Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) recently announced his retirement from the Senate. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, though, he would be in charge of investigating the Internal Revenue Service’s years-long effort targeting conservative groups as long as he remains in the Senate. According to the Daily Caller, Baucus need look no further than his own desk for the origins of the targeting scheme.

Baucus wrote a letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman dated September 28, 2010 urging the IRS to investigative nonprofit conservative groups during the Tea Party-dominated 2010 midterm elections.

“With hundreds of millions of dollars being spent in election contests by tax-exempt entities, it is time to take a fresh look at current practices and how they comport with the Internal Revenue Code’s rules for nonprofits,” Baucus wrote in the letter.

“I request that you and your agency survey major 501(c)(4), (c)(5) and (c)(6) organizations involved in political campaign activity to examine whether they are operated for the organization’s intended tax exempt purpose and to ensure that political campaign activity is not the organization’s primary activity,” Baucus wrote in the letter.

The only that groups Baucus specifically named were all conservative, Tea Party groups.

Baucus specifically named Americans for Job Security, which is described as a “pro-Republican organization,” as a specific target for the IRS to investigate.

Crossroads GPS, co-founded by Karl Rove, and American Action Network, chaired by former Republican senator Norm Coleman, were also cited in press coverage related to Baucus’ letter as pro-Republican groups helping to elect GOP congressional candidates in 2010.

Those organizations appeared in a September 16, 2010 TIME article by writer Michael Crowley titled, “The New GOP Money Stampede.” Baucus cited that piece in his letter to the IRS.

Among other things, we see here the unholy alliance between leftists in the media and a leftist government. Leftist media trumpet some boogie man on the right, and pretty soon the leftist government is citing the leftist media in a campaign to attack said boogie man.