James Dobson, Focus on the Family founder, claims IRS discrimination
|James Dobson speaking at the National Press Club in 2008.|
The IRS didn't exactly rush to process the submission. The attorney is said to have finally phoned the agency in January and February of this year to ask when a ruling would be made on the application.
Problem: The staffer's voicemail box was full, preventing him from leaving messages. But he finally got through to a human in March, at which time the IRS rep in question is quoted as telling him she doubted an exemption would be granted. Why not? The representative supposedly replied that because it didn't present all views, Family Talk Action failed to qualify as educational and sounded like a "partisan right-wing group." She allegedly added, "You're political" because you "criticized President Obama, who was a candidate."
The attorney responded by demanding that the IRS issue a ruling and stressing that "if we have to litigate, we will."
Nine days later, the exemption was granted -- but clearly, Dobson is unhappy, not only about the long delay, but also because the IRS only moved after a lawsuit threat. In a statement, he says, "The American people deserve better treatment from its government than this. Christian ministries and others supporting the family must not be silenced or intimidated by the IRS or other branches of the government."
Even those not normally in Dobson's corner would likely agree with that. Here's the IRS document shared by Representative Gardner.
More from our Media archive circa 2008: "Focus on the Family's James Dobson Strikes Out Against the Fairness Doctrine."