ON-Lion Letter
In September, the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) in Alexandria, Va., released a working timeline about the events leading up to and surrounding the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting scandal, in which the agency targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny in its review of tax-exemption applications.  CCP's timeline examines a wide variety of actions by elected officials, IRS executives, and outside organizations.

"For years, the IRS was under intense pressure from a coordinated band of lawmakers and pro-regulation groups to crack down on nonprofit groups," according to Matt Nese, CCP's director of external relations.

Although the IRS began scrutinizing groups applying for non-profit status using politically biased criteria in March 2010, pressure to closely examine 501(c)(4) groups started well before then.  Initially, groups with names containing the words "Tea Party" or "patriot" were singled out for additional scrutiny.

"In a number of cases, organizations and congressmen sent multiple letters to the IRS demanding additional scrutiny for Tea Party groups," Nese said.  "The IRS did not act in a vacuum.  Over the course of several years, a loud, irresponsible, but effective cast of characters launched investigations, filed complaints, cheered government intrusions into constitutionally-protected speech and association, and still shouted for greater regulation."

Because the scandal is ongoing, CCP is continually updating the timeline.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports CCP.
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