Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - David Fitzsimmons)

In other news, the Center for Public Integrity did some digging and discovered that the Council of Conservative Citizens, the group cited by Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, is officially a non-profit organization that promotes social welfare.

The Council of Conservative Citizens Inc. is listed by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit organization that promotes social welfare, also known as a 501(c)(4). Such groups pay no federal taxes, a form of government subsidy.

Wouldn't it be appropriate to strip the group of its non-profit status? Absolutely, but it probably won't happen for reasons you might guess.

Groups that espouse hate can be stripped of their tax-exempt status, said Marcus Owens, who ran the IRS’s exempt organizations division in the 1990s. That happened to the neo-Nazi group National Alliance in 1982. The Council of Conservative Citizens has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “notorious, racist hate group.”

However, Owens says Republicans in Congress have made it virtually impossible for the IRS to revoke the tax-exempt status of political groups after the recent, so-called tea party scandal. Republicans criticized the IRS for what they said was inexcusable targeting of conservative 501(c)(4)s. And the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said the agency had employed “inappropriate criteria” in scrutinizing some groups’ tax-exemption applications.

As I've been saying for literally years, former Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa's witch hunts and fake scandals have irreparably harmed and hindered government oversight and our standards of accountability.

It's hard to go back once you have completely politicized the oversight process and used it for opposition research. The unaccountable cannot hold others accountable. There is no integrity.