Thursday, November 04, 2004 Editorial "IRS probe a waste, unfair

THE Internal Revenue Service has launched an investigation that looks more like a witch hunt. It's examining whether remarks by the chairman of the NAACP about the presidential race violated federal law. The probe is silly and the agency's excuse doesn't hold up.
The IRS says it will determine whether Julian Bond's remarks at the NAACP's annual convention in July violated a law that prevents tax-exempt groups from participating in political activity. But Mr. Bond did not tell NAACP supporters in Philadelphia to vote for or against any candidate, and the tax collectors are now twisting like gymnasts in order to try to justify this investigation.
This has a certain smell of hypocrisy. Pastors nationwide have told members that to remain true to God they should vote for President Bush. Some are targeted by the IRS, but many are not. And how does the IRS explain not going after Catholic bishops who called for priests to refuse to serve Communion to Sen. John Kerry and other Catholic politicians who are pro-choice? Catholics parishioners were openly being told not to vote for Mr. Kerry."