IRS Threatens NAACP
Memo to nonprofit organizations: don't criticize President Bush, lest you incur the wrath of the I.R.S.
In a letter dated Oct. 8 and released Thursday, the I.R.S. told the [N.A.A.C.P.] it had received information that [its chairman, Julian] Bond conveyed "statements in opposition of George W. Bush for the office of presidency" and specifically that he had "condemned the administration policies of George W. Bush in education, the economy and the war in Iraq."
The President has a contentious relationship with the NAACP, as evidenced by his refusal to address the group at its last four annual conventions. Julian Bond contends that his criticisms of the administration were directed to policy and did not cross the line by soliciting support for a particular candidate.
"This is an attempt to silence the N.A.A.C.P. on the very eve of a presidential election," [Bond] said. "We are best known for registering and turning out large numbers of African-American voters. Clearly, someone in the I.R.S. doesn't want that to happen."
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