While IRS was targeting Tea Party groups for special scrutiny and intimidation, liberal groups were put on the fast track:
In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no questions asked.
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 shows.
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.
We pretty much knew this already, but it’s good to have it laid out in black and white.
POSTSCRIPT: Right now, the left is looking frantically for anyone on the left who can claim to have been mistreated by the IRS during the Bush administration. Given how badly the IRS treats everyone, I’m frankly surprised they haven’t located someone already. This makes me wonder if this favoritism goes back years.
UPDATE (5/20): The IRS commissioner confirms (see the video at bottom) that no left-oriented keywords (e.g., “progressive” or “organizing”) were used for targeting.