While Internal Revenue Service agents have unfairly targeted conservative nonprofit groups in recent years, they’ve also ignored apparent IRS code violations by progressive nonprofit environmental groups participating in elections.
Paul Taylor, who covers ecopolitics in the Los Angeles area, highlighted this double-standard in a recent column for Examiner.com, pointing to eco groups like the Sierra Club, and progressive organizations including the National Organization for Women and Planned Parenthood, that have endorsed candidates in violation of their nonprofit status.
Taylor pointed to a recent mailer for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors candidate Sheila Kuehl, which lists Sierra Club as one of seven organizations she’s “endorsed by.”
“This is just one of many such partisan ego-group campaign endorsement mailers I’ve received routinely in election years,” Taylor wrote. “The Kuehl mailer also indicates her endorsement by two other liberal-progressive nonprofits – the National Organization for Women and Planned Parenthood.
“This column reported on a 2011 Democrat political campaign mailer where the nonprofit eco-groups Sierra Club and California League of Conservation Voters endorsed a liberal-progressive Democrat candidate for the California State Senate,” according to Taylor.
The obvious violation of the nonprofit rules is important because “nonprofit green groups spent more than $20 million on 2010 midterm political campaigns and eco-propaganda, and will likely spend even more in current midterm elections,” Taylor wrote.
“This while the Internal Revenue Service Code Section 501(c)(3) specifically limits nonprofit organization spending on political activities and propaganda …,” according to Taylor. “Section 501(c)(3) also prohibits candidate endorsements by nonprofits.”
So why haven’t these groups faced the same type of targeted investigation as Tea Party-type nonprofits? Why aren’t these environmental nonprofit groups held to the same standard?
Those are important questions that deserve honest answers.
“In light of recent admitted Obama IRS discriminatory practices targeting independent and conservative service associations to obstruct their nonprofit, tax-exempt IRS applications, an open and thorough IRS audit should be conducted of all environmental eco-groups’ political activities,” Taylor wrote.
The bottom line: “Green-obsessed bureaucrats and militant ego-groups have become an ‘axis of antagonism’ that we can no longer afford.”