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May 14 / Dominic Nanni

The Real IRS Story

The conservative media bubble is exploding with a real scandal! President Obama, the brutal and tyrannical leader, allowed the Internal Revenue Service to unfairly target conservative groups. This is serious. George Will is even floating around the idea of impeachment.  This is, surely, a violation of the civil rights and liberties of American citizens in the most exemplary sense of the word and Obama should be punished for it. Last night on Sean Hannity’s show, Sen. Rand Paul was blatant in his condemnation of President Obama’s actions. You see, the final nail in Obama’s coffin has been hammered in and his political death is at hand. Lets get the Clinton era impeachment gear on and sit back for some prime time political drama.

If you watch Fox News all day, you are probably thinking these very thoughts. Obama and scandal are imprinted in block font across your TV screen and conservative pundits are whining and crying about yet another scandal. After all, manufacturing scandals has been a great talent of the conservative media and Republicans in Congress. Let us not forget, these fake scandals are usually far removed from reality. So, what did happen?

Yes, the IRS did target conservative groups. Why? Not because they were conservative and not because they were cheer leaders for the Tea Party. Conservative groups were targeted because they filed for status as a 501c4, which is a “social welfare” status. These groups do not have to file taxes or disclose a list of donors. The catch? They cannot be involved in purely partisan activities. Unfortunately, many conservative groups applied for this status and were investigated because they are NOT social welfare organizations, they are political machines. This is why they were investigated. It has nothing to do with Obama and his administration attacking those who disagree.

As reported in the New Yorker:

“So the scandal—the real scandal—is that 501(c)(4) groups have been engaged in political activity in such a sustained and open way. As Fred Wertheimer, the President of Democracy 21, a government-ethics watchdog group, put it, “it is clear that a number of groups have improperly claimed tax-exempt status as section 501(c)(4) ‘social welfare’ organizations in order to hide the donors who financed their campaign activities in the 2010 and 2012 federal elections.”

The article goes on to say:

“Some people in the I.R.S. field office in Cincinnati took the names of certain groups—names that included the terms “Tea Party” and “patriot,” among others, which tend to signal conservatism—as signals that they might not be engaged in “social welfare” operations. Rather, the I.R.S. employees thought that these groups might be doing explicit politics—which would disqualify them for 501(c)(4) status, and set them aside for closer examination. This appears to have been a pretty reasonable assumption on the part of the I.R.S. employees: having “Tea Party” in your name is at least a slight clue about partisanship. When the inspector-general report becomes public, we’ll surely learn the identity of these organizations. How many will look like “social welfare” organizations—and how many will look like political activists looking for anonymity and tax breaks? My guess is a lot more of the latter than the former.”

This isn’t a scandal, it is an issue of campaign finance. If Benghazi has been any indication so far, conservatives are going to use this manufactured scandal to smear President Obama and obstruct effective and competent governance.