Investigations into the dealings of the Internal Revenue Service have begun after irs officials confirmed on May 10 that they had targeted groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names. From 2010 to 2012, at least three officials, one in Washington and two in California, directly targeted these groups, which were seeking tax-exemption status. The actions of the irs run diametrically opposite to what is expected of the agency. It is supposed to remain free of bias.
There were at least 75 such groups that were targeted merely because of their names. They make up almost one quarter of all groups that were singled out for further analysis by the irs in Washington in that time period. Some of the targeted organizations were burdened with questionnaires that were designed to determine, among other things, the extent of their voter outreach. Not only were these questionnaires time consuming, they forced the conservative groups to give up valuable, confidential information.