In his Oct. 8 op-ed column, “Impeach the IRS director,” George F. Will criticized the Internal Revenue Service for its delay in processing applications for tax-exempt status and indeed urged that the IRS director be impeached.
However, these social welfare organizations under 501(c)(4) were never meant to be entities engaged only in political activities, so the IRS has sought to define how much political activity they can engage in. The IRS has been unsuccessful in this effort, and it is difficult to see how it can hope to succeed.
The result has been the emergence of entities such as Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity on the Republican side, and Priorities USA and Organizing for Action on the Democratic side. Because IRS rules do not require disclosure of donors, the electorate has no notion of who is trying to sway their votes, contrary to the recent Supreme Court opinions in Citizens United and McCutcheon strongly urging transparency. This flood of “dark money” in the most recent election and the next one is the real mess at the IRS.
Henry Geller, Washington