In a 2009 commencement address President Obama jokingly threatened to audit Arizona State University for not giving him an honorary degree on the grounds that his record was incomplete (he had been President for just two months). Now it appears there may have been more than a kernel of truth in the joke:
Virginia Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jamie Radtke has asked the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to launch a formal investigation into abusive actions by the IRS toward Tea Party and Patriot organizations:
On Friday, Radtke sent a letter to Congressman Darrell Issa describing IRS actions toward conservative organizations currently seeking IRS non-profit status as “an assault by the Internal Revenue Service on Tea Party and Patriot groups.” As an example, Radtke mentioned the plight of Richmond Tea Party, which applied for 501(c)(4) non-profit status more than two years ago. After waiting two and a half years for approval, the IRS recently communicated a new set of overly-burdensome and invasive demands for information that exceed the scope of the IRS code.
And if you think the IRS itself is non-partisan agency, think again. Its Commissioner, Doug Shulman, has repeatedly begged Congress to give his agency more money. Democrats, of course, favor the increased funding while Republicans oppose it.
The Tea Party is famously hostile to the IRS which means that Mr. Shulman has good reason to have his tax serfs pay special attention to its tax returns and its tax exempt status. Consequently, I don’t find Radtke’s charges difficult to believe.
(Hat Tip: Paul Caron)