I have to admit, I have no idea if the Patrick Henry Center really did break the rules and thus earned the revocation of its 501(c)(3) status, but you’d think the IRS would be extra-super-duper reluctant to do this, given the revelations over the deliberate targeting of conservative groups:
The Internal Revenue Service has revoked the tax-exemption for a conservative charity, saying the group’s criticism of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry violated rules against political activity.
The Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty engaged in “deliberate and consistent intervention in political campaigns,” according to the IRS decision released Friday and first reported by USA Today.
The IRS said the group’s tax-exemption would be revoked as of July 1 unless the decision is successfully appealed.
Tax-exempt groups are restricted from engaging in certain political activity, including participating in partisan campaigns in support or opposition to a candidate.
“Improper politicking ” was the reason given for the close and slow scrutiny given to conservative groups applying for tax-free status after the 2010 election (few if any left-wing groups received the same treatment), and it was only recently revealed that Lois Lerner, former head of the Exempt Organizations Division, was trying to coordinate with the Justice Department to pursue prosecution of conservative groups. (1)
The Internal Revenue Service is already one of the most loathed organizations in America, something that’s only grown worse in the wake of this scandal, and I find it hard to believe that someone there approved this move without having an air-tight case. It would just be begging for trouble to do otherwise.
On the other hand, the Beltway bureaucracy often seems sealed within an echo chamber high atop an ivory tower, so maybe someone was dumb enough to think they could swat a pesky conservative group with impunity.
Either way, it’s more grist for Mr. Issa’s mill.
RELATED: Earlier posts on the IRS.
(1) Following up on the helpful suggestion of Senator Whitehouse (D-RI), it should be noted. If they’re not actively conspiring, they’re at least sympatico in their liberal fascism.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)