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IRS Controversy Resonates in D.C. - Broadcasting & Cable

IRS Controversy Resonates in D.C.

Raises issues with some of government access to data and disclosure of nonprofits' political activity
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The IRS's targeted review of the tax-exempt status of
conservative groups including the Tea Party has spilled over into broadcast and
cable-related issues.

Administration critic and founder of Less Government Seton
Motley said the "scandal" was an argument for why the public should
be protected from "Big Government" data grabs, which he says include
network neutrality regs and their access to the "Internet's spine,"
the president's cybersecurity executive order.

Elsewhere on the IRS front, the Sunlight Foundation, which
has been pushing for more disclosure of campaign finance spending and
advertising, blogged that the controversy "should not undermine efforts to
lift the veil on groups trying to hide their political activities (and their
donors) behind a false claim that they are social welfare organizations."

And finally, Ed Markey (D-Mass.), former chair of the House
Communications Subcommittee and a big fan of protecting data privacy, said the
controversy deserved further investigation. "Americans want a tax system that
is fair and works for everyone," he said. "When it reviews
applications for tax-exempt status, the IRS needs to use completely unbiased,
neutral analysis without any regard for the political views of the applicants.
We need more investigation into this situation, and if any group was unfairly
treated by these inappropriate practices, that would be outrageous and
unacceptable. This kind of action by the IRS cannot be tolerated and people
must be held accountable."

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