The Spectacle Blog

IRS Revokes Tax-Exempt Status for Another Conservative Group

By on 4.22.14 | 4:00PM

You would think the IRS would want to lay low while they are battling allegations of targeting conservative non-profits.

Think again. That didn’t stop them from revoking the tax-exempt status of the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty for saying mean things about the Clintons and John Kerry, according to USA Today.

The 501(c)3 group received a letter from the IRS explaining that it had, “shown a pattern of deliberate and consistent intervention in political campaigns” and made “repeated statements supporting or opposing various candidates by expressing its opinion of the respective candidate’s character and qualifications.” Although it obscures the name of the organization, the accusations align with writings from the Patrick Henry Center.

In the report are snippets from columns written by the charity’s founder, Gary Aldrich, where he questions the character of Hillary Clinton and mocks John Kerry for fleeing to Canada instead of fighting in the Vietnam War. The group also sent out donation literature regarding their concerns about certain “weak-kneed” “liars and thieves.” Although the literature demands that those like Clinton and Kerry be kept out of power, it never specifically says, “Don’t vote for Clinton or Kerry."

The IRS claims it is revoking the tax-exempt status because the charities are not allowed to “participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” The donation literature and columns were considered politically charged enough to bring them down.

Patrick Henry got the official letter explaining their revoked status on April 18, 2014, but some of the columns referenced in the letter date back prior to the 2008 presidential election. Why after all this time are they suddenly attacking this conservative group?

There’s no doubt some of the Center's language about Clinton, Kerry, and others is charged and incensed. But has no liberal non-profit written equally-as-angry things about Bush? Is the IRS’s decision to revoke status now some sort of push to prop up Clinton for 2016?

Releasing this information does nothing to calm the rage of Republicans, who already voted to hold Lois Lerner in contempt and fiercely believe the IRS—and others in the Obama administration—were involved in overly scrutinizing tea party and conservative non-profits.

Needless to say, it won’t be surprising if this comes up in the next House Oversight Committee hearing about the ongoing IRS scandal. 

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