Washington Examiner: Remember the IRS targeting scandal? No one ever got punished for it (In the News)

Washington Examiner: Remember the IRS targeting scandal? No one ever got punished for it

By Bradley A. Smith

As the original report by TIGTA made clear, the IRS “developed and used inappropriate criteria to identify applications from organizations with the words Tea Party in their names … Subsequently the [IRS] expanded the criteria to inappropriately include organizations with other specific names (Patriots and 9/12) or policy positions.”

The IRS itself eventually conceded that of 199 cases analyzed under this “Be On the Look Out,” or “BOLO” program, approximately 75 percent [150] “appear to be conservative leaning, while fewer than 10 appear to be liberal/progressive leaning groups.” In other words, the fact that the terms the IRS used to pull applications for extra scrutiny – terms such as “Tea Party” and “patriot” – snagged a few liberal groups doesn’t mean that the purpose and effect was not to target conservative organizations.

As the basis for whitewashing the IRS scandal, Newsweek, the Washington Post, and others have turned to a new TIGTA report concerning a different IRS program altogether. That program, called “Touch and Go,” swept up a mix of conservative and progressive groups. But that is precisely because it didn’t target groups based on politics, which was the problem with BOLO. Nothing in the latest TIGTA report contradicts TIGTA’s 2013 report revealing the IRS targeting, and TIGTA doesn’t claim that it does.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.