ABQ Tea Party, six others, reject ‘expedited review’ from the IRS

By Rob Nikolewski on July 17, 2013
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REJECTING THE IRS OFFER: The Albuquerque Tea Party joined seven conservative groups in rejecting an “expedited” offer from the IRS.

The has offered seven conservative political groups — including the – an “expedited review” of applications for tax-exempt status but the lawyers representing the organizations rejected it Wednesday (July 17), calling the government’s offer “deeply flawed.”

In June, the IRS approached the groups with a deal: The groups looking for 501(c)(4) status would agree to a 60/40 standard — they would devote 60 percent or more of their time and expenditures on activities to promote social welfare and 40 percent or less on political activity. The IRS, in return, would expedite their applications.

Attorneys for the rejected the offer.

“The IRS created this standard out of thin air in an effort to placate Americans who have been unlawfully and unconstitutionally targeted by the IRS because of their political beliefs,” of the ACLJ said in a statement. “This so-called solution is deeply flawed and does nothing to address and correct the real problem at the IRS: a pervasive and systematic assault on conservative organizations.”

According to the ACLJ, the seven organizations have been waiting between 645 and 1,297 days for decisions on their applications. Earlier this year, the president of the Albuquerque Tea Party told New Mexico Watchdog his group has waited since December 2009.

In May, the Albuquerque Tea Party joined the ACLJ in a federal lawsuit against the IRS. That lawsuit now includes 41 conservative groups. It came after the agency’s Inspector General reported certain groups were flagged in 2011. These groups had names that included “tea party,” or “patriots,” they aimed to “make America a better place to live” or “in the case file criticize how the country is being run.”

, acting commissioner of the IRS, in June made the offer as a means of clearing a backlog of cases at the agency.

While the report said that investigations have turned up cases of “inappropriate treatment of certain taxpayers applying for tax exempt status,” thus far “we have not found evidence of intentional wrongdoing by IRS personnel.”

“Our federal lawsuit is moving forward to stop this abusive targeting scheme and to hold those responsible for this disturbing conduct accountable,” Sekulow’s statement read.

In addition to the Albuquerque Tea Party, organizations rejecting the IRS offer are: the Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots in Arizona, Allen Area Patriots in Texas, Laurens County Tea Party in South Carolina, North East Tarrant Tea Party in Texas, Myrtle Beach Tea Party in South Carolina and the Acadiana Patriots in Louisiana.

Congressional hearings on the IRS controversy resume Thursday before the .

Contact Rob Nikolewski at and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski

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3 Comments For This Post So Far

  1. Richard
    4:38 pm on July 17th, 2013

    Biased Nikolewski is biased again.

    Rob, you didn’t mention the the progressive groups that were also targeted. But that would mean not taking the far-right organization’s propaganda as gospel.

    The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity (aka Koch Brothers) way!

  2. Bill Hilbert
    11:25 am on July 18th, 2013

    Well Richard, your not biased are you?

  3. 12:07 pm on July 18th, 2013

    I keep hearing (from Democrats) that the IRS targeted progressive groups as well. As far as I know, not one of these groups has come forward to testify before Congress or talk to the news media. I’d like to see some evidence.

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