IRS targeting conservative Hollywood group ‘Friends of Abe’

For almost three years, the Internal Revenue Service has scrutinized the conservative Hollywood group “Friends of Abe’s” pursuit of tax exempt status.

The membership list is private, but known members include actors Gary Sinise, Jon Voight and Kelsey Grammer, according to The New York Times. The loosely organized group operates as a nonprofit, and would like donations to be tax deductible.

Fox News’ Trace Gallagher told Megyn Kelly this about the group Thursday:

The group is called ‘Friends of Abe’, named after Abraham Lincoln, and it’s made up of 1,500 conservative members of the entertainment industry. They gather for things like meals, drinks, and to learn about the political process. It is now seeking 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, so that donations could be tax deductible just like some progressive groups. Getting the exemption would prohibit the group from partisan activity. Now, ‘Friends of Abe’ acknowledges having speakers like Karl Rove and Herman Cain, but they deny having a political agenda. ‘Friends of Abe’ says it doesn’t just suspect they were being targeted by the IRS, they say they were told they’re being targeted by the IRS.

The group had been targeted by the IRS, executive director of Friends of Abe and TruthRevolt Managing editor, Jeremy Boreing, told Fox News.

“We understand through our attorneys that our agent at the IRS who was handling our file, specifically said we had been targeted on the BOLO list,” he said. “So I think that probably the reason we’re being targeted is we filed as a conservative educational fellowship.”

Other similar groups have been approved for the same status that the conservative group is seeking, according to The Times, who reported:

People for the American Way, Mr. [Norman] Lear’s group, stands as something of a liberal counterpart to Friends of Abe, though the organization is far larger, with an affiliate that spends millions of dollars a year on issue advocacy in Washington and beyond. But the entertainment industry has been crisscrossed by progressive groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, which maintains a tax-exempt educational adjunct under the 501(c)(3) provision, and includes the producer Laurie David and the actor Leonardo DiCaprio among its trustees. Another, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, is a nonprofit that supports marriage rights for gay people and counts the producer Bruce Cohen and the writer Dustin Lance Black among its founders.

The IRS has not commented on the proceedings, according to TruthRevolt.

Watch the Kelly File report via TruthRevolt:

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Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

Cheryl Carpenter Klimek has been a political consultant handling public affairs, political campaigns and PAC management for nearly 20 years.


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