No. of Recommendations: 5
I agree, but that's why the IRS was, in my opinion, correct to ask for additional information. The Al Qaeda Bowling Club, may have nothing at all to do with Al Qaeda, but it's not crazy to ask them to prove it.

They're not correct to ask for additional information. The IRS is not permitted to single anyone out for having a particular ideology. It is worth noting that no one from the Administration has argued that this type of differntiation based on the name "Tea Party" was defensible. It is not. It was wrong.

It was harmful as was well, but not to the questioned groups -- except, as I've said, for the time and cost of dealing with the IRS requests.

It was harmful to those requested groups, because the failure to approve their applications in a timely manner sends the de facto message that their tax exempt status was questionable, while non-conservative groups were far more likely not to get wrongfully sent that determination. These groups were therefore placed in a position where they ought to have (and many did) refrained from engaging in activity that they were otherwise planning to do until that issue was resolved. That was not fair, and detrimental to groups who wanted to engage in lawful participation in public discourse in a timely manner.

The real harm, to my mind, is that the larger issue of whether or not political organizations masquerading as social welfare organizations should receive preferential tax treatment or not has been lost in all this. Now, any attempt to curtail this abusive practice will be suspect.

Again, none of these groups that were subjected to this more intensive scrutiny were ultimately denied - which makes it exceptionally unlikely that these were organizations that were not entitled to that exemption, or these groups were engaged in any abusive practices. Instead, conservative groups were differentially forced to undergo extensive delays in the processing of their requests to a different degree than nonconservative groups.

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