"And none of the conservatives were denied tax-exempt status, though many faced long delays..."<quoted text>
IRS approved liberal groups while Tea Party in limbo
WASHINGTON -- In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois
received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no
That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started
singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn't be
another Tea Party application approved for 27 months.
In that time, the IRS approved perhaps dozens of applications from
similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data
As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with
liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as
nine months. With names including words like "Progress" or
"Progressive," the liberal groups applied for the same tax status and
were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative
groups. They included:
• Bus for Progress, a New Jersey non-profit that uses a red, white and
blue bus to "drive the progressive change." According to its website, its
mission includes "support (for) progressive politicians with the
courage to serve the people's interests and make tough choices." It got
an IRS approval as a social welfare group in April 2011.
• Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment says it fights
against corporate welfare and for increasing the minimum wage. "It
would be fair to say we're on the progressive end of the spectrum,"
said executive director Jeff Ordower. He said the group got tax-exempt
status in September 2011 in just nine months after "a pretty simple,
• Progress Florida, granted tax-exempt status in January 2011, is
lobbying the Florida Legislature to expand Medicaid under a provision
of the Affordable Care Act, one of President Obama's signature
accomplishments. The group did not return phone calls. "We're busy
fighting to build a more progressive Florida and cannot take your call
right now," the group's voice mail said.
Like the Tea Party groups, the liberal groups sought recognition as
social welfare groups under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, based
on activities like "citizen participation" or "voter education and
Like I said, what was the harm? Did they have to pay their taxes in the interim? No.
Much ado about nothing.