Why should the tea party be tax-exempt? [Letter]

Columnist Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s Sunday rant about the IRS' alleged targeting of conservative groups ("Why no outrage over the IRS' tea party targeting?" June 29) raised a basic question in my mind: Why should tea party groups get tax exempt status?

The tea party groups are clearly partisan Republican organizations, as reams of news copy dissecting "tea party vs. corporate GOP" primary battles make clear.

Certainly some people drawn to these groups are disgusted with the general state of politics and its purveyors, such as Mr. Ehrlich. But it has been very clear for several years that big money industrialists and operatives like Karl Rove are the ones calling the shots.

Of course, Mr. Ehrlich ignores the fact that the IRS gave extra scrutiny to liberal groups as well, and I think the tax agency should have made decisions more quickly. But I also think all these groups are political and don't deserve tax deductible status.

After the 2012 election, the Obama campaign helped create Organizing for Action, which is also focused on issues, not candidates. But that organization, for which I am a volunteer, has not sought tax-exempt status.

Larry Carson, Columbia

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