Earlier today, Lois Lerner, the director of the Internal Revenue Service Exempt Organizations division, apologized for the acts of its employees in singling out the exemption applications of Tea Party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny. The IRS added in a statement that such mistakes "were in no way due to any political or partisan rationale."
Any applications that were incomplete, lacked consistent information, or indicated a group would be involved with some type of advocacy, were filed into a certain group for further review.
However, approximately 75 of the 300 groups that were filed for further review were simply filed because they had the names "tea party" and "patriot," Lerner said.
"They didn't do this because there was any political bias going on," said Lerner, who described the workers as "low level." Instead the workers were trying to streamline their work. They could have avoided the whole controversy by classifying the filings as "advocacy" cases, she explained, but they weren't sensitive to the political dynamics.
IRS Apologizes for Scrutiny of Conservative Groups, The Wall Street Journal
Investigations Sought Over U.S. IRS Scrutiny of Anti-Tax Groups, The San Francisco Chronicle