What seems to be lost here – no surprise – are the facts. The IRS must research and grant 501c4 & 501c3 status. A person can’t just open a bank account, solicit funds and not pay any tax. Certain names make it fairly easy to see what the group proposes to do. A group with the name Catholic in it ought to be doing something charitable in concert with a church. But a group with the term Knick or Crimson Tide in it stands a good chance of being a bunch of sports fans who want a way to make their clubhouse tax exempt, etc. So there needs to be research. Similarly, a group with the name Tea Party in it should have to prove that they meet the litmus test of a political organization. This is not to say that their political aspirations define them. But they do have to meet certain criteria, just like EVERY other non-profit group.
A few years back, the Westboro Baptist Church ( the ones who picket at soldier’s funerals because God hates homosexuals) had several tax exempt claims ( property and vehicles) rejected by the IRS because the use did not conform with long established rules for churches. One could probably argue that when 95 out of 100 members of a church are a single family, it is not a church at all. In any case, they did not meet the definitions for a non-profit church.
Similarly, non-profit political organizations have similar rules about what they do, where they get their money, and how they spend their money. It makes sense, then, to have a small group of people who are intimately aware of these rules handle all of them, as opposed to having an organization incorrectly interpreted by a person not familiar with the minute specifics. That is what they did in Cincinnati. They sent all the cases to those experts, just like the greeter at Home Depot would send you to the electrical aisle if you said that you needed to find a way to light your attic. It would not make much sense to send you to the plumbing aisle. The ‘thuggery’ came because there was an uptick of 1000% in applications, so that small group of experts was overworked. I can tell you, first hand, that it can take months to get an application approved. A family member looking to do a community service project for our church waited for 4 months for what should have been a pretty easy application – there was no prospect for any requests of tax exempt property. Has anyone ever complained that the IRS runs efficiently, and accomplishes goals ahead of schedule?
This is much ado about nothing, and for McConnell to start mud slinging exhibits just how little he deserves to be a senator anyway.