On Monday we and many others reported that the IRS “be on the lookout” lists were broader, and the targeting lasted longer, than has previously been disclosed. IRS acting commissioner Danny Werfel told reporters on a conference call that the BOLO lists included words like “progressive” and “occupy” in addition to conservative flags. The implication is obvious: IRS was scrutinizing everyone, not just conservative groups.
But that was misleading, as Eliana Johnson reports at NRO:
A November 2010 version of the list obtained by National Review Online, however, suggests that while the list did contain the word “progressive,” screeners were in fact instructed to treat “progressive” groups differently from “tea party” groups. Whereas screeners were merely alerted that a designation of 501(c)(3) status “may not be appropriate” for applications containing the word ”progressive” – 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from conducting any political activities – they were told to send those of tea-party groups off IRS higher-ups for further scrutiny.
That means the applications of progressive groups could be approved on the spot by line agents, while those of tea-party groups could not. Furthermore, the November 2010 list noted that tea-party cases were “currently being coordinated with EOT,” which stands for Exempt Organizations Technical, a group of tax lawyers in Washington, D.C. Those of progressive groups were not.
So, the BOLO was set up specifically to flag Tea Party groups for additional scrutiny, which was time-consuming and suppressed their activities leading up to the election, while it allowed liberal groups to be approved on the spot. The song remains the same.
The new IRS commish needs to be subpoenaed, as he appears to be in cover-up mode just like his predecessor was.