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Published On: Fri, Mar 14th, 2014

Thomas More Society Evidence Supports Congressional Report: IRS Targeting Conservative Groups

PRESS RELEASE: This week, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a staff report entitled “Lois Lerner’s Involvement in the IRS Targeting of Tax-Exempt Organizations,” verifying information that Thomas More Society began to uncover nearly a year ago.

Lois Lerner is still at the epicenter of the IRS scandal

Lois Lerner is still at the epicenter of the IRS scandal

In both May and August of 2013, the Society presented the House Committee on Ways and Means with two memos totaling over 500 pages of evidence and documentation of six different groups that had experienced viewpoint-biased discrimination by the IRS, dating back to 2009.

“For at least four years, discrimination against pro-life and conservative groups by the IRS was taking place under the direction of Lois Lerner,” said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society. “It is high time that a detailed investigation be conducted, and it is our hope that it will not only uncover but also help remedy the corruption within the government office of Internal Revenue Service.”

The memos submitted by the Thomas More Society detail the experience of several pro-life organizations that applied for 501(c)(3) charitable recognition and experienced blatant bias on the part of the IRS agents assigned to process their applications. Repeatedly, these pro-life groups were harassed with questions about time spent in prayer at abortion facilities and told that they must educate and advocate on abortion from both sides of the issue. Several Thomas More Society clients – all pro-life organizations – experienced significant delays with their tax exemptions under Lois Lerner’s watch, through “exemption organization specialists” who refused to apply tax-exempt law correctly until legal counsel got involved.

Tea Party deserves the IRS targeting? Some folks feel that way. But how about Progressive groups? Occupy Wall Street?

Tea Party deserves the IRS targeting? Some folks feel that way. But how about Progressive groups? Occupy Wall Street?

Rather than addressing the real problem of IRS agents’ excessive discretion regarding politically-tinged nonprofit activities, Lerner instead stood behind the new IRS regulations for 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations that cripple democratic values underlying our nation’s foundation – all in the name of supposed “clarity.”  The new proposed regulations clash with these organizations’ constitutionally recognized First Amendment rights and have thus been publically opposed by an overwhelming plethora of both conservative and liberal organizations.

“While the regulations’ extensive constitutional defects have been explained through multitudes of submitted comments, the Obama administration nevertheless has stood its ground and thus demonstrated yet again a complete disdain for the rule of law,” said Sally Wagenmaker, counsel for the Thomas More Society and specialist in non-profit issues.

“Such disregard for constitutional rights and fair-handed treatment as shown through Lois Lerner’s conduct, that of the IRS personnel under her supervisory authority, and the new 501(c)(4) regulations all pose a considerable threat to our country’s free speech rights,” continued Wagenmaker.

“Given the specter of losing (or not getting) tax-exempt status as a result of IRS viewpoint discrimination regarding potentially controversial activities, the inevitable logical result is that nonprofit organizations will err on the side on not engaging in them. Speech is chilled, applications are delayed, and – as our country recently learned all too clearly – the IRS is allowed to abuse its discretion.”

“It would behoove the IRS to abandon their new, proposed regulations.  Instead, they should pull back from undue political scrutiny of tax-exempt organizations and leave that job to the Federal Election Commission,” added Brejcha.

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  1. Thomas More Society Evidence Supports Congressional Report: IRS Targeting … – The Global Dispatch | Conservative-Americans.com says:

    […] Thomas More Society Evidence Supports Congressional Report: IRS Targeting …The Global Dispatch“For at least four years, discrimination against pro-life and conservative groups by the IRS was taking place under the direction of Lois Lerner,” said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society. “It is high time that a …The IRS: Deliberate and PartisanAmerican ThinkerPoll: Overhaul IRS?UpperMichigansSource.comDems: Issa missed chance to cite Lois Lerner for contempt of CongressUPI.comOregon Catalyst -Accountingweb.com -GovExec.comall 42 news articles » […]

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