WASHINGTON — The instructions that Internal Revenue Service officials used to look for applicants seeking tax-exempt status with “Tea Party” and “Patriots” in their titles also included groups whose names included the words “Progressive” and “Occupy,” according to I.R.S. documents released Monday.
The documents appeared to back up contentions by I.R.S. officials and some Democrats that the agency did not intend to single out conservative groups for special scrutiny. Instead, the documents say, officials were trying to use “key word” shortcuts to find overtly political organizations — both liberal and conservative — that were after tax favors by saying they were social welfare organizations.
But the practice appeared to go much farther than that. One such “be on the lookout” list included medical marijuana groups, organizations that were promoting President Obama’s health care law, and applications that dealt “with disputed territories in the Middle East.”It probably does an even neater job of fuse-snuffing than the release of the testimony of the fellow at the Cincinatti office who started giving these applications additional review, who definitely did not appear to be acting on the say-so of the White House.
Jeepers. What does it take to kill a non-scandal anymore, these days?