As you all know the IRS has been delaying 501C’s to many conservative businesses, so I thought this story was interesting.
A LA based company is applying for tax-exempt status with the IRS. Called the Friends of Abe, it is a loose association of about 1500 “players in the entertainment industry” who gather periodically to dine together and listen to invited speakers.
Their meetings are not publicized. Members are discreet about their membership, cameras aren’t allowed and with good reason, according to the Times, “Friends of Abe keeps a low profile and fiercely protects its membership list, to avoid what it presumes would result in a sort of 21st-century blacklist”.
Worse, the IRS is on their case. The approval process for 501 © (3) nonprofit status has been unusually protracted (two years), decidedly hostile and recently included demands that Friends of Abe comply with a “10-point request for detailed information about its meetings” and reveal its membership. “Tax experts say that an organizations membership list is information that would not typically be required” by the IRS.
The Friends of Abe, as readers might have guessed, is an informal association of conservatives, not leftists, in Hollywood, which explains why they meet discreetly, are reluctant to divulge their member names. “a sort of 21st-centruy blacklist” it also explains, of course, why the IRS has singled them out for what might euphemistically be called special treatment.
Source-weekly standard, nyt,