We have heard the recent revelations that the IRS targeted conservative groups for refusal of tax exempt status. A Republican senator says that the Environmental Protection Agency has made it more difficult for conservative groups to obtain information is no different from the burgeoning scandal at the IRS.
Shortly after the IRS admitted to targeting conservative groups, it was reported that the EPA has routinely denied fee waiver requests from conservative groups seeking government records, while at the same time, approving such requests to environmental groups.
“We know the Obama EPA has completely mismanaged FOIA, but granting fee waivers for their friends in the far-left environmental community, while simultaneously blocking conservative leaning groups from gaining access to information; is really no different than the IRS disaster,” Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an emailed statement.
The free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute revealed that since January 2012 the EPA granted fee waivers for 75 out of 82 Freedom of Information Act requests sent by major environmental groups and only denied seven of them — a 92 percent success rate for green groups. However, the agency rejected or ignored 21 out of 26 fee waiver requests from conservative groups — an 81 percent rejection rate.
“Their practice is to take care of their friends and impose ridiculous obstacles to deny problematic parties’ requests for information,” said CEI senior fellow Chris Horner.
When a fee waiver is denied, it generally stops the FOIA request as many groups don’t have the resources to pay the fees associated to get the FOIA.
In 2009 the Department of Homeland Security added persons or groups “rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority” to its terrorists watch list.
Internal Department of Justice emails obtained by The Daily Caller show Attorney General Eric Holder’s communications staff has collaborated with the left-wing advocacy group Media Matters for America in an attempt to quell news stories about scandals plaguing Holder and America’s top law enforcement agency.
Dozens of pages of emails between DOJ Office of Public Affairs Director Tracy Schmaler and Media Matters staffers show Schmaler, Holder’s top press defender, working with Media Matters to attack reporters covering DOJ scandals.
Other Soros-funded groups including the Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21, the Center for Public Integrity, Mother Jones and Alternet have worked to pressure the IRS to target conservative nonprofit groups. The subsequent IRS investigation flagged more than 100 tea party-related applications for higher scrutiny, including applications that included the words "Tea Party" and "patriot."
The IRS scandal can be traced back to a series of letters that the liberal groups Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Democracy 21 sent to the IRS back in 2010 and 2011. Both groups were funded by George's Soros's Open Society Foundations. The CLC received $677,000 and Democracy 21 got $365,000 from the Soros-backed foundation, according to the Foundation's 990 tax forms.
It has also been confirmed that the Treasury Department unfairly profiled conservatives around that time, the Congressmen are wondering if that could have been a factor in the selection of certain dealerships for closure.
The IRS scandal "raises serious questions about past decisions made by the [Treasury] Department regarding auto dealership closures that occurred in 2008 and 2009," reads the letter. "We formally request that the Treasury Department provide all e-mails, phone records, notes, memoranda, reports, and other communications regarding the decision-making process for dealership closures from the Automotive Task Force headed by Car Czars Steve Rattner and Ron Bloom."