Although the victory is more of a moral one, and not entirely satisfying.
As a recap, when we filed for non-profit 501(c)(4) tax exempt status, we were one of several tea party groups who had truly outrageous questions/demands posed to us by IRS operatives as part of the request process. Although not the most disturbing information request, we viewed the IRS demands for our donor lists to be entirely unacceptable, which led to us joining 40-odd organizations in a lawsuit brought against the IRS by the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ). The lawsuit has been underway for several years, and has experienced numerous setbacks along the way. But on Thursday our counsel contacted us and let us know that the IRS was willing to settle the lawsuit.
This Consent Order represents a historic victory for our clients and sends the unequivocal message that a government agency’s targeting of conservative organizations, or any organization, on the basis of political viewpoints, will never be tolerated.
This Order will put an end, once and for all, to the abhorrent practices utilized against our clients, as the agreement includes the IRS’s express acknowledgment of – and apology for – its wrongful treatment of our clients. While this agreement is designed to prevent any such practices from occurring again, rest assured that we will remain vigilant to ensure that the IRS does not resort to such tactics in the future.
Short version of details:
- The IRS admitted guilt
- They were sorry and won’t do it again
- Our lawsuit was civil, not criminal
- The settlement did not include any awards/restitution/damages whatsoever
Item #4 is important, because the IRS actually settled (2) lawsuits on the same day, and the parties in the OTHER lawsuit actually were awarded some monetary damages as part of their settlement. We want to be very clear that the RTP is NOT receiving any taxpayer dollars. Again, the victory is purely moral.
So why is this a big deal? Because the government rarely, if ever, admits guilt in this manner. Its relatively unprecedented. With the statement in the settlement, it dispels all doubt that tea party groups (WE) were actually targeted, with intention. Of course, this story had about 5.2 seconds of media coverage, and is now fading as fast as the leftist media can make it go away. But the most important thing is that we fought the IRS to protect your information, and we won.
It would be far more satisfying if the wrong-doers were brought to justice, but for now, this will have to do. Its a tremendous relief to just be out from under the pressure of an ongoing lawsuit. So congratulations…we fought the IRS together, and we won!
Below are some related stories showing the progression of our story.