Columbus, Ohio - The Ohio Liberty Council welcomed the letter sent by Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and California Congressman Darrell Issa, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to Ms. Louis Lerner, Director, Exempt Organizations Division, of the Internal Revenue Service. The letter, which was made available to the Ohio Liberty Council last night, was mailed on March 27, 2012, and states that “the IRS must apply the same criteria for all organizations applying for tax exempt status”. It goes on to state that news reports suggest that the “IRS effort lacks balance, with conservative organizations being the target of the IRS’s heightened scrutiny.” The letter then requests that the IRS provide documentation and communications between the IRS and groups seeking tax-exempt status so that the committee can be assured that the IRS has the authority to ask the questions they are asking of conservative groups and that the same standards are being applied to all groups equally.
Ohio Liberty Council President Tom Zawistowski said, “We thank Congressmen Jordan and Issa for looking into this activity by the IRS toward our group and at least 150 other TEA Party and conservative groups around the nation. Our information indicates that something like 1,400 groups applied for tax-exempt status in 2010 and that all but 300 of those were granted that status with little scrutiny. However, of the 300 remaining applications, at least half of them are TEA Party groups, and there is a strong possibility that all of the remaining applicants are TEA Party or other conservative organizations. The numbers make it clear that the IRS was not applying the same standard to all applicants. We are concerned that the Committee’s investigation will find that this powerful government agency, the IRS, was targeting conservative groups, and even individual members of those groups, for political purposes. Clearly, an investigation is warranted and we welcome this action today.”
The Ohio Liberty Council is a council of leaders whose purpose is to unite conservative grassroots organizations for greater effectiveness in the state and nation, and to provide resources for member organizations to strengthen their groups. The OLC currently has over 75 liberty-minded groups across Ohio who are members of its coalition.