"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
There seems to be this big hang-up on whether or not conservative groups were unfairly targeted by the IRS. It's got both "sides" buzzing and that is what the national attention is focused on. But as is the norm, while everyone is focused on the right hand, nobody recognizes what the left hand is doing...
INFORMATION LAUNDERING. If there really is a scandal here, this is what it is.
Citizens United was a potentially game changing ruling by the SCOTUS a few years ago. Any google search of "IRS scandal" will yield countless articles from every source under the sun and the majority of those articles will reference this ruling as part of the story. But the funny part is that NONE of those articles actually take the time to digest what's sitting right in front of their faces. How does the DNC counteract the financial support given to the RNC by corporate America? Simple. They expose that corporate sponsorship by counter ads and through media pundits. Citizens United changed that by allowing 501c4 non-profits to engage in the political process WITHOUT revealing their donors. Big problem if you're running for Representative of a district and your opponent is getting support from several different 501c4s and those 501c4s are getting a bunch of corporate support for ads and other activity to benefit "their guy".
It really is unfair to Democrats and they knew the implications of this ruling the instant it went down. Remember the 2010 State of the Union Address when Obama ripped the, seated front and center, Supreme Court? This was the ruling that he ripped them for. The game changed as a result of this ruling. Because there was now a pipeline for corporate America(and really any entity in the world, right, left, or anywhere in between) to donate to the political process with anonymity, the strategy of "exposing the funding" was rendered moot.(at least as 501c4s were concerned)
This brings us to the process of becoming a 501c4. Anyone that wants to file this way can but they have to fill out an application and get approval. What is being focused on so intensively right now is the way that those applications were handled. Many applicants are claiming they were subjected to undue delays, required to provide excessive amounts of detailed information, and a number of other "discriminatory" charges. It is my belief that the truth is dangling right in front of everyone's face and it just isn't registering. All information about donors is contained right in those applications. Many of those applications had not yet been approved but the applicants were free to operate as 501c4s until they were denied. So, if there's some group out there like "citizens for liberty"(fictitious example) running adds against same sex marriage there isn't a damn thing "the other side" can do about it. They might SUSPECT that the funding for those adds is coming from some large "right wing" source but because the group running the add is a 501c4, OR HAS APPLIED as a 501c4, they can't get conformation from the IRS about the funding source.
Before Citizens United, 501c4s had to provide a separate list of donors for political activity. Citizens United changed that. I believe a strategy was taken by "those sympathetic to the cause" to provide the information that was legally available before Citizens United to "those who sought it". That information could then be taken and spread out in a variety of different ways on the internet until it gained enough traction that mainstream media outlets would pick it up. What came from an illegal "leak" is suddenly laundered. INFORMATION LAUNDERING. You could ALMOST say that this was justified because this information was freely available prior to the Citizens United ruling. But justified or not, under the eyes of the law IT IS ILLEGAL.
Mark my words, THIS is the ballgame on the IRS scandal.
2016: NONE OF THE ABOVE