The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been under attack for weeks after it was revealed that the some agents targeted groups with the words “Tea Party” or “patriots” in their titles.
Numerous top officials of the IRS have either resigned or were fired after the revelation.
However, some of the targeted groups applying for 501(c)(4) status were spending most of their money engaging in political activity, reports the Washington Post.
A 501(c)(4) is not allowed to spend more than 49 percent of its time or funds on political advocacy.
According to the New York Times:
When CVFC, a conservative veterans’ group in California, applied for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service, its biggest expenditure that year was several thousand dollars in radio ads backing a Republican candidate for Congress.
The Wetumpka Tea Party, from Alabama, sponsored training for a get-out-the-vote initiative dedicated to the “defeat of President Barack Obama” while the I.R.S. was weighing its application.
And the head of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, whose application languished with the I.R.S. for more than two years, sent out e-mails to members about Mitt Romney campaign events and organized members to distribute Mr. Romney’s presidential campaign literature.
Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS claimed to be a 501(c)(4), and even told the IRS that any political ads run would be “limited in amount” and “would not constitute the group’s primary purpose” of social welfare, but was focused on defeating President Obama and other Democrats.
“Crossroads was exhibit A. They were boasting about how much money they were going to raise and beat Democrats with,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told Fox News on Sunday.