The Internal Revenue Service has identified two "rogue" employees in the agency's Cincinnati office as being principally responsible for "overly aggressive" handling of requests by conservative groups for tax-exempt status, a congressional source told CNN. In a meeting on Capitol Hill, acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller described the employees as being "off the reservation," according to the source. It was not clear precisely what the alleged behavior involved. Miller said the staffers have already been disciplined, according to another source familiar with Miller's discussions with congressional investigators.
Even before then, in mid-March 2010, 10 Tea Party cases appear to have been brought to the attention of another senior I.R.S. official in Washington, just two weeks after the Cincinnati effort began, according to the inspector general’s audit. And Steven Miller, now the acting I.R.S. commissioner, was aware of the matter in March 2012, a month before he told Republican senators there was no special treatment for conservative applicants for tax exemption.
When September 2012 arrived with still no word from the IRS, Ryun determined that Media Trackers would likely never obtain standalone non-profit status, and he tried a new approach: Starting over. He applied for permanent non-profit status for a separate group called Greenhouse Solutions, a pre-existing organization that was reaching the end of its determination period. The IRS approved Greenhouse Solutions' request for non-profit status in three weeks. When news broke last week that the IRS had applied heavier scrutiny to conservative groups seeking non-profit status from 2010-2012, Ryun said he became convinced that his second application was approved quickly because he applied under the Greenhouse Solutions title, which he called a "liberal-sounding name."
VanderSloot, who was also national co-chair of the Romney campaign’s finance committee, was described in an April 2012 Obama campaign Web posting as one of eight “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.” Shortly after the post appeared, VanderSloot was subjected to two Internal Revenue Service audits — one focusing on his personal finances, the other related to his business interests — and a Labor Department audit of one of his businesses. When asked about whether any of the other seven donors who appeared on the list were audited as well, VanderSloot spoke cautiously, but did say he “wasn’t the only one.”
“In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” the Thomas More Society announced today. “Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.”
"Don't think we're not keeping score, brother." - President Obama, late March 2009. blueoregon.com/2009/04/obama-…— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) May 15, 2013
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography