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To my knowledge (and alarm) the IRS didn't deny any of the applications in question. It asked the groups for more information. (And some of that information they weren't allowed to ask for.) Again, political organizations are eligible for the same tax exemptions as 501(c)(4) groups. Political groups don't even have to apply for the tax-exemption, which has to make you wonder why the tea party groups bothered to apply for 501(c)(4) status. Ignorance, I suppose.

Or, it could be that these groups were poking the IRS in the eye, daring it to deny their 501(c)(4) applications on political grounds so they could make a big fuss about it. Seems a bit too conspiratorial, but it is odd that the IRS got spammed with so many apps from groups that didn't even need to apply for tax-exempt status.
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