The IRS has finally released a list of organizations its nonprofit division (then led by Lois Lerner) targeted for special scrutiny.
This added scrutiny arguably made a number of organizations raising questions about constitutional government quiescent during 2012 presidential campaign.
The IRS released this information only after a series of judges ordered them to do so.
The IRS released the names of 426 targeted organizations. The Washington Times reports:
That total is much higher than the 298 groups the IRS‘ inspector general identified back in May 2013, when investigators first revealed the agency had been subjecting applications to long — potentially illegal — delays, and forcing them to answer intrusive questions about their activities. Tea party and conservative groups said they was the target of unusually heavy investigations and longer delays,
Edward D. Greim, the lawyer who’s pursuing the case on behalf of NorCal Tea Party Patriots and other members of the class, said the list also could have ballooned toward the end of the targeting as the IRS, once it knew it was being investigated, snagged more liberal groups in its operations to try to soften perceptions of political bias.
. . .
Sixty of the groups on the list released last month have the word “tea” in their name, 33 have “patriot,” eight refer to the Constitution, and 13 have “912” in their name — which is the monicker of a movement started by conservatives. Another 26 group names refer to “liberty,” though that list does include some groups that are not discernibly conservative in orientation.
Among the groups that appear to trend liberal are three with the word “occupy” in their name.
And then there are some surprising names, including three state or local chapters of the League of Women Voters — a group with a long history of nonprofit work.
Some of the most active and prominent tea party groups snared in the targeting aren’t on the class-action list. At least some of them opted not to be part of the joint legal action to preserve their own lawsuits.
Congressional Republicans say IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who was brought in by President Obama to clean up the agency after the targeting scandal, has failed — and even misled Congress during the investigation. Some Republicans are even pursuing impeachment against Mr. Koskinen, accusing him of defying a subpoena for former senior IRS executive Lois G. Lerner’s emails by allowing computer backup tapes to be destroyed.
Even outside of impeachment, the House GOP has proposed a new round of budget cuts for the IRS, aimed at trying to deliver a message that Mr. Koskinen’s tenure has been unacceptable.
Unacceptable–but can Congress actually do anything?
Lois Lerner, you'll recall took the Fifth when called before Congress to be questioned on the targeting (after she made a statement about her alleged innocence–not strictly permissible if taking the Fifth), and then went into retirement with her pension and benefits intact.
I submit that the inability to hold accountable IRS employees, who theoretically work for the public, for their targeting of groups with which they disagreed is one of the items on a very long list of things that have left American voters feeling so helpless and angry.