Conservative Leadership Institute Targeted By IRS For 2008-Election Year Activities

Katie Pavlich
Posted: May 16, 2013 2:15 PM

The Leadership Institute [LI], an organization founded by its President Morton Blackwell, has just joined the long list of conservative groups inappropriately targeted by the IRS. 

According to LI's website, the organization received a notice on June 1, 2011 of an audit of its tax return and activities in 2008; 2008 is the year President Obama was elected to office. For more than a year, the IRS requested 23,430 pages of records which included a list of 2008 interns and their future employers, sample emails between employers and LI regarding and how LI's more than 300 trainings are advertised.

"The IRS’ indefensible behavior is worse than we first thought, as it targeted both new and existing conservative groups in politically motivated attacks," Blackwell said in a statement. "Fortunately my Leadership Institute had the resources to stand up to the government’s bullying and intimidation. Other groups, including grassroots and tea party groups we’ve helped train, did not.  Defending ourselves from the harassing audit cost my organization more than $50,000 in legal fees alone."

The mission of the Leadership Institute is to recruit, train and place conservatives in government, politics and media. It was founded in 1979. Blackwell oversaw the national youth effort for Ronald Reagan in 1980. Blackwell also served as a Special Assistant to Reagan from 1981-1984.