Congress launches investigation of IRS bias favoring liberals

(Photo by Joe Kovacs)
(Photo by Joe Kovacs)

The Internal Revenue Service has established, in recent years, a reputation for having a strong bias against conservatives and Christians, and in support of liberals and their causes.

Remember all those “Tea Party” groups, and some Christian organizations, that literally faced harassment at the hands of the federal tax collectors when Barack Obama was president?

The agency was sued, and many of the details about its campaigns against conservatives came to light.

Now the bureau’s lenient treatment of liberal causes is getting a review.

A report from the Washington Times reveals U.S. Rep. James Comer, the chief of the House Oversight Committee, is looking into the IRS “for going easy on liberal nonprofit groups.”

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The issue is that they appear to be lobbying for their causes, engaging in politics, when their status as nonprofits forbids that.

Such events are common in Democrat circles. Few weeks go by without a Democrat politician taking to the pulpit of some leftist church and promoting his or her political agenda. Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis, who is running a campaign attacking President Donald Trump, recently spoke in a church, promoting her agenda and blasting Trump.

Yet those churches, whose officials allow such politicking from their pulpits, seldom even are questioned about their violation of IRS rules.

The report noted Comer specifically raised questions about One Fair Wage Inc., an organization that demands higher wages for workers.

That group, in court documents, has admitted that it does a lot of lobbying and advocacy, even though the IRS supposedly puts tight limits on such activities, the report explained.

It was a decade ago, during Obama’s term in the White House, that Lois Lerner, then a senior IRS executive, faced evidence-supported complaints that she treated conservative nonprofits unfairly.

The DOJ later admitted those complaints were justified.

Now, Comer said, “We are concerned that the IRS may now be engaged in withholding legitimate enforcement efforts as they pertain to activist groups hiding behind their non-profit statuses.”

The Times explained Comer told IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel an explanation is due about how the agency trains workers who handled such situations.

“Despite restrictions on substantial political campaign activities and lobbying by 501(c)(3) organizations, entities like One Fair Wage, Inc. appear to be primarily engaged in a host of lobbying practices diverting from a charitable mission,” Comer charged.

Back when tea party groups were resisting Obama’s agenda, the IRS delayed hundreds of applications, and launched just about as many investigations, demanding members of those groups explain their reading habits, their faith, their religious activities, even who they associated with.

The report said after the tea party scandal for the IRS the federal bureaucracy has been “largely adrift.”

The One Fair Wage situation, Comer charged, is evidence it is violating the rules.

For instance, the group claims to be demanding changes in the law in dozens of states to comply with its agenda.

“It also has been engaged in a lengthy legal battle with Darden Restaurants Inc., which runs chains such as Olive Garden and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. One Fair Wage says that by using an unmitigated tipped wage, Darden is facilitating sexual harassment by making employees dress more suggestively and discrimination in income for black employees who aren’t tipped as well as white employees,” the report said.

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