IRS targeting Liberals?
POSTED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 5:54pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 6:02pm
(CNN) — The IRS targeted more than just conservative groups.
New disclosures from the internal revenue service show it also targeted liberal groups.
In these newly revealed IRS memos, terms used to screen liberal groups: "progressive," "medical marijuana," even "blue," as in blue states -- hardly words targeting tea party conservatives.
Democrat Sander Levin is lashing out at the IRS inspector general for leaving that out of his explosive report, last month.
"It was a serious mistake, and I think the Republicans took advantage of that by claiming that there was some kind of an enemies list of the White House," said Levin
Levin said what’s worse is the IRS Inspector General was asked, last month, about so-called "be on the lookout memos" or bolos for liberals.
He wouldn't answer.
"I'm not in a position to give you a definitive response on that question at this time," said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
The IG report did detail how many groups labeled tea party, 9/12, or patriots were targeted.
Liberal groups, it seems, were folded in here: "202 other terms."
"He failed to indicate that liberal groups were among the 202," said Levin.
An inspector general spokesman responded that he focused on conservatives, because that's what the Republican-led committee asked him to do.
As for republicans, they're pushing back on the notion that progressives were targeted the way tea party groups were.
"They continued as usual through the process, while conservative groups were stopped in their tracks," said Rep. Darrell Issa, (R) Oversight & Govt. Reform Cmte.
But what does this new revelation say about the big question -- whether irs targeting was politically motivated?
"I've never said it came out of the office of the president or his campaign. What I've said is it comes out of Washington," said Issa.
But then this.
"For years, the president bashed the tea party groups. He was very public against these groups and, on his behalf -- perhaps not on his request but on his behalf -- the IRS exectuted a delaying tactic against the very groups that he talked about," said Issa.