Republican ‘Billy Bob’ & Democrat ‘Nancy Nice’: Hypothetical Candidates Used To Train IRS Employees

By Barbara Hollingsworth | September 25, 2013 | 11:49 AM EDT


IRS official Lois Lerner at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on May 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

( –  The Internal Revenue Service used “slanted language” in a hypothetical scenario used to train IRS employees to make decisions about the tax-exempt status of non-profit groups during a presidential election campaign, according to a Sept. 17 memo to members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The "slanted language" included “a disparaging characterization of the Republican candidate, ‘President Billy Bob’ and a flattering characterization of the Democratic candidate, ‘Nancy Nice’,” the memo stated.

(See Oversight Committee IRS.pdf)

The training document, entitled “EO Case Studies Politics,” “vividly illustrates the agency’s apparent views toward conservative ideologies,” the memo added.

The training scenario was updated by the IRS from “a more neutral version” that did not include hypothetical names or party affiliations to one with politically-charged language. For example, in the original version, the presidential candidates were referred to only as “President A” and “Candidate B.”

The original version also refers to the charitable group in question as “Charity C,” an “issue-oriented charity with a viewpoint that is frequently associated with Candidate B’s political party.”

However, in the updated version, “Charity C” has been replaced with “an issues oriented charity named, with a liberal reputation.”

The content of the hypothetical campaign ad used to train IRS workers to evaluate potentially illegal campaign activity by tax-exempt organizations “is decidedly more neutral” in the original version, the memo noted.

The updated version also includes the hypothetical Nancy Nice’s campaign slogan (“A change to improve our nation”) which “presents an allusion to President Obama’s ‘change we can believe in’ campaign rhetoric during the 2008 presidential election,” according to the House committee’s majority staff.

The training material and other documents obtained by the committee “appear to show disdain among IRS employees toward the Tea Party and similar conservative-oriented applications.” reported Monday that the IRS has handed over only 10 percent of the documents subpoenaed by the committee in early August.