Lois Lerner Approved Charity Status For Liberal Grammy Awards’ Nonprofit Wing

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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With just hours to go until ex-IRS official Lois Lerner gets held in contempt of Congress, let’s check in on the debunked Democratic talking point that Lerner also targeted progressive groups.

Lerner approved public charity status for the foundation housed in the same Los Angeles office and headed by the same executive as the uber-liberal organization that gives out the Grammy awards. Lerner approved the status in 2011, according to a letter from Lerner obtained by The Daily Caller.

“Based on information you provided, we have determined that you meet the requirements for classification as a public charity. … We have updated your public charity status in our records as you have requested,” Lerner wrote to The NARAS Foundation, informally known as The Grammy Foundation, in a Feb. 4, 2011 letter.

Lerner approved the Grammy Foundation’s public charity status while the targeting of conservative groups was well underway. The Grammys organization routinely meets with lawmakers at its annual “Grammys on the Hill” event, where it pushes its view on copyright issues and other political issues related to the recording industry.

Huffington Post blogger Neil Portnow is the head of both the Recording Academy, which gives out the Grammy awards, and also the Grammy Foundation. Both organizations are housed at 3030 Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Longtime Recording Academy member and songwriter George Johnson told TheDC that the Grammys organization is extremely progressive. “They want to keep it progressive. Their ideology is they’re Obama people,” Johnson said.

The Recording Academy’s chief advocacy officer Daryl Friedman “screamed” at Johnson for speaking with Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s office about copyright issues and prevented Johnson, who disagrees with the Academy’s position on copyright issues, from meeting with Republican lawmakers at a recent Grammys on the Hill event.

“I met Rand Paul one time just for a minute at one of his dad’s rallies. I like what hes doing and I’m a Republican independent conservative libertarian,” Johnson said, claiming that he told Recording Academy leadership about his support for Paul. “As soon as I mentioned Rand Paul, [Recording Academy chief advocacy officer] Daryl P. Friedman sent me an email not to contact anyone at the Grammys on the Hill event.”

The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation did not return requests for comment for this report.

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