Judicial Watch demands to know what was meant by reference donor list “secret research project”. I’ll ask about it when the president of the group joins me on KOGO Radio today.
The group Judicial Watch has been hounding the Obama Administration for the emails of the woman who used to be in charge of giving tax exempt status to groups. Lois Lerner’s emails have been a political football which have been described by administration officials alternately as “forthcoming”, “lost”, disappeared in a “crashed hard drive”, miraculously “found”, “never lost”, discovered on “hard copies”, and just plain redacted.
Yes, something hinky is going on.
When IRS chief John Koskinen was in San Diego for a meeting of tax preparers recently, I was able to ask him a few questions, including, how many liberal groups versus conservative groups had been audited by his organization. He declared he didn’t know the numbers. I thought that odd considering it was a chief data point in the conservatives’ contention they’d been targeted and slow rolled by the IRS in getting 501c4 status to keep them out of the 2012 election cycle. Even Lois Lerner admitted it.
Judicial Watch has received the latest batch of the emails for which it filed Freedom of Information Act requests (FOIA) and it seems we now have an answer: 75% of the groups for whom it took MONTHS or YEARS to receive tax exempt status and were targeted by the IRS were conservative. 75%. Only 5% were deemed “liberal”.
The IRS also seems to have had a “secret research project” which used the inappropriately obtained donor lists of the groups it was targeting. In one case, the National Organization for Marriage’s list was illegally given over to a pro gay marriage group. This same group had targeted pro Prop 8 donors and agitators. At rallies for traditional marriage, pro gay marriage activists would intimidate, harass, and shut down their opponents rallies. They were so militant and tactics so in-your-face, some took to calling them Al-GAY-dah.
The IRS released the list on purpose to subject NOM’s backers to the same treatment. The IRS paid a fine to NOM in apology, but it was far less than what they would have gotten in donations from the people who were now too scared to give thanks to the IRS.
From Judicial Watch’s cache of emails about the donor lists and the lists being used in a “secret research project”,
- June 27, 2012: 8:59 AM — David L. Fish, IRS acting director of Exempt Organizations Rulings and Agreements, to Holly Paz:
Joseph Urban [IRS Technical Advisor, Tax Exempt and Government Entities] had actually started a secret research project on whether we could, consistent with 6104, argue that [REDACTED] Joe was quite agitated yesterday when I told him what we were doing. (He was involved when the initial question was raised, but we didn’t continue reading him in). At one point he started saying that this was a decision for Steve Miller–I told him we were already doing it, and that I didn’t know whether Lois had already talked to Nikole [former IRS Chief of Staff to IRS Commissioner Steve Miller] about this. Would not be surprised if he already started working on Lois.
- June 27, 2012 9:02 AM — Holly Paz to David L. Fish:
Thanks for the heads up. The decision was made by Steve, based on advice from P and A. [Procedure and Administration]