It was a low-blow by the IRS, but it seems they are capable of stooping much, much lower. The Thomas More Society (a non-profit, public interest law firm) is reporting that the IRS also engaged in blatant bias against pro-life groups.
In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent “Ms. Richards” told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood. Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved. After a series of letters following a request for more invasive information, Thomas More Society special counsel Sally Wagenmaker sent a letter to the IRS demanding the tax exempt status be issued immediately.
That’s right – the IRS demanded this pro-life organization promise to refrain from protesting Planned Parenthood (the nation’s largest abortion provider) before they could receive their tax exempt status.
In another case the IRS withheld 501(c)(3) approval from an organization called Christian Voices for Life because of concerns about their connections to other pro-life groups. The Thomas More Society has full documentation on both cases.
Not only is the IRS engaging in blatant partisanship, they are also creating a de facto firewall against conservative organizations by making the process of applying for a 501(c)(3) so complicated and arduous that many groups cannot afford the time or the money to navigate the maze of procedure.