The Internal Revenue Service has begun an investigation into whether a speech by NAACP Chairman Julian Bond criticizing the Bush administration violated a federal law prohibiting tax-exempt organizations from engaging in most forms of political activity. If the IRS has any interest in maintaining its credibility, it ought to begin similar investigations into pro-Bush organizations that railed against Sen. John Kerry during the presidential campaign.
According to University of Miami law professor Frances Hill, who also is an expert on the political rights of tax-exempt organizations, Bond was probably on safe legal ground because of the broad nature of his speech and the fact that it did not focus solely on President Bush. Instead, it touched on a range of issues. Some of those issue have long been trademarks of the NAACP, such as equality and justice.
Bond made a good point in stating that the NAACP has criticized both Republican and Democratic administrations. He went on to state, "Only in an Orwellian world would honest disagreement be considered partisan, or honest differences called election interference." We couldn't agree more.