In the latest shoe to drop in the IRS scandal, recently exposed letters tie Democrat Senator from New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen to the IRS targeting of conservatives going back at least to 2012!
The IRS had been fighting tooth and nail to keep the letters from being released – going so far as to threaten the conservative PAC who had requested the information.
The memo from the IRS to Senator Shaheen briefed her on the joint IRS-Treasury Department endeavor to target political activity by conservative nonprofit groups. The operation was working out of Lois Lerner’s Tax Exempt Government Entities Division, and had begun corresponding with Senator Shaheen and a group of other Democrat Senators (including Schumer and Franken).
The IRS was keeping Senator Shaheen informed because she and some of her Democrat colleagues had written them to express concern about nonprofit groups involving themselves in “political activity.”
The Democratic senators’ publicly available March 9, 2012 letter asked the IRS to “immediately change the administrative framework for enforcement of the tax code as it applies to groups designated as ‘social welfare’ organizations” by introducing a new “bright line test” for how much a tax-exempt group can invest in political activity and by setting a new rule that at least 51 percent of a group’s activity must non-political. The senators called for more elaborate disclosures about finances and “undertakings” in groups’ form 990 submissions and sought new rules about how much donors could write off as business expenses.
A Freedom of Information Act request from a major conservative super PAC specifically identified “Jeanne Shaheen” as its Freedom of Information Act search term on the IRS scandal.
Interestingly enough, at the very same time, Republican congressmen were having a heck of time trying to pry any information on “targeting” from the IRS. Why would the IRS feel so much more comfortable and open when working with Democrats?
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