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Shaheen: Explain Your Letter to IRS Calling for Investigation Into 'Political' Groups

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Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire is calling on Senator Jeanne Shaheen to fully explain a letter she signed and sent to the head of the IRS asking them to investigate 501(c)(4)'s prior to the 2012 elections.


Part of the letter includes: "We write to inquire if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is investigating or intends to investigate whether groups designated as "social welfare" organizations, and thus receiving tax or other advantages under section 501 (c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 26 USC ยง 501 (c)(4), are improperly engaged in a substantial or even a predominant amount of campaign activity."

The letter goes on to say "...The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for political office."  


The full letter including Senator Shaheen's signature can be viewed here.


In July, when speaking on the Senate floor in support of the DISCLOSE Act, Sen. Shaheen specifically referenced conservative 501 (c)(4)s by name, but not once does she reference a liberal organization.


Part of her floor speech included:


"For example, there's a 501(c)(4) called Americans for Prosperity (AFP) that was founded by David Koch, one of the billionaire Koch brothers.  The Koch brothers own oil refineries in several states and have a combined wealth of $35 billion.  According to the Center for Responsive politics, the AFP received donations from the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry trade group who has opposed several efforts to repeal subsidies to oil companies- Sen. Jeanne Shaheen


More can be viewed here at Sen. Shaheen's website. 


Information regarding Sen. Shaheen's letter sparks extreme concern considering several news reports in recent days regarding the IRS specifically targeting conservative groups during the same time period as her letter was sent to the IRS. Just this morning, we learned that "the Justice Department is opening a criminal investigation of the Internal Revenue Service just as another probe concludes that lax management enabled agents to improperly target tea party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax exempt status."  


Derek Dufresne, spokesman for Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire made the following statement:


"Sending a letter asking for the IRS to investigate 'political' groups during the same period of time that they were specifically targeting conservative organizations is extremely concerning. Senator Shaheen certainly has a lot of explaining to do especially with the current scandal unfolding.

"Granite Staters deserve to know whether the investigative request she sent played a role in the current IRS scandal specifically targeting conservative groups. We urge New Hampshire residents to call Senator Jeanne Shaheen at 603-647-7400 and ask her to explain herself."

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Tagged in: Shaheen Taxes