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Robert Maguire

Robert Maguire's Public Library

  • But of all the groups listed in a 2011 spreadsheet as being flagged for review, only Emerge America and its affiliates ended up being denied. Those groups trained Democratic women to run for office.
  • In the documents Wednesday, Lerner acknowledges how poorly the IRS monitors these groups, which are allowed to spend money on elections as long as they can justify they primarily work to benefit the community at large.

      

    At one point, on Jan. 7, 2013, she wrote an email complaining that the IRS was not following up with groups that hadn't filed their tax returns, or Form 990s. She wrote that if the IRS only opened audits on groups that filed tax returns, "that's a big hole in the system."

  • They conclude that “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”
  • In their primary statistical analysis, the collective preferences of ordinary citizens had only a negligible estimated effect on policy outcomes, while the collective preferences of “economic elites” (roughly proxied by citizens at the 90th percentile of the income distribution) were 15 times as important. “Mass-based interest groups” mattered, too, but only about half as much as business interest groups — and the preferences of those public interest groups were only weakly correlated (.12) with the preferences of the public as measured in opinion surveys.
  • “Majoritarian Electoral Democracy,” with its emphasis on public opinion, elections and representation, provides the theoretical backbone of most contemporary political science (including mine). The training of most graduate students (including mine) is primarily couched in that framework. But Gilens’s and Page’s work makes that look like a bad scientific bet, wishfully ignoring most of what actually drives American policy-making.

  • According to the documents, the IRS began drafting a letter denying Crossroads tax-exempt status two days before the scrutiny of Tea Party groups became public in May 2013. The documents don’t make it clear if the letter was sent. It was still in draft form on May 30, after Lerner had been suspended, and the IRS has taken no final action on the application.

    “The evidence shows that without Lerner’s intervention, neither adverse action would have been taken against Crossroads,” the letter said. “The committee has found no record of Lerner pursuing similarly situated left-leaning groups, despite receiving similar public complaints.”

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