Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

On the IRS Scandal


A couple of pieces worth reading:

1. In this New York Post op-ed, Scott Walter of the Capital Research Center explores “a flip side to the scandal” over the “IRS’s targeting of conservatives trying to start tax-exempt groups”: “the agency possibly going easy on tax-exemption applications by groups doing the administration’s political work.” From his opening paragraphs:

This is linked to another breaking scandal, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ apparent fund-raising for two pet nonprofits. The Washington Post broke the news last week that Sebelius had asked health industry firms “to make large financial donations” to groups helping the administration sell ObamaCare.

The Post specifically mentioned Enroll America, a nonprofit run by Anne Filipic, who previously was White House deputy director for public engagement. Its managing director, Chris Wyant, led Obama’s 2012 “ground game” in Ohio.

Earlier press reports revealed the administration’s other nonprofit for promoting ObamaCare is Organizing for Action, which is simply the president’s re-election campaign morphed into precisely the kind of nonprofit entity that Tea Party activists hoped to set up when they were targeted by the IRS. (How close are the group’s ties to the president? Find out at its Web site:

2. In the Wall Street Journal, James Bovard provides “A Brief History of IRS Political Targeting” going back to FDR, and he draws from that history the lesson that IRS audits “will remain irresistible political weapons.” All the more reason, of course, to identify, and inflict a high cost on, those who don’t resist the temptation.


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