When the Barack H. Obama Foundation sought tax-exempt status to raise money for good works in Kenya, the Internal Revenue Service provided quick help.
The IRS approved charitable status for the foundation, which
was run by President Obama’s brother and named after his father, in
about a month’s time. The IRS also agreed to give the group this important financial status retroactively, back to 2009, when it had begun its fundraising.
The 34 days the IRS’s Cincinnati office took to process the
foundation’s application stands in contrast to the waits of several
months — and sometimes longer than a year — that several conservative
groups say they experienced with the same office. Obama has apologized,
saying Americans have a right to be angry that the office improperly
targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny.
handling of the Obama-named group was revealed this week by a
conservative watchdog group, the National Legal and Policy Center, and
reported by the Daily Caller on Thursday. The Washington Post confirmed
reports through public records of the group’s application and the IRS
approval letter, signed by the unit director Lois Lerner.
Abon’go Malik Obama, the foundation’s executive director and the president’s brother, was not immediately available for comment. IRS and White House officials did not return calls and e-mails.
2009, the Barack H. Obama Foundation was accused by the National Legal
and Policy Center of being a scofflaw. The group had been promoting
itself as a charity and seeking donations that it said would be
tax-deductible, but it lacked the required tax-exempt status. Groups
must have or have an active application for tax-exempt status to solicit
such donations. (Continues)