The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Community News Network

May 15, 2013

5 takeaways from the IRS report

WASHINGTON — What are the key takeaways from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration's report on the Internal Revenue Service's decision to subject conservative groups to heightened scrutiny? We read the report so you didn't have to, and here are the top five, plus a bonus question:

1. The campaign targeting conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status lasted 18 months, during which "no work was completed on the majority of these applications for 13 months."

2. None of the 298 applications the IG reviewed were actually rejected: As of Dec. 17, 2012, 108 had won approval and 28 were withdrawn. But many of these applications experienced long waits: "160 were open from 206 to 1,138 calendar days (some for more than three years and crossing two election cycles)."

3. The decision to focus on groups with conservative-sounding names originated in the Cincinnati field office, known as the "Determinations Unit." In May 2010, the office "began developing a spreadsheet that would become known as the 'Be On the Look Out' listing," otherwise known as BOLO. The unit sent around its first BOLO listing in August 2010, and by June 2011 the criteria for singling out groups included not only the words "tea party" but "9/12″ and "patriot," as well as "statements in the case file [that] criticize how the country is being run." Out of all the cases the IG reviewed, 72 were from tea party groups, 13 from those with "patriot" in their name, and 11 with "9/12″ in their title.

4. When the head of the tax-exempt organizations division, Lois Lerner, objected to the criteria being used by the Cincinnati office in late June 2011, it jettisoned that approach and adopted a broader definition focused on the "political, lobbying, or [general] advocacy" activities of applicants. But six months later, the unit adopted a new set of criteria — including targeting groups that sought to educate Americans on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights — "without executive approval because they believed the July 2011 criteria were too broad."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Free Press news updates
Seasonal Content
Featured Ads
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating