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Tea party battles IRS over tax exempt status inquiries

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                                                                                                                                                                              Bangor Daily News, Friday, March 2, 2012 A3


    names bangordailynews.com spotnews
       Actress Meryl Streep
                                                      YOU’RELOGGEDON                                                      thenation
    (photo) has donated $10,000 to a                                                                                                                                                                                                      t
    Rhode Island scholarship fund                                                                                         Maryland governor
    in honor of fellow Oscar nomi-
    nee Viola Davis, who estab-                YOU CLICKED IT                                REPUBLICAN                   signs gay marriage law
                                                                                                30%
    lished the fund with her sister            HERE ARE THE HEADLINES FROM THE
    in 1988. Upward Bound Direc-               TOP 5 VIEWED STORIES ON THE BDN                  INDEPENDENT                  BELTSVILLE, Md. — Mary-
    tor Mariam Boyajian said                   WEBSITE FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 1:              DEMOCRAT 11%                   land’s governor signed into law
    Thursday that Streep’s dona-                                                             59%                          Thursday a bill to legalize gay
                                               1 Police find body of missing Fla.
                      tion is the larg-                                                                                   marriage, although opponents
                                                 firefighter Perdomo, say murder
                      est single                                                                                          vowed to rally voters to reverse
                      award the fund             suspect owed him $3,000                                                  the change this fall in a referen-
                      has received.            2 Michaud, Pingree and Baldacci               YOU                          dum that’s even anticipated by
                      The Segue In-              may seek Olympia Snowe’s seat;              DECIDED IT                   advocates of the new law.
                      stitute for                King, Raye and Cutler also con-                                             The legislation signed by Gov.
                      Learning in                sidering                                    YESTERDAY’S
                                                                                                                          Martin O’Malley made Mary-
                      Central Falls                                                                                       land the eighth state in the U.S.
                                               3 Ayla Reynolds website providing             WEB SURVEY
                      also received                                                          ASKED:
                                                                                                                          to legalize gay marriage. The
                      $10,000 from               information, comfort for family                                          law takes effect in 2013.
                      Streep on Mon-           4 Students find rifle in Lincoln high         “Which party do                 Six states and the District of                                                AP PHOTO BY WINSLOW TOWNSON
    day in Davis’ honor. Davis grew              school parking lot                          you think will win           Columbia currently recognize           PRESIDENTIAL COOL President Barack Obama waves to the
    up in Central Falls, R.I. Streep           5 Congress closes ‘strip club                 the Senate seat              gay marriages. The state of            crowd as he walks through a snowstorm after getting of Air Force
    won an Oscar for best actress                loophole’ for welfare recipients            vacated by                   Washington also has legalized          One in Manchester, N.H., on Thursday, on his way to speak at
    on Sunday for her portrayal of                                                           Olympia Snowe?”              gay marriage; its law takes ef-        Nashua Community College.
    Margaret Thatcher in “The                                                                — BASED ON 1,632*            fect in June. Voters there also
    Iron Lady.” Davis was nominat-                                                            RESPONSES ONLINE            are expected to petition the mea-
    ed for her role in “The Help.”             YOU SAID IT                                                                sure to referendum this fall.          ment-for-aid negotiations. Sig- supreme leader and half by par-
    … Bristol Palin’s home life in             THE FOLLOWING ARE REACTIONS                                                   Maine legalized the unions          nificant challenges remain, liament.
    Alaska is the subject of a reali-          FROM READERS TO RECENT STORIES:               TODAY’S                      for same-sex couples in 2009, but      however, in achieving the long-
    ty series starring the daughter                                                          QUESTION:                    later that year became the only        term goal of the U.S. and other      Student kills teacher
    of former vice presidential                  Snowe remains vague on what                                              state to overturn such a law           nations: to persuade Pyongyang
    candidate Sarah Palin. Life-               she’ll do next:
                                                                                             “Who do you think
                                                                                             will be the                  passed by a legislature. About 30      to end its nuclear ambitions al-     at school in Kurdistan
    time says it will air 10 episodes          “Olympia … you are going to be                                             states have constitutional             toget her.
    of “Bristol Palin: Life’s a
                                                                                             Democratic                   amendments that seek to pro-                                                BAGHDAD — An Iraqi stu-
                                               missed so much. Thank you for all             candidate for the
    Tripp” later this year. The se-            you have done for all of us Main-             U.S. Senate
                                                                                                                          hibit gay marriage, most by de-        Iranians set to vote               dent shot his American gym
    ries will explore the pressures                                                                                       fining marriage as between a                                              teacher to death and then killed
    of raising her toddler son,
                                               ers. I hope you have a great retire-          race?”                       man and a woman.                       for new parliament                 himself Thursday at a private
                                               ment. ”
    Tripp, as she maintains her                                                                                                                                                                     Christian school in the usually
    close relationship with the                                           — Mags62                                        theworld                                  TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian peaceful Kurdish north of Iraq.
    larger Palin clan, the network                                                           *This poll is not a                                                 leaders are calling for a massive    The shooting in Sulaimani-
                                               “What retirement ? This is not a
    said. In 2010, Palin was a com-            woman who is going away. Power is
                                                                                             scientific survey and
                                                                                             reflects only the opinions
                                                                                                                          North Korea nuclear                    turnout in parliamentary elec- yah, the second largest city in
    petitor on ABC’s “Dancing                  her middle name.”                             of bangordailynews.com       envoy to visit US                      tions Friday as a rebuke to the the semiautonomous region of
    With the Stars.” … An autopsy                                                            readers who choose to                                               country’s enemies and an en- Kurdistan, came after a heated
                                                                   — usegoodsense            participate.
    confirmed that Davy Jones,                                                                                               SEOUL, South Korea — In             dorsement of its political-reli- argument between the two at
    star of 1960s band The Mon-                “She is smarter than the current                                           another sign of warming rela-          gious system.                      the English-language Medes
    kees, died of a heart attack.              crop of GOP candidates. I can’t see                                        tions between two wartime foes,           But behind the calls for unity School, local police said.
    The medical examiner’s office              her playing second fiddle to any of           Get today’s                  a senior North Korean nuclear          as thousands of pre-approved         Students heard shots in their
    in Martin County, Fla., com-               those jokers. Not enough clout in                news,                     negotiator will attend a security      candidates sweep aside their classroom at about 10:30 a.m., dur-
    pleted their examination                                                                 events and                   conference in the United States,       differences in their quest for the ing recess, and ran back into the
                                               the northeast for her to take the
    Thursday morning, a day after                                                                                         a U.S. official confirmed Thurs-       people’s mandate, the vote is room to find the teacher, whom
E   Jones was rushed to the hospi-             Presidency. But maybe the next                  more on                    day .                                  expected to strengthen the hand relatives identified as Jeremiah
    tal. Toxicology tests could take           Maine Governor.”                              your phone!                     Word of Ri Yong Ho’s visit to       of Iran’s supreme leader, Aya- Small of Cosmopolis, Wash., west
    another six or eight weeks, but                                           — I395                                      the forum held by Syracuse Uni-        tollah Ali Khamenei, and the of the state capital of Olympia,
    there’s no sign anything else is
                                                                                             BDNMOBILE.COM                versity comes on the heels of a        hard-line Shiite Muslim clerics and a classmate, Biyar Sardar al
    to blame for the 66-year-old’s                                                 Use your Web-enabled                   breakthrough agreement that            who have come to dominate po- Talabani, 18, lying on the ground,
    death. Jones rocketed to star-                                                                                        will provide much-needed U.S.          litical life here.                 according to the spokesman for
                                                                                   mobile phone or wireless
    dom in the 1960s as a member                                                                                          food aid to North Korea in ex-            At stake are all 290 seats in police in Sulaimaniyah province,
    of The Monkees, a made-for-TV                                                  device to access the latest            change for a rollback of its nu-       the Majlis, or parliament. Few Sarkawit Ahmed.
    rock band patterned after the                                                  headlines and events from              clear programs.                        surprises are expected; reform-      Officials say there doesn’t ap-
    Beatles. Though their televi-                                                  bangordailynews.com. Enter                The agreement announced             ists have been largely sidelined pear to have been a religious or
    sioin show lasted just two                                                     bdnmobile.com into your                Wednesday sets in motion a             in a purge that followed the dis- political motive for the shooting.
    years and the group ultimately                                                 mobile device’s Web browser.           plan laid out by North Korean          puted 2009 presidential election, But a relative of the young man’s
    broke up, they have endured                                                                                           leader Kim Jong Il before his          and the current candidates have said he had argued with Small
    with such chart-topping hits as                                                                                       death in December: to improve          been vetted by a 12-member over what she described as the
    “I’m a Believer” and “Day-                                                                                            relations with the U.S. and to get     body of Islamic clerics and ju- teacher’s open Christianity   .
    dream Believer.”                                                                                                      back to six-nation disarma-            rists — half appointed by the        — FROM WIRE SERVICE REPORTS




    Tea party battles IRS over tax-exempt status inquiries
    BY ALAN FRAM                           recently had similar experiences       pressed surprise at some of the         they are, at their core: a political   hall meetings in the summer of       things like invite guests to dis-
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS                   with the IRS and say its informa-      IRS’s requests, such as the volume            ,”
                                                                                                                          party or a group that would qual-      2009. Support from its activist      cuss issues and teach members
                                           tion demands are intrusive and         of detail it is seeking and the iden-   ify for tax-exempt status.             members has since helped nomi-       about the Constitution and how
       WASHINGTON — The Internal           politically motivated. They com-       tity of donors. But they said it is        The tea party was first widely      nate and elect conservative candi-   to request government docu-
    Revenue Service is embroiled in        plain that the sheer size and detail   the agency’s job to learn what it       emblazoned on the public’s mind                                 ,
                                                                                                                                                                 dates around the country though      ments under the Freedom of
    battles with tea party and other       of material the agency wants is        can to help decide whether tax-ex-      for their noisy opposition to Presi-   group leaders say they are chiefly   Information Act. Some say they
    conservative groups who claim          designed to prevent them from          empt status is warranted.               dent Barack Obama’s health care        educational organizations.           occasionally endorse candidates
    the government is purposely frus-      achieving the tax designations            “These tea party groups, a lot       overhaul at congressional town           They say they mostly do            and seek to register voters.
    trating their attempts to gain tax-    they seek.                             of their material makes them look
    exempt status.                            “It’s intimidation,” said Tom       and sound like a political party   ,”
       The fight features instances in     Zawistowski, president of the          said Marcus S. Owens, a lawyer
    which the IRS has asked for volu-      Ohio Liberty Council, a coalition      who advises tax-exempt organiza-
    minous details about the groups’       of tea party groups in the state.      tions and who spent a decade
    postings on social networking          “Stop doing what you’re doing, or      heading the IRS division that
    sites like Twitter and Facebook,       we’ll make your life miserable.”       oversees such groups. “I think the
    information on donors and key             Authorities on the laws govern-     IRS is trying to get behind the
    members’ relatives, and copies of      ing tax-exempt organizations ex-       rhetoric and figure out whether
    all literature they have distributed
    to their members, according to
    documents provided by some or-
    ganizations.
       While refusing to comment on
    specific cases, IRS officials said
    they are merely trying to gather
    enough information to decide
    whether groups qualify for the
    tax exemption. Most organiza-
    tions are applying under section
    501 (c) (4) of the federal tax code,
    which grants tax-exempt status
    to certain groups as long as they
    are not primarily involved in ac-
    tivity that could influence an
    electio n, a determination that is
    up to the IRS.
       The tax agency would seem a
    natural target for tea party groups,
    which espouse smaller and less
    intrusive government and lower
    taxes. Yet over the years, the IRS
    has periodically been accused of
    political vendettas by liberals and
    conservatives alike, usually with-
    out merit, tax experts say .
       The latest dispute comes early
    in an election year in which the
    IRS is under pressure to monitor
    tax-exempt groups — like the Re-
    publican-leaning Crossroads GPS
    and Democratic-leaning Priorities
    USA — which can shovel unlimit-
    ed amounts of money to allies to
    influence campaigns, even while
    not being required to disclose
    their donors.
       Conservatives say dozens of
    groups around the country have

				
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