The case of NOM

In the scandals roiling around the Internal Revenue Service, the case of the National Organization for Marriage is egregious. NOM chairman John Eastman made a powerful presentation of the case before the House Ways and Means Committee last week. John also responded to asinine comments of the Democratic members who suggested that the outrage suffered by the group was somehow deserved.

Unlike the several Tea-Party groups whose applications for nonprofit status have been mired in IRS limbo since 2010, NOM has been operating as a nonprofit since 2008. On March 30, 2012, the Human Rights Campaign — NOM’s chief political opponent — published a copy of NOM’s 2008 Form 990 Schedle B, listing the names and addresses of NOM”s major donors.

HRC published NOM’s Schedule B on its site, under the headline “One of NOM’s Top Secret Donors Revealed: Mitt Romney” and gave it to the Huffington Post for publication the same day. The document — which HRC said it had received from “a whistleblower” — subsequently appeared the sites of outlets including New York, Mother Jones, and the Daily Beast.

Funny thing about that “whistleblower” — if he or she worked for the IRS, he committed a felony. Who will blow the whistle on the whistleblower?

NRO homes in on the NOM case in a good column this morning. Tuttle notes the circumstances of the disclosure:

In an April 2012 letter to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) J. Russell George, whose report has been at the center of the ongoing IRS investigation, NOM set forth its allegations and called for an investigation. NOM received confirmation that an investigation had begun, and the organization was provided a complaint number. One year later, having heard nothing — except for confirmation that the leak had not come from within NOM itself — NOM sent a letter to the TIGTA Disclosure Branch requesting to know whether the investigation was still going on. On May 3, citing confidentiality provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, TIGTA responded that it “can neither admit nor deny the existence of any records responsive to your current request.”

The NOM case can and should be solved. All it takes is an investigator with the authority to call relevant witnesses and place them under oath.

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