Daily Archives: May 30, 2013

Some tax-exempt groups deserve scrutiny

The Internal Revenue Service deserves scrutiny and criticism for targeting conservative and tea party groups. But some of those groups also could use some scrutiny (as could some liberal groups). Though they claimed tax-exempt status as “social welfare” organizations, their activities seem primarily political. For example, while it was applying for tax exemption, the Wetumpka Tea Party of Alabama was sponsoring training for a get-out-the-vote initiative dedicated to the “defeat of President Barack Obama,” and CVFC, a conservative veterans’ group in California, was spending thousands of dollars on radio ads backing a Republican candidate for Congress, the New York Times reported. “While some of the IRS questions may have been overbroad,” said Donald B. Tobin, a former lawyer with the Justice Department’s tax division, “you can look at some of these groups and understand why these questions were being asked.”

Resolution shows lawmakers have too much time on their hands

In addition to the $45,000 a day that they are costing the state, here is another reason why the lawmakers need to finish their work and go home: So they will stop passing bad laws and meaningless resolutions. Here’s one example: The Senate passed a resolution last week declaring that “the Judeo-Christian tradition has been, and continues to be, the majority religion in the USA and its military.” Senate Resolution 1767 also denounces the “increasing hostility from special interests toward religious expressions by military service members and of restrictions on military chaplains.” The resolution also instructs the Kansas adjutant general to “fully support and aggressively defend the rights of religious conscience and the free exercise of the Judeo-Christian tradition in the Kansas National Guard and support the professional chaplaincy.” But Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for Adjutant General Lee Tafanelli, told the Topeka Capital-Journal that National Guard officials “are not aware of any issues with freedom of religious expression within the Kansas National Guard.”