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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Focus Vindicated After Yearlong IRS Audit

by Stuart Shepard, managing editor
Focus on the Family
'No dings. No criticisms. Not a single allegation was found to have substance.'

The IRS closed a nearly 12-month audit of Focus on the Family and Dr. James C. Dobson by affirming that the organization committed no wrongdoing.

The investigation, which ended last week, was sparked by allegations from two groups that routinely bash conservatives: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. In particular, CREW falsely accused Focus on the Family and Dr. Dobson, in his capacity as the head of Focus, of electioneering by endorsing candidates for public office. It called on the IRS to conduct a "full-scale investigation" and to revoke Focus' tax-exempt status, levy fines and pursue "civil and criminal penalties."

Dr. Dobson said on his national radio broadcast today that the real target was conservative Christians nationwide.

"The purpose for this was not only to see if they could damage us and take us out," he said, "but to scare every pastor and every nonprofit that's out there."

Under fire, Dr. Dobson said, are churches and Christian groups that speak out about social and moral issues, including marriage, homosexuality and the sanctity of life.

Tom Minnery, senior vice president of government and public policy for Focus on the Family Action, pointed out on the broadcast that CREW is funded in part by George Soros, the "radical Leftist who wants to undermine so much of what this country stands for."

Dr. Dobson read from the letter he received last week from the IRS: "Our examination revealed that Dr. Dobson's reported remarks did not occur in publications of Focus on the Family, did not occur at functions of Focus on the Family and did not involve Dr. Dobson's suggestion that he was speaking as a representative of Focus on the Family. As such, we are closing our examination without any change to our recognition of Focus on the Family as (a tax-exempt organization.)"

Dr. Dobson summarized what the IRS letter said: "No dings. No criticisms. Not a single allegation was found to have substance."

He noted that newspapers nationwide ran a story when the false allegations were filed with the IRS, but, he added, "I doubt if the mainstream media — what Rush Limbaugh calls the 'drive-by media' who shoots at you symbolically and then goes on down the road and leaves chaos behind — I doubt if they'll come back and say, 'By the way, Focus on the Family is squeaky clean.' But we are! And the reason we are is because we believe in the rule of law. We believe in following, to the letter, IRS regulations and every other aspect of the law. We're called by Scripture to do that. And we live within it."

Crossposted at Stop the ACLU

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