James Dobson, Focus on the Family founder, claims IRS discrimination
Yesterday in this space, we noted that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder may not have time to weigh in on Colorado marijuana laws because of two mushrooming scandals -- one of them involving reports that the Internal Revenue Service placed extra scrutiny on Tea Party groups seeking nonprofit status.
Now, James Dobson, founder of Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, has stepped forward to say his latest organization was targeted, too, even though the words "Tea Party" appear nowhere in its moniker.
The controversy is certainly being taken seriously at the White House, with Holder's Justice Department launching a criminal probe and President Barack Obama accepting the resignation of acting IRS director Steve Miller.
In his remarks about the matter, Obama has emphasized that the partisan discrimination being alleged is "inexcusable and Americans are right to be angry about it and I'm angry about it" no matter a group's particular slant.
Whether or not conservative officials believe such statements are sincere, they're doing everything they can to take advantage of the situation, as any politician would in such circumstances. Witness Colorado Representative Cory Gardner, who's released an IRS document -- see it below -- that he says was sent to a Colorado-based group applying for 501(c)4 status.
"This document demonstrates the type of burdensome and politically motivated scrutiny placed on conservative groups," Gardner said in a statement. "This group also had its information illegally leaked to the media, which is an outrageous violation by IRS employees. Those responsible must to be held accountable and fired. Even that, however, will never fully right this wrong or make these groups whole again."
Into this fray steps Dobson, who built Focus on the Family into a powerhouse organization before announcing that he would be stepping down as chairman in February 2009. But he hasn't been idle since then. Among his current endeavors is Family Talk Action Corporation, which a news release describes as "a Christian ministry that was formed for the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ; of providing Christ-oriented advice and education to parents and children; and of speaking to cultural issues that affect the family."
Granted, ideology is also part of the mix: The only link on the bare-bones Family Talk Action page featured on Dobson's personal website is entitled, "Our Response to the 2012 Election." But oodles of other groups with prominent political orientation have been granted nonprofit status, including ones involving Dobson.
When it came to Family Talk Action, however, Dobson maintains that things were different.
Continue to read more about James Dobson's IRS discrimination claims.