Some conservative and libertarian groups have long suspected that the Internal Revenue Service has targeted right-leaning non-profits for extra scrutiny, but such allegations were always difficult to prove (and often sounded a bit conspiratorial). Now, however, the head of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations has admitted her division targeted “tea party” and “patriot” groups — and apologized for it. In addition, the IRS apparently asked some groups for donor lists, even though such requests are usually contrary to IRS policy. (Hat tip: Rick Hasen, whose first comment was”Wow.”) As they say, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you.
UPDATE: The New York Times offers a decidedly different view. [To be fair, this editorial is from last year.]
SECOND UPDATE: Hasen has posted the IRS statement. “Mistakes were made.” Hasen comments: “This is not one of the best days for the IRS. Conservatives are absolutely right to call for a congressional investigation of this one, even if it turns out to be an isolated problem.”