Of course, we already knew this, but the left seized on this tidbit yesterday to try the ‘see, everyone was screened equally’ argument. It isn’t true.
Yesterday IRS commissioner Danny Werfel told reporters the agency’s “Be on the lookout” list included not just conservative groups but progressive groups as well. Werfel also told reporters the IRS did not find evidence of intentional wrongdoing by anyone in the agency.
The IG report disagrees, and we’ve had heard about this already if that were the case. We also wouldn’t have numerous examples of progressive groups getting the green light while conservative groups were put on hold. Let’s not forget the conservative group that changed their name to sound like a greenie group so they could get approved.
Eliana Johnson has more:
A November 2010 version of the list obtained by National Review Online, however, suggests that while the list did contain the word “progressive,” screeners were in fact instructed to treat “progressive” groups differently from “tea party” groups. Whereas screeners were merely alerted that a designation of 501(c)(3) status “may not be appropriate” for applications containing the word ”progressive” – 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from conducting any political activities – they were told to send those of tea-party groups off IRS higher-ups for further scrutiny.
That means the applications of progressive groups could be approved on the spot by line agents, while those of tea-party groups could not. Furthermore, the November 2010 list noted that tea-party cases were “currently being coordinated with EOT,” which stands for Exempt Organizations Technical, a group of tax lawyers in Washington, D.C. Those of progressive groups were not.
Nice try IRS.