Edward Lee Pitts

Lee teaches journalism at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and is the associate dean of the World Journalism Institute.

Associated Press/Photo by Charles Dharapak

Costly conferences and copious questionnaires

IRS Scandal | Conservative groups converge on Washington to detail IRS abuses as audit uncovers the agency’s lavish spending habits
by Edward Lee Pitts
Posted 6/04/13, 04:55 pm

WASHINGTON—Putting human faces to the ongoing Internal Revenue Service scandal, leaders of Tea Party and social conservative groups appeared before members of Congress on Tuesday, recounting how the IRS delayed their tax-exempt applications and bombarded them with questions and demands that threatened their constitutional rights.

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Photo illustration: Krieg Barrie

Agent exegesis

IRS Scandal | The IRS targeted more than Tea Party groups for special investigations. The agency also went after religious, pro-life, and pro-marriage groups, holding up tax-exempt status for months and even seeking details about group prayers
by Edward Lee Pitts
Posted 5/31/13, 01:00 am

WASHINGTON—Susan Martinek founded Coalition for Life of Iowa because she wanted the pro-life movement to do bigger things in Cedar Rapids. Churches in the town of about 120,000 already held their own events, but Martinek thought coordinating resources would lead to greater outreach. The small-business owner sought tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service in October 2008. Like the head of most fledging nonprofits, she knew more donors would be inclined to give if they could claim tax deductions.

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Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite

'Horrible customer service'

IRS Scandal | Lawmakers grill outgoing IRS chief as he tries to deny any political partisanship in the agency’s actions against conservative groups
by Edward Lee Pitts
Posted 5/17/13, 02:23 pm

WASHINGTON—Trying to provide cover for the White House, the outgoing acting Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner argued Friday that politics are not behind the government agency’s controversial actions toward conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

“I do not believe that partisanship motivated the practices of the people,” said Steven Miller at a House committee hearing on the scandal. “I think that what happened here was that foolish mistakes were made by people who were trying to be efficient in their work.” 

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