Jeff Merkley caught red handed asking the IRS to do its damn job

Carla Axtman

Now I get that team Tea Party is in a froth over the IRS situation. There's certainly been enough chum thrown at them by the media to get them there. But frankly, there are serious questions to be raised about how 501(c)4 groups are operating. These groups are supposed to be social welfare organizations that promote community welfare, charitable, education or recreational goals.

The IRS has been pretty murky on the allowable political involvement of these groups.

Fourteen months ago, Merkley and five other senators asked the IRS to tighten their rules on these groups.

Karl Rove (and by extension, the Oregon GOP, who are gleefully carrying Rove's water) has done what he does best, act like a jackass, accusing Merkley of goading the IRS into targeting the Tea Party groups.

Please.

I get the the Tea Party likes to hide their contributors and wants to operate in the shadows. Hey, if I had their list of donors and their agenda I would probably want the same. But if you're going to participate in politics, money collected as (c)4 contributions aren't supposed to fall under the kind of political work being done by these groups.

Merkley is doing his job. He was working to get the IRS to do theirs. The real story here, that the press is all too happy to miss, is the one asking why any of these groups are getting (c)4 status in the first place.

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