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View Diary: Tea Party Groups Tax Exempt Because of Social Welfare: Really? (24 comments)

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  •  you make an assumption (5+ / 0-)

    in analyzing this that falls under the problem the IRS is being criticized for in the IG report,  it is wrong to associate prohibited activities that disqualify the group based on message content.   It is conduct that disqualifies the organization.   The content prohibition, unless the content is so egregious as to rise to the level of criminal or otherwise prohibited activity that shocks the conscience, etc.,  protects First Amendment righs.  One man's social welfare for the community as a whole is another man's tyranny.

    So there are some specifically prohibited purposes that are disqualifying, rather than some content based criteria that are qualifying.   Substantial campaign activity, the act (not the support of similar ideas of) a candidate for office, is disqualifying.   Operation of a business as the primary purpose is disqualifying.    Even these relatively simple concepts are full of gray areas and contradictory legal decisions.

    I don't necessarily agree that key word criteria should always be prima facie evidence of wrong doing for a reviewer.   But they need to be as content neutral as possible.  Tea Party isn't content neutral.  Any references to Party, may well be content neutral.  A party in a political context exists to elect people (or oppose other people) as it's primary purpose in the real world.  Any organization that claims to be a "party' in its name invites closer scrutiny. If the name is Tea Party of Boston Historical Society, it suggests a social welfare association.  The same as Acme Rentals suggests a business not a social welfare organization.  Acme Rentals Orphans Fund suggests a social welfare organization.  Hence, the problem with using names in general.  But again, I think a screening list is not per se a violation of anyone's rights.

    •  The IRS asked illegal questions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deadicated Marxist, fidlerten

      including demanding membership and contribution lists. This was outlawed to protect NAACP chapters from the KKK back in the day.

      It should be noted that the only organization that we know to have been denied 501(c)(4) status by these bozos was a Democratic one.

      In reality, however, overtly political organizations like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS on the right and OFA on the left should never be able to get 501(c)(4) status.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Thu May 16, 2013 at 12:46:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I addressed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fidlerten

        a specfic point, why the criteria should be conduct based not message based.  And yes, when the IRS used their key words to identify potential problem applicants, they then asked for inappropriate information.

        And from what I know the one Democratic organization was probably engaged in electioneering.  And yes, so were many of the right wing organanizations, and many applications should have been denied.  All I tried to do was explain why the criteria are conduct, spending lots of money to help candidates, not message, the political leanings of the candidates.

        I have said from the beginning this was a tempest in a teapot, another deliberate attempt by Issa to scandal monger, and that the issue here was much more incompetence than political witch hunt.

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