Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Taxman Cometh

Although I was familiar with the basic details behind the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to audit the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), I was not ready to join the chorus of those decrying it as politically motivated.

The violation that prompted the move:

'organizations with a 501 (c) 3 tax exemption are barred from "from participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office,"'

was based on a single speech given by the group's leader Julian Bond, at the organization's annual meeting in April '04.

However, as some have subsequently pointed out, many non-profit groups known to have a not so secret political agenda have crossed the same impervious void, as well. Yet, it was George Bush's decision to forgo an expected address before the NAACP Annual Convention he deemed hostile and partisan - coming shortly before the move by the IRS - that was the only fuel necessary for those calling the audit 'political payback'.

Well the NAACP, calling the IRS probe 'politically motivated', has now decided not to cooperate with the Revenue Agency. The move has prompted at least one 'non-partisan' Editorial page, The Washington Times, to summarily judge the group guilty as charged. However I will be curious to see if their unequivocal standards against non-profit advocacy apply now to Conservative Evangelical James Dobson and his group, Focus On The Family.

An organization that monitors religious groups called Citizens Project, has asked the IRS to investigate whether Dobson's group violated the same statute in an article printed in a magazine, distributed by the organization. Although, the group's spokesman asserts the magazine falls under the control of a separate 'Focus' lobbying unit, the magazine is featured prominently on the group's main web page and offered complimentary for signing their guest book.

This is an issue that needs to be addressed in this current climate of intolerance, perpetuated mainly by Dobson and his followers. Where finally, loud objections should come from those who believe such hypocritical, political assaults in the name of religion, antithetical to American values, must come to an end.

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at February 5, 2005 1:19 PM