A little publicized IRS decision should have conservatives who write about politics very alarmed. The IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of a conservative political organization, the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty (PHCIL), due to a handful of articles that founder Gary Aldrich wrote in his personal capacity. His decade-old articles simply criticized Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, which the IRS claimed constituted electioneering.
The articles were linked to as “alerts” from the PHCIL website. The American Spectator noted, “Although the literature demands that those like Clinton and Kerry be kept out of power, it never specifically says, ‘Don’t vote for Clinton or Kerry.’ As a former elections attorney for Maricopa County in Arizona, I recognize the difference between politicking vs. electioneering – yet the IRS appears not to care about the distinction.
The IRS justified revoking PHCIL’s tax-exempt status with this draconian language, “[PHCIL] has shown a pattern of deliberate and consistent intervention in political campaigns” and has made “repeated statements supporting or opposing various candidates by expressing its opinion of the respective candidate’s character and qualifications.”