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Published: Tuesday, May 14 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

The abuses were not isolated to one branch in Cincinnati, as the administration has tried to pretend. Incidents are now being reported from locations around the country, including Washington, D.C. This one goes to the top.

Obama wanted to be FDR, and now he's Nixon.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

It's all Bush's fault, right Demos?

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Someone is bound to blame the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision for leading to these problems. That decision held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting how corporations, associations or labor unions spend money on political causes." Citizens United is actually at the heart of the problem. Pre Citizens United 501(c)4s were organizations that promoted the public welfare, by doing things like buying books for schools, building food pantries etc. They were prohibited from having as their sole purpose influencing public policy, right or left. Then CU came along and Karl Rove saw his chance.
An organization who's only purpose is political should have their 501c status request scrutinized, regardless if they are conservative or liberal, but frankly if the title of your organization is Tea Party Patriots you're an easy target.

booshway
Woods Cross, UT

Obama's "outrage" is because his IRS got caught in criminal activity, again. The IRS has been used by Obama before to attack the Koch Brothers, Mitt Romney, Mitt's supporters and others. This most certainly is NOT an isolated incident perpetrated by low level underlings is one office.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"....Someone is bound to blame the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision for leading to these problems. That decision held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting how corporations, associations or labor unions spend money on political causes...."
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That's true but it isn't the issue in the IRS auditing a tax return of someone filing for tax exempt status for what might be a political contribution to a PAC. That's illegal and falls under the scope of IRS responsibility.

Red
Salt Lake City, UT

Another Giant step towards Communism UNLESS swift steps are taken to clean house.

We the people need to stand united against this nonsense.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Another Giant step towards Communism UNLESS swift steps are taken to clean house. Really..Communisim? What century is this?

4601
Salt Lake City, UT

It is ironic that the cover picture for this story is that of BIll Clinton. His inability to distinguish between a truth and a lie is legendary. On further reflection, that may equate with the IRS.

Moderate
Salt Lake City, UT

"Both major parties should initiate investigations."
Absolutely.

We've already forgotten that under George W Bush, the IRS went after the NAACP, Greenpeace, and even All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasedena after the pastor criticized President Bush's preemptive strike doctrine. The IRS should not be a tool of harassment by any President.

Voice of Reason
Layton, UT

Moderate,

I'm sorry, but the two are not comparable at all. The IRS investigated those three because of specific, identifiable events which were clearly in support of a specific candidate (big no-no), as opposed to just broadly partisan for a particular viewpoint (kosher). For example, the NAACP was investigated by the IRS because Julian Bond, its then-director, gave what amounted to a campaign speech for John Kerry. THAT is what the IRS is SUPPOSED to investigate according to current law, and they were exonerated anyway. But there was never a pattern of Bush going after liberal groups in general in a clearly coordinated effort to intimidate them into inaction, which is what the IRS has been doing to conservative groups. Small wonder since IRS staff, then and now, and overwhelmingly liberal.

I actually think the whole idea that tax exempt status depends on being nonpartisan is ridiculous anyway, since human beings are ALWAYS partisan by nature to some degree, and to ask Greenpeace or the Tea Party to try to "act" nonpartisan in order to get tax exemption ignores reality and is frankly unjust.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

I read the op-ed, expecting the usual diet of red meat designed to send the usual suspects headlong into conspiracy city.

I stand surprised and amazed at the tone of the op-ed.

Thank you DN for your balanced assessment of this issue.

wer
South Jordan, UT

While the first stop in this travesty is at the IRS main office. In truth, this mess goes all the way to the White House.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"While the first stop in this travesty is at the IRS main office. In truth, this mess goes all the way to the White House."
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Don't hold back. Share with us whatever hot news tip you've got. If the Deseret News finds an independent confirmation, you'll be handing them a news scoop that will make the DN the envy of every daily in the country.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"In truth, this mess goes all the way to the White House."

Well, I guess that settles it. Thanks for saving us all that time looking into it.

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

@pragmatistferlife "...if the title of your organization is Tea Party Patriots you're an easy target."

Yeah, I'm sure that other political persuasions were next on their list. It's just that "patriot" falls before "progressive" in alphabetical order.

Obama is all done. You realize that, don't you?

Straitpath
PROVO, UT

Of all the chilling realizations I have had about Barack Obama, this is the most chilling. In business we talk about 'the tone at the top' meaning the leaders of a company set the tone for the whole company. The President sets the tone for his whole administration. The lower level IRS knew their actions would win the President's approval

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

How much more corruption must America endure before the press becomes the "attack dog" on Obama that it was on Nixon?

silo
Sandy, UT

Mountanman - "It's all Bush's fault, right Demos?"

That Douglas Shulman was acting commissioner when this all took place and the fact that he was a Bush appointee certainly shines a different light on your outrage.

Maybe them libs got to him?

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Nate, Obama is all done. You realize that, don't you? Just what does that mean? Do you think he's going to resign, get impeached and run out of office? If you mean the later I'd say no he's not done.

So far all the Republicans have been able to accomplish the past five years is to churn up a whole lot of smoke and run around yelling fire, fire. To be blind to the differences between covering up a common criminal act of burglary, lying under oath, and having subordinates change talking points, or administrative branches possibly overstep legal and authorized functions doesn't help the country or your cause. It simply looks desperate. Which of course it is.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

I've been audited. These folks weren't even audited!! Their application was essentially subject to review to see if they were eligible for tax exempt status.

Was it based on the difficulty of determining if the majority of these particular groups' activities were to 1) promote social welfare, or 2) engage in political activity?

The particular section of law they are applying under requires that the groups are for "promoting social welfare," yet all Tea Party groups were clearly engaged in loud, blatant and very public political activities.
Simply sending a memo that says, "Hey folks, it looks like those 'tea party' groups are mostly political. Be sure to check social welfare activity is valid," seems perfectly acceptable to me.

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