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Friday, May 10, 2013

IRS Apologizes For Inappropriately Targeting 'Tea Party' and 'Patriot' Groups In 2012 Election

By Susan Duclos

[Update- 5/13/13] IRS Targeting Timeline Goes Back To March-April 2010 

Original post below
[Update] Follow-up post on WH spin on this story and the targeting of pro-Israel groups to determine if they contradict admin's policies. [End update]

Conservative groups that claimed they were being harassed by the IRS during the 2012 election season, were right, evidenced by the IRS publicly apologizing for inappropriately targeting conservative groups.

The Internal Revenue Service is apologizing for inappropriately flagging conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt groups, said organizations that included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their applications for tax-exempt status were singled out for additional reviews.

In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.

“That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review,” Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.

“The IRS would like to apologize for that,” she added.

 Reason's Hit & Run points to a Fox News report at the time:

But Tom Zawistowski, of the Ohio Liberty Council, a Tea Party chapter, called questions about donors, volunteers and members' relatives "intelligence gathering."

"This has nothing to do with tax status," Zawistowski said. “It has to do with political affiliation. The questions are too close to home."

"It's very intimidating and people are scared," Owens said
Of course, Lerner claims it wasn't really their fault, because "the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias."

Riiiiiiight..... okay. Anyone believe that?

[Update] Best Twitter reaction yet "Another Day in the Obama-USA"