Dear Tax Collectors:

Please fill out the questionnaire below completely and return to your local tea party headquarters.  Note that the questions may be a little personal and intrusive, but turnabout is fair play. Besides, compared to the grilling that Congress is going to give you,  consider yourself fortunate.

Also note that these questions are not in IRS-Speak. They are in plain English to better facilitate open, honest, and complete answers. Not that we expect them.

By the way…know any good criminal lawyers?

1. Who came up with the bright idea to target conservatives for inappropriate attention in the first place? Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups, would only say that “low level” IRS employees were responsible. It was “just their shortcut,” offered Ms. Lerner.

Please take no shortcuts like that one in responding.

2. When exactly did IRS management discover that their “low level” employees were making a mockery of democracy? The Associated Press writes that the IRS inspector general’s report mentions a June 29th meeting in 2011 in which Ms. Lerner discovered “groups were being targeted.”  The IG report says the practice had begun in 2010. Why did it take so long to find out what “low level” employees were doing?

3. The IG report states that on August 4, 2011, there was a meeting of the Rulings and Agreements office  “with chief counsel so that everyone would have the latest information on the issue.” Please list attendees at that meeting and supply any written or recorded record of that meeting (please use a worksheet if you need additional space).  What “latest information” was given?

4. Ms. Lerner states that when she found out about the targeting of conservative groups, she ordered a halt to the practice “immediately.” But why was there a meeting five weeks later “so that everyone could have the latest information on the issue”? If the practice had been halted on June 29th, why was a meeting discussing the latest info even necessary?

5. A related question: Seven months after Ms. Lerner says she discovered the targeting of tea party and other conservative groups, on January 25, 2012, the IG report states that the criteria for flagging organizations to audit tax-exempt status was finally changed to “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement.”

Why did it take seven months to change the criteria? Between June 29, 2011, and January 25, 2012, was the old criteria targeting conservative groups still being used? If not, please give an exact date that the targeting was terminated.