I heard this on the radio yesterday. The word I heard was that all blame is being pointed at some low level IRS lackeys in Cincinnati who are claimed to have originated this practice without any guidance form management level supervision, and that no one will be punished since no real wrong doing has occurred here.
Here is an AP story on it: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/irs-apol ... ive-groups
Having personally created a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity for my Lions Club, I can well understand how this could be the work of a low level IRS employee. What happens is your application and documentation gets reviewed by an IRS employee that works from home, they go to the office to get a stack of applications to review. They are on a quota system, so many applications to do per week, etc. There is a check list on what they must check and with discretion on others. So ... a particular employee with political views different than that of the applicant would tend to give them a hard time.
I would suspect, an IRS employee, with the political views like many on this forum would give a liberal group extra scrutiny. It's human nature to like your own and dislike others. Combine that with lack of supervision and no real consequences for a bias results in a problem.