Currently, there are 16 or more conservative groups still awaiting 501(c)(4) tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They are being subjected to painful and unnecessary audits. The White House has used the scandal as an excuse to expand and formalize the abuse.
First, the IRS offered a new “expedited” process for getting 501 (c)4 status by giving up some of their rights on political activity. Not many targeted groups took this option.
Next, the IRS, proposed new rules to redefine “political activity.” Judicial Watch, a watchdog organization, says it would place a “substantial record–keeping and collection of information burden on the 100,000 non-profit organizations in the US.” Some believe this is a further attempt to hamper conservative organizations disproportionately.
It is clear that the Obama administration and the Democratic Party want to silence any opposition and are trampling on our freedom of speech rights.
This hateful environment goes back to Aug. 21, 2008 when the Obama campaign and supporters used Bob Bauer, general counsel for their campaign, to demand the Justice Department investigate the conservative American Issues Project, AIP, for allegedly misusing their 501(c)4 status. From there it has escalated to target pro-Romney groups in the last election to the recent scandal.
The 501(c)4 groups in question are officially known as “social-welfare organizations.” They have for decades been permitted to engage in political activity under IRS rules, as long as their primary purpose (generally understood to be less than 50 percent of their activity) wasn’t political.
By lacking tax exempt status, conservative groups were unable to match the contributions of the unions and other liberal organizations.
Is it any wonder that Lois Lerner felt emboldened by Democratic attacks against conservatives? As former director of Exempt Organizations of the IRS, she refuses to testify before US Congressional committees.
This administration repeatedly lied, stone-walled, denied, evaded and refused to turn over documents to Congressional committees, and independent watch-dog groups. Enough! We want the truth!