IRS targeted conservative college interns
Daily Caller – Patrick Howley – 5/20/2013
Click the link above, page 2, for the actual IRS questionnaire to Leadership Institute
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) demanded information about conservative groups’ college-aged interns, prompting outrage from one of the country’s top conservative activist organizations and leading one former intern to wonder whether his family’s pizza parlor would be endangered.
The IRS requested, in an audit, the names of the conservative Leadership Institute’s 2008 interns, as well as specific information about their internship work and where the interns were employed in 2012, according to a document request the IRS sent to the Leadership Institute, dated February 14, 2012.
The Leadership Institute’s audit, which was conducted by the IRS’ Baltimore office and which ended with no determination of wrongdoing but cost the conservative group $50,000 in legal fees, only covered the year 2008, leading employees to speculate that the IRS’ primary interest was figuring out how the group operates during a presidential election year.
“They were very interested in seeing what conservative organizations were doing in 2008, and where the interns from 2008 were now employed,”
“When you’re audited, you’re not told why you’re being audited. So the first round of questions are pretty basic and general. In the subsequent rounds they asked invasive questions. Those are the questions we declined to answer. It’s none of their business, and it’s not part of a legitimate audit,” Fenner said. “It has the feel of a watch list.”
“They could have audited my family’s business,” McGonigal said. “I was very concerned.”
The IRS also demanded information on the high school and college students trained by the conservative group Linchpins of Liberty.