A few good reasons why certain groups were targeted by the IRS


At the heart of the so-called scandal at the Internal Revenue Service are rules that prohibit primarily political agendas among groups organized as 501(c)(4) “social welfare” groups under the tax code.

It might be said, then, that the real scandal is the extent to which so many organizations violate those rules, as we see HERE:

When CVFC, a conservative veterans’ group in California, applied for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service, its biggest expenditure that year was several thousand dollars in radio ads backing a Republican candidate for Congress.

The Wetumpka Tea Party, from Alabama, sponsored training for a get-out-the-vote initiative dedicated to the “defeat of President Barack Obama” while the I.R.S. was weighing its application.

And the head of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, whose application languished with the I.R.S. for more than two years, sent out e-mails to members about Mitt Romney campaign events and organized members to distribute Mr. Romney’s presidential campaign literature.

Representatives of these organizations have cried foul in recent weeks about their treatment by the I.R.S., saying they were among dozens of conservative groups unfairly targeted by the agency, harassed with inappropriate questionnaires and put off for months or years as the agency delayed decisions on their applications.

But a close examination of these groups and others reveals an array of election activities that tax experts and former I.R.S. officials said would provide a legitimate basis for flagging them for closer review.


I.R.S. agents are obligated to determine whether a 501(c)(4) group is primarily promoting “social welfare.” While such groups are permitted some election involvement, it cannot be an organization’s primary activity. That judgment does not hinge strictly on the proportion of funds a group spends on campaign ads, but on an amorphous mix of facts and circumstances…

Agents may examine when and for how long a group advocates policy positions, in part to see whether those positions are associated with a specific candidate, which can be relevant to the group’s tax status, tax lawyers and former I.R.S. officials said.



  1. Steverino

    The local bagger group protesting in front of the federal building with Obama depicted as Jesus and Hitler is another fine example of a social welfare organization.

  2. Robert

    I’d like to know why this story was originally broke in the manner it was? This story could have started out as it is here just as easy as it was to make the conservatives look like victims of some conspiracy to undermine democracy.

  3. Neftali

    Steverino – You are wrong. The Rockford Tea Party is not a tax exempt organization (yet), nor does it receive any government funding. Therefore, it is not a social welfare organization.

    I’m curious, Steverino, since you appear to not like those people. Are you happy with Rockford having close to the highest property taxes in the country?

  4. Craig Knauss

    The local teabagger group where I now live also protested in front of our federal building. They had signs that showed Obama as Hitler, the Joker, and Satan. They were ranting about how he had ruined America, was sending America straight to hell, etc. This was on April 15, 2009 – only 85 days after he was sworn in to his FIRST term.

    It makes you wonder how much earlier they had planned this protest. I suspect planning started the day after Obama beat McCain.

  5. Craig Knauss


    I lived in Rockford from 1951 to 1974. I remember the city pretty much ignoring everything that was west of the river, except downtown and near north. You must have lived on the east side. I didn’t.

    And FYI, I also lived in Dupage County for 25 years. Dupage has been run by the Republicans since Lincoln was alive. My real estate tax bill for a moderate house (2400 s.f.) was $5200 in 2000. The bill for the same house is now close to $8000. My real estate tax bill for my present 2150 s.f. house in Washington state is about $2600.

  6. Craig Knauss


    Stuff your americanthinker (Bircher) crap. I live in Washington state. And I saw this with my own eyes. I was there, Wilson. You were not. You weren’t even close.

    I figured you’d come out of your hole with some sniveling BS. And you did. Now that you’ve made an ass of yourself, you can crawl back under your rock.

  7. Robert

    wilson, Would it be closer to associate them loosely with The Brownshirts? And no I don’t think all Tea Party members are of that ilk, but those kinds of Patriot inspired movements begin as benign and then morph from there often times. That’s why they are being observed and scrutinized. You can bet the FBI has profiled that movement and its leaders. That’s what they do.

  8. Neftali

    Craig – I moved to this area in the mid 90s. I have always lived on the West side. My 2200 s.f home, worth about 100k, has yearly property taxes of almost $5k. Years of leadership failure at the local and state level from both parties caused this perverse authoritarian yearly power grab. As of this moment I only see one group of people trying to do anything about it. The tea party.

    And further, Nancy Pelosi herself referred to the tea party as Nazis. (Which is just as dumb as some tea party people calling Obama a Nazi)


    If the Democrats try to lower my property taxes, I’ll vote for them. Unfortunately, they back the local unions. The same unions who went on strike last year call claiming their outrageous benefits were not outrageous enough. So I’ll support the side the is actually trying to fix the crises.

  9. Robert

    Craig, I had friends and relatives who lived on the west side, particularly in South Rockford, the area between West State and Auburn and also in the North Town area. I don’t remember any social stigma about the west side at that time. I lived in Rockford approximately the same years you noted.

    The west side is deservedly stigmatized now though, but the conditions (the Black gangs) that made the west side so dangerous now are also coming to the SE and NE sides . Of course we’re not supposed to be specific about whose behind the majority of the violent crime taking over that town. But if you can’t acknowledge whose behind most of the violent crime, how can you begin to fix the problem?

  10. Robert

    Neftali, aren’t your taxes so high as a result of the People Who Care lawsuit? Who did that lawsuit really enrich and how successful was it in achieving the equity in education that it was supposed to achieve?

  11. Craig; You should be glad you (LEFTY) Illinois. Your Commy party has been in power
    (CHICAGO DEM CRIMINALS) for 40+years and stole the Kennedy/Nixon election; the true criminal got his !!! The Mafia and gangs have used RFD for years to traffic drugs ,guns and stinking Union agendas for most of my lifetime. Why didn’t you invest you’re life savings in the WEST SIDE of Rockford and open a business.. you ignored it????
    Glad morons like you are in WA. Hope you see a 200 ft. sunami soon!!
    Swim to the bottom where your type dwells.

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    MoveOn comprises two legal entities, each organized under a different section of U.S. tax and election laws. MoveOn.org Civic Action is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation,[5][6][7][8] and was formerly known as MoveOn.org. MoveOn Civic Action focuses on education and advocacy on national issues. MoveOn.org Political Action is a federal political action committee, and was formerly known as MoveOn PAC. It contributes to the campaigns of many candidates across the country. MoveOn calls the legal structure of MoveOn Civic Action that of “a California nonprofit public benefit corporation” and MoveOn.org Political Action that of “a California nonprofit mutual benefit corporation,” and refers to both corporations collectively as “MoveOn”.

  12. shawnnews

    I’m under the impression that property taxes went up because of the lawsuit and because the voters rescinded city powers of home rule. Rather than get money from taxes and fees that could be made with home rule powers, voters restored city services by a series of referendums which increased property taxes. I could be wrong. However any sort of tax payer revolt or anti-tax proposal usually has disastrous consequences because the US already has the lowest tax burden in the industrial world. A pro-tax initiative isn’t spectacular but sticking property owners with everything is unfair.

  13. AmazingScott

    Um- the voters took away home rule powers because our elected leaders are obviously corrupt to the degree that no one trusts them, and nothing has changed since then. If they had home rule powers the first thing they’d do is put up red light cameras to cannibalize the locals. Talk about sticking it to people. Maybe we could reduce expenses by getting the politicians to put less in their pockets, how’s that for a novel suggestion…

    As far as the IRS- I’m not sure they did anything wrong, for the reasons stated in the article. I’ve posted that in several places and not gotten a single response from the people who are howling loudest- which makes me think that it’s too complicated for them to understand so no matter what the end result is they won’t be happy. So it’s a tempest in a teapot, and what are they using this to distract us from seeing?

  14. Steverino

    Nef – Thanks for the update on the RTP. Considering the manner in which they conduct their business let’s hope they don’t achieve tax exempt status as a social welfare organization.

  15. Robert

    shawnnews, I appreciate the input on other causes of the high property taxes. I don’t understand a whole lot about how home rules works. I’ve looked it up and kind of have a sense of the concept, but maybe there will be a time when how it applies to Rockford’s situation could be further explained.

    The 2 biggest issues keeping me from moving back to Rockford are the crime rate and the property taxes. If the city leaders can get both those areas under control, I’ll consider it.

  16. Craig Knauss


    You forgot to say “Sieg heil!” at the end. Don’t let it happen again. Your Master Race buddies will get pissed. And FYI, my family has lived in that area since the 1800s. Got it, moron?

    And what does your Move On tirade have to do with any of this? On crack again, Karl?

  17. Craig Knauss

    Nef and Robert,

    Yes guys there was some stigmatizing. With regard to school buildings, streets and roads, developments, etc. At one time the west side was the place to live. But that changed during the 60s or earlier. It looks like the west side started to catch up a bit in the last 20 years, but still has a long ways to go. Drive down South Main toward the airport and you’ll see what I mean.

    And I’m sure that People Who Care lawsuit had a lot to do with the tax issues. I think the lawsuit was total BS. I attended or worked in a lot of the affected schools. There were some pretty bizarre claims made in the lawsuit that were totally unsupportable regarding classrooms, educational materials, entryways, etc. that I never saw any evidence of and I had worked in most of the west side elementary schools. It appears to me that the board members who did any damage were long gone when the suit was filed and the board members who replaced them just rolled over and played dead. The lawsuit cost millions and the only winners were the lawyers. Everyone else lost – big.

  18. wilson

    You can always count on Knauss for an intelligent retort and lots of civility. He exposes himself for what he is and doesn’t seem to have a clue.
    So you make an unsubstantiated claim and then when called out your retort is that I am an ass.

  19. Brian Opsahl

    Everyone of my neighbors came from Rockford and moved to Stillman Valley for better schools and lower taxes. State football titles and total pride in the entire school system is just 14 miles from Rockford with a tax rate that is very fair in comparision.

    My Daughter just graduated and my son will next year and it almost feels like a great big family that is grauating togeather. I can thank the entire Rockford school board for that decision. The decisions that Ted and that school board made it easy to leave.

  20. shawnnews

    Corrupt implies that local politicians engage in crime. As far as I know, the only criminal acts that elected officials have been caught and convicted of are DUIs. To make the blanket statement that city officials are corrupt requires evidence. City officials do things I don’t like but that doesn’t mean they are engaging in crime.
    If anyone has actual evidence of criminal behavior by city officials let then tell the press, the FBI and the state police. But otherwise anyone claiming corruption is blowing smoke.

  21. Craig,

    You are a little more than slow on the uptake bozo.. you genius. If you can’t figure out the obvious MoveOn reference I won’t waste another letter to explain it to a drooling
    moron like you…ask your google machine.

    FYI- “Sieg heil!” was was used by the The National Socialist German Workers’ Party .
    Believe me , I am no socialist or any garbage that you indentify yourself with.

    Hoping you sleep with the fishes very soon…bottom feeder.

  22. Robert

    Karl? We’ve been through this National Socialist German Worker’s Party stuff before. That party had nothing to do with socialism. The Nazi Party was aligned with the fascists not the socialist. The Nazi party hated socialist, communists not to mention all the other races and cultures they hated, that have been the subjects of many movies. It’s all out there on the Google machine (as opposed to the fools on Fox News).

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