Lawrence O’Donnell urges viewers to sign IRS petition on White House website


A new report on the handling of applications for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status rewrites presumptions made by House Speaker John Boehner and Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa on the so-called IRS “scandal.” In recent weeks, both had suggested there was criminal activity involved in the targeting of Tea Party groups, possibly extending all the way to the White House.

On Monday, that argument once again got smacked down after further investigation. The report issued by the new IRS chief, appointed by President Obama as a temporary director, said, “We have not found evidence of intentional wrongdoing by IRS personnel” and they could not find “involvement in these matters by anyone outside of the IRS.”

“So much for the ‘targeting of the president’s political enemies’ theory,” said O’Donnell in his Rewrite segment Monday. But a larger problem still exists, as the The Last Word host noted on his show. “The IRS report did devote some attention to the problem I identified on the first day of this so-called scandal, which is the conflict between the law as written and the IRS regulation that interprets that law. The law says 501(c)(4) organizations must be ‘exclusively’ for the promotion of social welfare and the IRS regulation written in 1959 says they must be ‘primarily’ for social welfare.”

O’Donnell told viewers they can help fix the 1959 IRS regulation at the root of the problem: by signing a petition on the White House’s website. The petition calls for an executive order nullifying the IRS “regulation” over 501(c)(4)s and mandating the original statute be enforced.

At least 100,000 virtual signatures are needed in order to get a formal response from the White House. And the clock is ticking–all signatures must be in by July 6, 2013. By signing, O’Donnell said “America will move one small step closer to sanity on 501(c)(4) law.”

You can sign the petition here.