Yesterday the New York Times posted an article about an organization formed in Hollywood called Friends of Abe. The group of about 1,500 conservative people in the entertainment industry has applied for tax-exempt status. The group has kept a low-profile in order to avoid the possibility of a conservative black list that would result in their not being hired to work in their industry.
The article reports:
Now the Internal Revenue Service is reviewing the group’s activities in connection with its application for tax-exempt status. Last week, federal tax authorities presented the group with a 10-point request for detailed information about its meetings with politicians like Paul D. Ryan, Thaddeus McCotter and Herman Cain, among other matters, according to people briefed on the inquiry.
The article further reports:
The group is not currently designated tax-exempt, but it behaves as a nonprofit and has almost no formal structure, people briefed on the matter said. The I.R.S. review will determine whether Friends of Abe receives tax-exempt status that would provide legal footing similar to that of the People for the American Way Foundation, a progressive group fostered by the television producer Norman Lear and others. If not, Friends of Abe could resort to the courts, or it might simply operate as a nonprofit, but it would be unable to receive tax-deductible contributions.
I hate to by cynical about this (but I am), but it would be nice if Friends of Abe were treated the same way as People for the American Way. Unfortunately under President Obama, the IRS is as much a political tool as an agency to collect taxes.