Progressives George Soros/Democratic Senator Levin Behind IRS Targeting Scandal
Soros Behind IRS Targeting Scandal – Big Daddy Gave $6.1 Million to Lib Groups Linked to ScandalBig Daddy Soros gave $6.1 million to liberal groups linked to the IRS targeting scandal. One News Now reported back in May 2013:
New details regarding the IRS scandal that found the nation’s top tax office intentionally targeting conservative groups are surfacing. Like, for example, the fact that George Soros-funded organizations sent letters encouraging the IRS to investigate conservative organizations.CNS News has more on Soros-funded groups pressuring the IRS to target conservative groups.
According to findings reported by the Media Research Center (MRC), Soros gave $6.1 million to liberal groups who urged the Internal Revenue Service to investigate conservative non-profit organizations, including various tea party and Christian groups.
Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture for MRC, says the scandal could be traced to a series of letters that two liberal groups — Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Democracy 21 — sent to the IRS in 2010 and 2011 asking for an “investigation” of political consultant Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.
“What they need to focus on is this timeline,” Gainor suggests. “We actually carry the timeline here, and the timeline is when these lefty operations sent their letters to the IRS and what the IRS did soon after.”
Pro Publica, The Huffington Post and Mother Jones were just a few of the accomplices that helped instigate IRS investigations. But as of 2010, Pro Publica received a two-year contribution of $125,000 each year from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
“It is a who’s who of far-left organizations,” the MRC spokesman offers. “Remember — this is George Soros, who has given $8.5 billion to charity. Of that … that we could track, $550 million has gone to liberal operations here in the United States.”
The IRS scandal can be traced back to a series of letters that the liberal groups Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Democracy 21 sent to the IRS back in 2010 and 2011. Both groups were funded by George’s Soros’s Open Society Foundations. The CLC received $677,000 and Democracy 21 got $365,000 from the Soros-backed foundation, according to the Foundation’s 990 tax forms.The IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal involved:
The letters specifically targeted conservative Super PACs like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, asking the IRS to scrutinize them more thoroughly to determine whether or not they should retain their tax-exempt status.
On Oct. 5, 2010, when the first letter was sent to the IRS, calling specifically for the agency to “investigate” Crossroads GPS. The letter claimed Crossroads was “impermissibly using its tax status to spend tens of millions of dollars in the 2010 congressional races while hiding the donors funding these expenditures from the American people.” Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer wrote a blog post for the liberal Huffington Post to promote it, and the effort to get the media to notice the anti-conservative campaign began.
On June 27, 2011, a second letter by the CLC and Democracy 21 complained about enforcement of 501(c)(4) tax regulations, asking “that the IRS issue new regulations that better enforce the law.” Two days later, an IRS senior agency official was briefed on a new policy targeting groups which “criticize how the country is being run,” according to a Washington Post story. According to the Post, this policy was later revised.
A third letter by the CLC and Democracy 21, on Sept 28, 2011, got media traction. The letter showed the escalation of the left’s complaint about 501(c)(4) groups. It challenged “the eligibility of four organizations engaged in campaign activity to be treated as 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations.” The four organizations included Crossroads GPS, Priorities USA, American Action Network and Americans Elect.
The Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity ($2,716,328) published a “study” on 501(c)(4) groups, on October 31, which drew heavily from, and referenced, the CLC and Democracy 21. The Center for Public Integrity has strong media connections and boasts an advisory board that includes Ben Sherwood, president of ABC News, and Michele Norris, an NPR host, as well as a board of directors with such prominent names as Huffington Post CEO Arianna Huffington, Steve Kroft of CBS News’s “60 Minutes” and Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist).
- Hundreds of conservative groups were targeted
- At least 5 pro-Israel groups
- Constitutional groups
- Groups that criticized Obama administration
- At least two pro-life groups
- An 83 year-old Nazi concentration camp survivor
- A 180 year-old Baptist paper
- A Texas voting-rights group
- A Hollywood conservative group was targeted and harassed
- Conservative activists and businesses
- At least one conservative Hispanic group
- IRS continued to target groups even after the scandal was exposed
- IRS audited 10% of Tea Party donors
- And… 100% of the 501(c)(4) Groups Audited by IRS Were Conservative
New Emails: Democratic Senator Pressured IRS To Target GroupsThe IRS’ Washington, D.C. headquarters targeted conservative groups in part due to pressure from Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, according to emails obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch and reviewed by The Daily Caller.
Levin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ permanent subcommittee on investigations, wrote a March 30, 2012 letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman discussing the “urgency” of the issue of possible political activity by nonprofit applicants. Levin asked if the IRS was sending out additional information requests to applicant groups and citing an IRS rejection letter to a conservative group as an example of how the IRS should be conducting its business.
A top IRS official replied that the agency could send out “individualized questions and requests.”
“Some entities claiming tax-exempt status as social welfare organizations under 26 U.S.C.&501(c)(4) appear to be engaged in political activities more appropriate for political organizations claiming tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C.&527,” Sen. Levin wrote. “Because of the urgency of the issues involved in this matter, please provide the following information by April 20, 2012.”
Levin asked ”if it is not provided on a routine basis, approximately what percentage of such applicants receive an IRS questionnaire seeking information about any political activities, and how the IRS determines whether and when to send that questionnaire; and approximately how many days after an application is filed that questionnaire is typically sent.”
Levin cited a 1997 IRS rejection letter to the conservative group National Policy Forum, formed by former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, and asked Shulman, “Is it still the position of the IRS that a 501(c)(4) organization cannot engage in any partisan political activity, even as a secondary activity?”
Then-IRS deputy commissioner Steven T. Miller sent Levin a 16-page response explaining that the flexibility of IRS rules allow for the agency to “prepare individualized questions and requests.”
“There is no standard questionnaire used to obtain information about political activities,” Miller wrote. “Although there is a template development letter that describes the general information on the case development process, the letter does not specify the information to be requested from any particular organization … Consequently, revenue agents prepare individualized questions and requests for documents relevant to the application. . .”
As TheDC has extensively reported, IRS agents targeted groups’ donors, seized training information, demanded personal information on college interns, and even targeted individuals by name.
The emails obtained by Judicial Watch clearly demonstrate that the targeting was based in Washington, D.C.
IRS official Holly Paz wrote a July 6, 2010 email to Washington-based IRS lawyer Steven Grodnitzky “to let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling Tea Party applications in the last few months.” Grodnitzky replied to the email, confirming that the Washington-based Exempt Organization Technical unit (EOT) was designing the targeting in the nation’s capital.
“EOT is working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases,” Grodnitzky wrote.
“Chip Hull [another lawyer in IRS headquarters] is working these cases in EOT and working with the agent in Cincy, so any communication should include him as well. Because the Tea party applications are the subject of an SCR [Sensitive Case Report], we cannot resolve any of the cases without coordinating with Rob,” Grodnitzky wrote.
“Rob” is believed to be then-IRS director of rulings and agreements Rob Choi, who was based at the agency’s Washington headquarters, according to Judicial Watch.
Lois Lerner also sent an April 2013 email to IRS internal investigators shortly before the scandal broke, explaining that “staff used their own interpretations of the brief reference to ‘organizations involved with the Tea Party movement,’ which was what was on the BOLO list.”