After learning that conservative groups make up two-thirds of the groups that had “received special scrutiny and been approved for tax-exempt status,” Kevin Drum is even less convinced by Republican attempts to play up the scandal:
This doesn’t tell us anything definitive about the entire set of groups that got special scrutiny. If the whole set is similar to the approved set, then about two-thirds were conservative and one-third liberal—most likely because of the boom in new tea party groups in 2010. But that’s just a guess. One thing isn’t a guess, however: Two-thirds of the groups who were approved for tax-exempt status were conservative. If the IRS was on a partisan witch hunt against conservative groups, that’s sure an odd way of showing it, isn’t it?
Garance Franke-Ruta lists some of the progressive organizations whose tax exempt status was checked by the IRS:
Non-conservative advocacy groups given special scrutiny by the IRS in or after 2010 included the Coffee Party USA, the alternative to the Tea Party movement that got a bunch of press in 2010, as well as such explicitly progressive groups as the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada; Rebuild the Dream, founded by former Obama administration official Van Jones; and Progressives United Inc., which was founded by former Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold.
Also included in the special scrutiny were Progress Texas and Progress Missouri Inc.; Tie the Knot, which sells bow ties to raise money to promote same-sex marriage; and ProgressNow, which describes itself as “a year-round never-ending progressive campaign.”