Another conservative organization is demanding an explanation from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the wake of last week’s admission that the federal agency targeted Tea Party groups for selective scrutiny. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a non-profit group that has helped lead national opposition to same-sex marriage, said Monday that its confidential tax information was leaked by the IRS last year to a liberal pro-gay group.
“There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law,” NOM president Brian Brown said in a statement on the group’s Web site. “The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers.”
Draft copies of a report by the tax agency’s inspector general revealed last week that Tea Party groups were deliberately selected for extra attention by the IRS between 2010 and 2012, the Associated Press reported. Since those revelations, other conservative groups as well as at least one pro-Israel organization have come forward to say that they were likewise subjected to hassles by the IRS.
In the statement on its Web site, NOM said that a liberal blog, The Huffington Post, reported in March 2012 that it had obtained the group’s IRS information via the Human Rights Campaign, which strongly supported the Obama re-election campaign:
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today renewed its demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the employee or employees responsible for stealing the organization’s confidential Form 990 tax return and leaking it to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). At the time of the theft, the HRC had long-sought to know the identity of NOM’s major donors and its chief executive was a co-chair of President Obama’s reelection campaign. The Form 990 that was leaked to the HRC contained the identity of numerous major donors to the organization. . . .
In March 2012 the Human Rights Campaign and the Huffington Post published NOM’s Form 990 Schedule B from 2008 containing the identity of dozens of donors. The HRC claimed the tax return was provided by a ‘whistleblower.’ For months previous to the publication, the HRC had been demanding that NOM publicly release this confidential information even though federal law protects the identity of contributors to nonprofit groups. The publication of NOM’s tax return occurred just a few months after Joseph Solmonese, then president of the HRC, was appointed a national co-chair of the Obama reelection campaign. An analysis of the published documents shows that they could only have originated with the IRS.
“We’ve seen in recent days an admission that the IRS intentionally targeted conservative groups for harassment and scrutiny,” Brown said, “but what NOM has experienced suggests that problems at the IRS are potentially far more serious than even these latest revelations reveal.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that the inspector general’s report “revealed that a high-ranking IRS official knew as early as mid-2011 that conservative groups were being inappropriately targeted—nearly a year before then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told a congressional committee the agency wasn’t targeting conservative groups.”