The IRS tea party scandal: The lesson is better campaign finance disclosure laws

by - May 14, 2013

Let’s not make excuses for the IRS. The agency shouldn’t have subjected conservative groups to special scrutiny. Campaign finance reform groups should have immediately called for hearings when this scandal broke: Imagine the hue and cry if the IRS during the Bush administration had singled out “progressive” groups for special tax scrutiny and sent them unprecedented questions about their contributors and activities. Given the danger going back to President Richard Nixon of using the IRS against political enemies, the agency has to be scrupulously nonpartisan and fair. Congressional investigations and the Department of Justice criminal investigation announced Tuesday are inevitable and warranted.

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