Smoking gun in IRS political targeting
Shocker! Leftist group paid to review right
Published: 20 hours ago
by Aaron Klein Email | Archive
Aaron Klein is WND's senior staff reporter and Jerusalem bureau chief. He also hosts "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" on New York's WABC Radio. Follow Aaron on Twitter and Facebook.
WASHINGTON – Though President Obama insists the Internal Revenue Service is not guilty of the political targeting of nonprofits, WND has learned the agency contracts with an avowedly “progressive” organization supported by George Soros to process data filed by smaller tax-exempt groups.
The federal agency process sends details contained in the annual filings for organizations with $50,000 in annual receipts or less to the Urban Institute, which is funded at least partly by government payments as well as contributions from far-left activist George Soros.
The IRS page directs groups to file with the Urban Institute, although apparently other providers also can file the Form 990 documentation, which is required of every nonprofit, small and large.
The IRS.gov page on the “Annual Electronic Filing Requirement for Small Exempt Organizations – Form 990-N (e-Postcard)” includes instructions to file online, and includes a direct link to the Urban Institute.
It’s for “most small tax-exempt organizations whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less,” since they are “required” to electronically submit Form 990-N, unless they choose an alternative Form 990 or Form 990-EZ.
“The organization that fails to file required e-Postcards … for three consecutive years will automatically lose its tax-exempt status,” the IRS warns.
There, in the “How to File” box, are instructions to use “this link” to file. The IRS explains, “When you access the system, you will leave the IRS site and file the e-Postcard with the IRS through our trusted partner, Urban Institute. The form must be completed and filed electronically. There is no paper form.”
That link leads to a page offering operations to “File your Electronic Form 990-N (e-Postcard).” You can register as a “New User” and you can “Create your Form 990-N.”
And “Submit your Form 990-N.”
The page URL is for “epostcard.form990.org,” and it carries the logo of the Urban Institute.
The supposedly “nonpartisan” organization’s employees have a record of donating nearly 100 percent of their political contributions to Democrats, and officially, the Urban Institute advocates for totally socialized medicine, carbon taxes and amnesty for illegal aliens.
And UI’s president, Sarah Rosen Wartell, is the co-founder of the Center for American Progress, widely considered ground zero for the development of many of the Obama administration’s progressive policies.
See WND Editor’ Joseph Farah’s comments on this issue in the following video:
The issue of IRS targeting of tea-party and conservative groups arose in May 2013 when the agency admitted during a news conference that groups with “tea party” or “patriots” in their names were flagged for extra IRS review.
Dozens of organizations ultimately filed lawsuits over the targeting, and members have testified about the questions they faced from the IRS, such as about the content of their prayers, whether they would promise not to protest the Planned Parenthood abortion agenda, and others.
Many of those groups still are in court over their pursuit of fair treatment.
Even as recently as Thursday, an attorney representing several of those groups, Cleta Mitchell, told a congressional hearing, “The IRS scandal is not over. It is continuing to this day. And the Department of Justice is a sham. It is a nonexistent investigation.”
Mitchell, a partner in the Washington-based law firm Foley & Lardner LLP, is well-known for providing expert legal advice to conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. She blasted Obama’s claim on Sunday that there is no IRS scandal, and his insistence there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” in the agency’s targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
“The IRS scandal is not just a bone-headed bunch of bureaucrats in some remote office, contrary to what the president of the United States told the American people,” she said.
She told the House Government Reform and Oversight committee the attacks were politically motivated because the direction came from “political elites in Washington — not in Cincinnati, but Washington.”
The attorney said she knew as far back as October of 2011 that the targeting was being guided by Washington, because when she contacted the Cincinnati IRS agent assigned to one of her clients and offered to try to help smooth the application process, she said she was told, “Oh, there’s a task force in Washington; we can’t do anything until we hear back from Washington.”
During that hearing, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., took up the questioning.
“How can the president say there’s not a smidgen of criminality when Lois Lerner invoked the 5th Amendment, 41 witnesses haven’t been interviewed – including the two that are here right now? How can he possibly draw that conclusion?!” Gowdy demanded.
The latest maneuver in the continuing battle is the pending proposal from the IRS to impose new rules on those nonprofits that essentially would prevent them from speaking about candidates or issues.
“This is a real assault on the First Amendment rights of American citizens, and we need to do everything we can to stop the IRS from implementing these new rules,” Mitchell said.
She said the goal of the rules is “to restrict the free speech of conservatives in the United States. Progressives tend to focus on process issues, and these new IRS regulations are a direct attempt by the political left to rewrite the rules of political engagement unfairly in their favor.”
The Urban Institute has advocated for socialized health care in the United States, and back in the 1980s ran a critique of the Reagan administration. It followed with critiques of George H.W. Bush.
“In 2001, UI and the Brookings Institution began collaboration on a Tax Policy Center (TPC) to discredit President George W. Bush’s tax cut plans, which UI claimed disproportionately and unjustly favored ‘the wealthy,’” a report from Discover the Networks said.
The institute lamented “societal obstacles” that allegedly prevented African-Americans from prospering. It argued “public insurance appears to offer the best financial protection from high out-of-pocket expenses and financial burden for low-income families.” And its reports make “no distinction between legal immigrants and illegal aliens.”
Even the Los Angeles Times has unabashedly labeled the Urban Institute a “leading liberal think tank.”
The Urban Institute says it “gathers data, conducts research, evaluates programs, offers technical assistance overseas, and educates Americans on social and economic issues – to foster sound public policy and effective government.”
It has released dozens of extensive reports advocating redistribution through taxes. The “Tax Distribution and Economic Trends” section of its website provides links to many of those reports.
The group is a proponent of the carbon tax, which has been criticized as too heavily taxing the United States while distributing those funds to the Third World.
The Urban Institute got into the tax forms with the help of the IRS, which turned over documentation from 200,000 nonprofits from the American Cancer Society to the Heritage Foundation so a database could be created.
At the time, Linda Lampkin of the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics touted it as a way for individuals to access information about nonprofits.
A report in the Washington Post said Urban Institute officials, at one time while President Reagan was in office, accused Republicans of defunding the organization because of its leftist bias. At that point, it made connections with Ford, Mellon and other foundations for support.
It also started getting contributions from Aetna Life and Casualty, Exxon and General Dynamics. Among Ford’s funded projects was a study on immigration.
And an entire page at the Urban Institute’s website is dedicated to the IRS tea-party scandal, which is described as “small.”
Just last year, Soros provided a $250,000 grant for “collecting data and conducting sophisticated empirical research and analysis on the impact of various proposals for housing finance reforms on low-income families, communities of color and underserved markets.”
Another Urban Institute donor is the Joyce Foundation, an anti-gun group where Obama served on the board from 1994 to 2002.
Joyce gave a $400,000 grant to the controversial Media Matters progressive activist group in 2010, purportedly to “support a gun and public safety issue initiative.”
While Obama was on the Joyce Foundation board, the organization granted tens of millions of dollars to gun-control organizations. Also numerous large grants were provided to a group called Leadership for Quality Education, which was run by John Ayers, the brother of Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers.
Also while Obama was at Joyce, the foundation gave numerous grants to the Small Schools workshop at the University of Chicago, which was founded by Bill Ayers and is run by avowed communist activist Mike Klonsky, who served with Ayers in the Students for a Democratic Society.
Top recipients of contributions from the Urban Institute's employees and family members (Source: Influence Explorer)
A 2011 US News and World Report story revealed that the Urban Institute’s orientation is “liberal” and of the $79,000 in political donations by employees from 2003-2010, zero percent went to Republicans or third-party candidates. Every penny donated went to a Democrat. A WND investigation of the donations and backgrounds of Urban Institute officers and trustees, found: