American Elephants

The IRS Scandal: Day 335 — Heating Up! by The Elephant's Child

The IRS scandal is heating up again. Darrell Issa’s committee has released emails that show Democratic staffers from the House’s Government Oversight and Reform Committee communicating with the IRS about True the Vote, an anti-voter fraud organization that the Democrats wanted to suppress. It appears that Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, to whom these staffers reported, may have lied during a committee hearing when he denied that his staffers had put the IRS on the trail of True the Vote.

The emails show the Democrats calling True the Vote to the IRS’s attention and requesting records about that organization. Lois Lerner was anxious to provide for them. The staffers do consistently refer to “publicly available” information, so there is no evidence that the IRS shared confidential taxpayer information with the Democrats.

House Republicans are closing in on Lois Lerner. The Department of Justice under Eric Holder has failed to do anything about the IRS scandal, or any other scandal involving the Obama administration. It is clear that Lois Lerner has broken the law. The House is threatening to hold her in contempt. If Eric Holder refuses to act, they can, if necessary, arrest and imprison her.

There is no evidence that the IRS pursued any progressive group at any time. Documents show that Ms. Lerner actively corresponded with liberal campaign-finance groups Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center which had asked the IRS to investigate if conservative groups including Crossroads GPS were violating their tax-exempt status. After personally meeting with those groups, Ms. Lerner contacted the director of the Exempt Organizations Examinations Unit in Dallas to ask why Crossroads had not been audited. “You should know that we are working on a denial of the application,: Ms. Lerner wrote in an email.

The Ways and Means Committee disclosed that in January 2013, Ms. Lerner asked her staff to examine five conservative groups that the website ProPublica had called “controversial dark money groups,” including Americans for Responsible Leadership, Freedom Path,, America is Not Stupid, and A Better America. Four of those groups eventually got the full IRS super-scrutiny treatment and three were audited.

It is particularly interesting that the groups that had to undergo extra examination from the IRS were those who wanted to prevent voter fraud, and those who expected to donate to Republican candidates. Democrats have been aggressive in trying to block any attempt to require photo ID to assure voters are who they say they are and entitled to vote. Kinda’ makes you thing that Democrats depend heavily on voter fraud to win elections, doesn’t it?


Scandal? What Scandal? They Are STILL Targeting the Tea Party! by The Elephant's Child

Have you been following the IRS Scandal? This is Day 92 on the TaxProfBlog, as he keeps up with the emerging details of a scandal that gets deeper with each revelation. After 92 days, you would think we were nearing bottom, but we’re not even close. Today we learn that in spite of the publicity, in spite of the hearings and the outrage of the American People, They are still targeting Tea Party Groups.

In a remarkable admission that is likely to rock the Internal Revenue Service again, testimony released Thursday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp reveals that an agent involved in reviewing tax exempt applications from conservative groups told a committee investigator that the agency is still targeting Tea Party groups, three months after the IRS scandal erupted.

In closed door testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee, the unidentified IRS agent said requests for special tax status from Tea Party groups is being forced into a special “secondary screening” because the agency has yet to come up with new guidance on how to judge the tax status of the groups.

He would send it for a special “secondary screening, political advocacy” based “on his current manager’s direction.”

From 2010 –2012  from 2010–2012, Tea Party groups faced special scrutiny from the president’s IRS. Agents use a “be on the lookout,” or BOLO list, which said groups with words like Tea Party, Patriot, Freedom, that sort of thing should face special secondary screening for political activities that might hamper their special tax status.

When the scandal erupted, Obama fired the head of the unit, Steven Miller, who was due to retire in a few days anyway, and appointed Danny Werfel as temporary head. Mr. Werfel testified that the BOLO list had been suspended.  That was six weeks ago.

Republicans may be a bit mystified about the outrageous treatment of Tea Party groups, for they know them as nice, ordinary people who don’t much like ObamaCare, and are concerned about unemployment and the disastrously slow recovery, and decided to get politically active. Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, offers a little different perspective.  In an interview today on KNPR, he compared the tea party to the 20th century anarchist movement.

“Who is the tea party? Well, understand, when I was in school, I studied government, among other things, and prior to World War I and after World War I we had the anarchists,” Reid began. “Now they were violent — you know, some say that’s what started World War I, the anarchy moment — but they were violent. They did damage to property and they did physical damage to people.”

“The modern anarchists don’t do that — that’s the tea party,” Reid clarified. “But they have the same philosophy as the early anarchists: They do not believe in government. Anytime anything bad happens to government, that’s a victory to them. And that’s what’s happened. We have absolute gridlock created by a group of people who represent few Americans. But it makes it extremely difficult to get things done.”

Can  he possibly believe that? Or is that just stuff Democrats say. I never thought Mr. Reid was particularly bright, but this seems delusional. This is not the first time he has compared the tea party and anarchists. In April he made similar comments speaking on the floor of the Senate.

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