By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – The Obama administration is stocked with world-class spin artists, but I doubt any of them are going to figure out how to quickly turn the page on the story of how the IRS targeted the tax-exempt status applications of Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations for special scrutiny, actions IRS officials un-persuasively insist were not politically motivated.

Yes, of course they weren’t. And by the way, the check’s in the mail.

You will be hearing about this one for quite awhile because it offers up a scenario that couldn’t be more offensive to your average American – government power, in this case the special power held by the IRS – being abused for political purposes.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

We can’t and shouldn’t tolerate it, and I’m pretty confident the public won’t stand for any effort to turn this quickly into “old news.”

But on top of their outrageous abuse of power, whoever’s responsible has also endangered an important task of government – protecting us from being defrauded.

Since the Supreme Court did away with many restrictions on independent political advertising, there’s been a deluge of applications by groups for tax-exempt status given to “social welfare” organizations that spend a majority of their money on non-political activities.

They don’t have to disclose their donors. And it seems to me, if any group, whatever their political bias, is going to raise and spend tons of dough and be a player in a campaign, it’s in the public interest to know who they are, and where their money comes from, and to not have to subsidize them by waiving their tax liabilities if they’re exploiting a legal loophole.

But after this fiasco, the ability of the IRS to perform this important screening function is hopelessly compromised.

Nice work, partisans. Good luck putting a positive spin on this one.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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