On Friday night’s episode of “Real Time,” Maher admitted that he’s quite convinced that the IRS was unfairly scrutinizing Tea Party members — and he has the tax forms to prove it.
While Maher pokes fun at the GOP’s current scandal mongering, it’s important to note that not a single “tea party” or “patriot” applicant was denied tax exempt status. On the other hand, the only known 501(c)(4) applicant to have its status denied happens to be a progressive group: the Maine chapter of Emerge America, which trains Democratic women to run for office. Plus, all Emerge America chapters that has previously been approved in 2006 under then President Bush had their previously approved status revoked.
Personally, I find it interesting that a Bush appointed inspector-general, who proclaim in the Congressional hearing that he’s a Republican, investigated only Republican organizations that got scrutiny of their applications for tax-exempt status. I’m sorry, but that is IRS’s job. Maybe their could have done a better job of setting assessment criteria, but the fact remains, that IS their job and we should NOT let them be bullied into NOT doing their job.
Here’s what Karen Middleton, President-Emerge America, had to say:
“Emerge America and its initial state programs were granted 501(c)(4) status by the IRS several years ago. Later, when a new state program applied for the same status, it was denied because Emerge works only with women who are in the Democratic Party, so the IRS determined this did not meet the definition of “social welfare” for the common good. We believed this denial triggered a review of the Emerge programs that had already been granted c4 status, and consequently those statuses were revoked. Becoming 527 organizations has not hurt our fundraising or organizational expansion – we report our donors and continue our work fully transparently.”