Friday, January 24, 2014

IRS: Second Verse, A Little Louder, A Little Bit Worse

IRS going after conservatives in Hollywood now?
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. A conservative group applies for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS in full compliance of the law, but gets jerked around for a couple of years in a process that should just take a few months. The IRS tax-exempt unit then starts demanding private information that isn’t germane to the application, but which worries members about just why the IRS would want this kind of information about opponents to the current administration.

According to the Obama administration, this is old news from 2010-12, and the targeting of political opponents by the IRS stopped long ago. According to the New York Times, it’s just moved out west — and now targets the few conservatives in the entertainment industry (viaTwitchy):
A collection of perhaps 1,500 right-leaning players in the entertainment industry, Friends of Abe keeps a low profile and fiercely protects its membership list, to avoid what it presumes would result in a sort of 21st-century blacklist, albeit on the other side of the partisan spectrum.
Now the Internal Revenue Service is reviewing the group’s activities in connection with its application for tax-exempt status. Last week, federal tax authorities presented the group with a 10-point request for detailed information about its meetings with politicians like Paul D. Ryan, Thaddeus McCotter and Herman Cain, among other matters, according to people briefed on the inquiry. …

Those people said that the application had been under review for roughly two years, and had at one point included a demand — which was not met — for enhanced access to the group’s security-protected website, which would have revealed member names. Tax experts said that an organization’s membership list is information that would not typically be required. The I.R.S. already had access to the site’s basic levels, a request it considers routine for applications for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.
Hollywood, of course, is one of those "special" places where you can discriminate against people based on their opinions, and, unlike a few well known conservatives, a lesser light would probably face real employment discrimination if his or her opposition to the liberal shibboleths were discovered.  Of course, we know that Obama's IRS would never release the membership list or private tax information, they way they did with other conservative groups.

In related news, Maetenloch at Ace's sees a pattern of attempted silencing of the opposition in several recent acts by the Administration:
Coincidence: Hollywood's only conservative group is getting close IRS nonprofit scrutiny
Another Coincidence: James O'Keefe Group Being Audited by NY. Again.
Yet Another Coincidence: Dinesh D'Souza Indicted For Election Fraud
Still Another Coincidence: IRS Proposes New 501(c)(4) Rules That Just Happen to Cover Most Tea Party Groups
Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin's 'John Doe' Subpoenas

Secret investigations targeted coincidently at most prominent conservative groups in WI who can only now legally talk about their harassment. If you want to see what American fascism would look like, well this is it.

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