James Dobson, the pro-life family advocate disclosed today that he was a victim of IRS discrimination, in a revelation that adds to the growing Internal Revenue Scandal.
Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, says he faced discrimination from the federal agency when trying to start a new group.
Family Talk Action Corporation is a Christian ministry that was formed for the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ; of providing Christ-oriented advice and education to parents and children; and of speaking to cultural issues that affect the family. Dobson is the president and CEO.
On September 2, 2011, Family Talk Action filed a Form 1024 with the Internal Revenue Service requesting § 501(c)(4) status. The attorney completing this form had submitted scores of similar applications over his 26 year career with none being rejected.
In January and February 2013, Family Talk Action’s counsel called the IRS reviewing agent, R. Medley (ID no. 52402), to inquire regarding when there would be a determination of the application. Her voice mail box was full on each of these calls so no message could be left. On March 6, he called Ms. Medley again and got routed to her voice mail again. This time, he was able to leave a voice mail message and requested a return call.
Medley did not call back until March 19. Family Talk Action’s attorney asked her when the IRS would issue its determination letter. Ms. Medley responded saying, I don’t think your Form 1024 (application for exemption) will be granted because Family Talk Action is “not educational” because it does not present all views. She continued, saying that Family Talk Action sounded like a “partisan right-wing group” because, according to Ms. Medley, it only presents conservative viewpoints.
She then added, “you’re political” because you “criticized President Obama, who was a candidate.”
Family Talk Action had submitted a couple of sample radio programs upon request from the IRS. None were aired during an election year. It was the opinion of Family Talk Action’s legal counsel that these samples were not only § 501(c)(4) qualified but § 501(c)(3) qualified. Family Talk Action’s legal counsel had never heard an IRS agent express biased statements like those he heard during the March 19 call.
He also felt that the this agent did not understand the difference between § 501(c)(3) and § 501(c)(4) entities and asked her to have the IRS issue its ruling. He then said, “if we have to litigate it, we will.” The IRS issued its determination letter nine days later granting the request for § 501(c)(4) status.
Family Talk Action’s President, Dr. James Dobson explained his release of this information stating: “The American people deserve better treatment from its government than this. Christian ministries and others supporting the family must not be silenced or intimidated by the IRS or other branches of the government.”
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Yesterday, President Barack Obama addressed the massive IRS scandal this afternoon and promised it would never happen again.
“I’ll do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again,” he promised.
The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced he will hold a hearing on the IRS scandal. The federal agency has targeted pro-life groups as well as conservative and religious organizations.
In one case LifeNews has profiled, a pro-life group was told it had to promote abortion. A top pro-life legal group also informed LifeNews that cases it handled support mounting accusations that demonstrate the agency’s abuse of pro-life organizations, in addition to those identified as ‘tea party’, ‘patriot’, or ‘government spending’ groups.