The IRS came under intense scrutiny for targeting conservative last year. And according to a new report, it might still be happening.
Yesterday, the New York Times reported that a fiercely private group of conservatives in Hollywood, known as “Friends of Abe,” is undergoing a painstaking review by the IRS after requesting tax-exempt status.
Approximately 1,500 individuals in the entertainment industry belong to the group, which keeps its website and member list private. Most remain anonymous due to the fear of becoming an outcast in Hollywood’s liberal culture.
A few members, like Gary Sinise and Jon Voight, have been open about their membership, but the majority remain silent.
According to the Times, federal tax authorities have requested detailed information from the group about its meetings with several conservative politicians, including Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and former presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Sources say the application has been under review for two years and that the IRS requested access to Friends of Abe’s private website, which would have revealed member names.
This situation is similar to last year’s targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. All of those groups were subject to intense questionnaires demanding minute details of all of their activities and also experienced long delays.
Cleta Mitchell, a Washington lawyer representing many of those targeted groups, worked to break the story last year and spoke at The Heritage Foundation about her findings. She said of the targeting:
It started specifically because I think it’s part of the way in our culture that it’s OK to beat up on conservatives. This is what happens when you depart from the rule of law … this is lawlessness.
Friends of Abe is known mostly as a group to bring together like-minded individuals in an area where few exist.
Jeremy Boreing, executive director of Friends of Abe, told the Times that the process for its application has been long and, despite what the IRS might believe, the group has no political agenda.
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