status, but had it re­voked after its im­prop­er be­ha­vi­or came to light, un­der­scores how much more strin­gent the IRS was with Tea Party ap­plic­ants.”

What We're Following See More »
CANNOT “IN GOOD CONSCIENCE” VOTE FOR BILL
McCain Won’t Support Graham-Cassidy Bill
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

In a statement Friday, Sen. John McCain wrote, "I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will effect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full CBO score, which won't be available by the end of the month, we won't have reliable answers to any of those questions." His "no" vote makes it much less likely Republicans will repeal and replace Obamacare by Sept. 30.

Source:
NEW DIRECTIVES ISSUED
DeVos Officially Replaces Obama-era Sexual Assault Guidelines
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

As anticipated, the Department of Education today withdrew the controversial Obama-era "Dear Colleague" letter on campus sexual assault, replacing it with new interim guidance. Most notably, the new guidance permits colleges to use a “clear and convincing” standard of evidence, rather than the preponderance of evidence standard that the 2011 letter seemed to mandate. "The new guidance also states that colleges may facilitate informal resolutions, including mediation, if all parties agree to participate in that process."

Source:
EXPECTED TO TAKE EFFECT BY SUNDAY
Country-Specific Rules to Replace Travel Ban
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Trump administration will unveil more tailored restrictions on travelers from certain countries as a replacement to the controversial travel ban, according to a senior administration official. The new restrictions will vary by country. They could include a ban on travel to the United States, or new restrictions on obtaining a visa for citizens of particular countries." They are expected to be unveiled by Sunday.

Source:
MORE TRANSPARENCY THAN FEC REQUIRES
Facebook Enhances Disclosure for Political Ads
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In a live-streamed address from Silicon Valley, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a nine-point plan that the tech giant is rolling out over coming months to respond to "efforts by nation-states and private actors to use the social media platform to influence U.S. elections." Most importantly, the company will force all advertisers to disclose what ads they're running to all audiences. “When someone buys political ads on TV or other media, they’re required by law to disclose who paid for them,” Zuckerberg said. “But you still don’t know if you’re seeing the same messages as everyone else. So we’re going to bring Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency. Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we will also make it so you can visit an advertiser’s page and see the ads they’re currently running to any audience on Facebook.”

Source:
TRUMP ADMIN CRACKING DOWN ON LEAKS
Mandatory Training EPA Employees on Leaking
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

As "part of a broader Trump administration order for anti-leaks training at all executive branch agencies," Environmental Protection Agency employees "are attending mandatory training sessions this week to reinforce their compliance with laws and rules against leaking classified or sensitive government information ... Relatively few EPA employees deal with classified files, but the new training also reinforces requirements to keep 'Controlled Unclassified Information' from unauthorized disclosure."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login