Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
The IRS did what it was supposed to do regarding 501(c)(4)s, but in a way that strongly suggested partisan bias by investigating "tea party"-related groups during the Obama administration and liberal churches such as All Saints in Pasadena during the Bush administration.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) runs his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee the same way as the IRS, not bothering to go down investigative roads that might lead to answers that can't be used to partisan advantage.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) has requested that the IRS' conduct under both Obama and Bush be looked at. If Issa's Fast and Furious investigation was any indication, Schiff's request will be denied. Issa's motivations are stockpiling power and influence to support his rise in the GOP.
The IRS "scandal" is an attempt by conservatives to create an Obama Watergate.
Nonprofit groups that are nonpolitical can apply for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status. Political nonprofits can file for 527 tax-exempt status. The difference? Donors can give to 501(c)(4) groups anonymously (and, apparently, these groups can be political).
Those groups applying for 501(c)(4) status that were questioned by the IRS claim they were targeted in an effort to silence their voices during an election year. If the groups were nonpolitical, what difference would it make to them if it were an election year?
Putting "tea party" in the name of a group seeking a tax exemption and then expressing utter bewilderment over questions about having a political agenda is as sensible as getting personalized license plates reading "IMADRNK" and then complaining about harassment by the Highway Patrol.
Betty C. Duckman