The Taxman Cometh —- For Obama’s Enemies

irs102way-9ed22e961f85644fc9a9610dbb6ae2918b24a9a6-s6-c10On Friday, an Obama administration with an already appalling track record of scandals added an equally egregious revelation to the list. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) apologized for what they characterized as an “inappropriate” targeting of tax-exempt conservative organizations, whose names included “Tea Party” or “Patriot,” during the 2012 election campaign. Adding to severity of the debacle, the Washington Post reported Friday that the IRS division head “had no plans to release the information publicly, despite the confirmed wrongdoing.”

Unfortunately for the IRS, Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups, offered up an unsolicited confession of the malfeasance during a Friday tax conference hosted by the American Bar Association. While calling it “wrong and “inappropriate,” Lerner contended that the conservative organizations singled out for additional scrutiny were not the victims of bias. “That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review,” she insisted. That statement stands in stark contrast to the reality that while a total of 300 groups were singled out for extra scrutiny by employees of the IRS tax-exempt unit’s main office in Cincinnati, approximately 75 were conservative organizations.

During the election, many conservative groups had complained that the IRS was subjecting them to unwarranted harassment that included sending them lengthy and intrusive questionnaire forms that sought information about individual members’ political activities, their postings on socials websites, and details about their families, much of which violates IRS policy.

According to Ms. Lerner, the unscrupulous activity was carried out by “low level” employees who unilaterally decided to create a separate category of “Patriot” and “Tea Party” organizations seeking 501(c)(4) tax exempt status. Processing the applications of organizations relegated to that category were then inordinately delayed. Ms. Lerner attempted to blame the delay on the large increase of applications for tax exempt status that had been occurring since 2008. Ironically, that is nothing more than an admission of the continuing lack of preparedness in Lerner’s IRS division.

The aforementioned questionnaires were sent out, demanding a standard of information that was seldom, if ever, applied to other groups. Under penalty of perjury, the IRS demanded to know, not only whether political candidates participated in public forums conducted by the groups, but the nature of the issues they discussed. They demanded copies of literature distributed at public forums, as well as that published by the groups on their websites. If an organization collected dues, the IRS demanded to know how much, as well as the names of all donors and recipients of grants, a violation of IRS policy. They further insisted on obtaining information, not just about every member of an organization, but their family members as well, including those who had merely considered running for office.

Following Lerner’s disclosure, the IRS released a self-serving statement noting that mistakes were made, “but they were in no way due to any political or partisan rationale.” The agency then attempted to obfuscate what Lerner had revealed. “It is important to recognize that all centralized applications received the same, even-handed treatment, and the majority of cases centralized were not based on a specific name. In addition, new procedures also were implemented last year to ensure that these mistakes won’t be made in the future.”

Last year? The Associated Press obtained a draft of an inspector general’s (IG) report that revealed senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny as early as 2011. The report revealed that, in addition to groups with the words “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their names, those with the words “9/12 Project” were also included. The 9/12 Project is a group established by conservative radio and TV host Glenn Beck. Lerner was informed of what was going on in a meeting that took place on June 29, 2011. She told the agents to “immediately” change their criteria for flagging tax exempt groups.

Late Sunday it was revealed that even more groups were targeted. According to the Washington Post, the same report noted that IRS officials also gave added scrutiny to nonprofit groups that were critical of the government, as well as those that educated Americans about the U.S. Constitution. And the Jewish Press revealed that pro-Israel groups “whose positions were potentially inconsistent with the administration’s” also received additional attention. An IRS agent told the staunchly pro-Israel group Z STREET that because it was “connected to Israel,” it received more scrutiny and that other Israel-related organizations were assigned to “a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.”

This watchdog report contradicts testimony given by IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman to a House Ways and Means subcommittee on March 22, 2012. “There’s absolutely no targeting,” Shulman said at the time.

If the IRS’s Friday admission that mistakes were made was intended as an effort to put the controversy to rest, it was a dismal failure. “We reject a simple apology that does nothing to alleviate the danger of this happening again,” said Jenny Beth Martin, a leader of Tea Party Patriots, the largest Tea Party organization in the nation. She further demanded an apology from the president, and a full-blown investigation. Tea Party Express spokesman Levi Russell, who characterized the agency’s behavior as “completely outrageous,” said he would be “very surprised if a class-action lawsuit wasn’t in the works here.”

Republican leaders in the Senate and House piled on as well. “I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not underway at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “An apology won’t put this issue to rest.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) promised a congressional investigation, even as he demanded to know how the White House would hold those responsible accountable for their actions. “The admission by the Obama administration that the Internal Revenue Service targeted political opponents echoes some of the most shameful abuses of government power in 20th century American history,” he said. Boehner also wondered aloud if such abuses were limited to the IRS. “Have other federal agencies used government powers to attack Americans for partisan reasons?” he asked.

Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, believes the pending report by the Inspector General (IG) regarding the investigation he and regulatory subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) demanded last June prompted the IRS to come clean. On Friday, it was announced the IG’s report would be released this week. Issa promised he would “aggressively follow up on the IG report and hold responsible officials accountable for this political retaliation.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney attempted to put some distance between the White House and the IRS, noting that while the agency is part of the Treasury Department it “is an independent enforcement agency.” What Carney failed to acknowledge is that the Treasury Department and the IRS are part of the executive branch of the federal government. Furthermore, he deflected questions about whether the White House itself would conduct an investigation, and said he didn’t know when the president became aware of the abuse. “What we know about this is of concern and we certainly find the actions taken, as reported, to be inappropriate. And we would fully expect the investigation to be thorough and for corrections to be made in a case like this,” he said.

Unfortunately, this case may only be the latest example of IRS abuse conducted by the Obama administration. On Aug. 27, 2010, an “anonymous senior administration official,” subsequently revealed to be Austan Goolsbee, gave an on-the-record background briefing to reporters, singling out Koch Industries for condemnation. In the course of that briefing, he implied that the business was cheating on its taxes. “So in this country we have partnerships, we have S corps, we have LLCs, we have a series of entities that do not pay corporate income tax,” said Goolsbee. “Some of which are really giant firms, you know Koch Industries is a multibillion dollar business,” he added.

Mark Holden, senior vice president and general counsel of Koch Industries, wondered how the White House managed to procure that information from the IRS.

Investors Business Daily reminds Americans that in 1971, a memo by Nixon White House counsel John Dean described how “we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies,” even as he warned that “a low visibility of the project is imperative.” National Review’s Kevin Williams further illuminates the serious nature of these revelations, noting that the “abuse of IRS resources…were cited in the second article of impeachment against Richard Nixon.”

In other words, the Obama administration has another burgeoning scandal on its hands. Yet if one couples the administration’s penchant for political calculation with a media determined to protect Obama and company at all costs, another scandal may be exactly what is needed right now. At the precise moment when the Benghazi atrocity is reaching critical mass, the public is forced to pay attention to yet another seeming abuse of power. As one scandal piles on top of another, including the green energy scandal, and the Fast and Furious gun running scandal, the White House intel leaks, the Benghazi coverup and now an abusive IRS — all of which have engendered stonewalling from the White House, as well as ongoing investigations — a pattern emerges. At this point, however, one can only hope the public has not reached “information overload” and is not tuning events out on account of so much malfeasance occurring in such rapid succession.

One can rest assured, the Obama administration is counting on this public uninterestedness. Obviously, such cynical calculations would have to be based on an almost unprecedented level of contempt for the public by the administration and its media water-carriers. There is little doubt  that both the administration and the left-wing media establishment are more than up to the task.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    This is the tip of the iceberg. If only we can get around Boehner and actually let Congress do their job and do some real oversite. Not sound bites, not posturing or gestures.

  • Alan

    No wonder because there’s also a troubling history of conservatives using nonprofits and shell companies to get around campaign finance laws, perhaps giving historical precedent for IRS agents to put tax-exempt groups with overtly political names under the spotlight. http://www.publicintegrity.org/2005/09/25/3121/pahttp://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/11/05/arizona-non

    • NAHALKIDES

      I can't get too worked up about mere political advocacy, Alan – I don't really care where the money comes from to fight a tax increase. On the other hand, actually using the power of the state to intimidate your political opponents, as occurred here, is a whole different matter. Nice try at excusing abuse of power, however.

      • Alan

        The head of the IRS at the time was a Bush appointee! Where's the selective outrage?

        • gee59

          How about putting him in jail along with the President that allowed – and I bet encouraged these actions.

          Too selective for you?

          • Alan

            you worry about the most insignificant bs… let's start with putting war criminals in jail first–like Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush, and then come talk to me about your selective small potatoes outrage issues, ok?

          • gee59

            Talk about insignificant BS! None of them are in power to do anything so of course and extreme leftist would decide to go after them.

            The list is endless we could go after former Nixon personnel or Carter, or even Clinton people. None of them are doing anything at this time.

            We have people that are committing crimes right now and who does the President blame – "low level employees" and Mitt Romney. Will that cowardly moron ever take any blame for his crimes and stupidity? Of course not and leftist like you will continue to attempt to obfuscate and cover it up

    • RebeccaJean

      Selective, aren't we. Conservatives are no more likely to skirt campaign laws than left wingers are. "Troubling history of conservatives using non-profits" You gave me a good laugh with that one.

  • slider 96

    Hey if "partisan politics " is the game , then this is investigate your opponent 101 . Quit your whining , after all if the Conservative Super Pacs are legit , there's nothing to hide ….riiiiiiight .

    • kasandra

      So then, when the Republican Party again has the White House it will be perfectly alright with you if it uses the IRS to harass your side, right?

      • slider 96

        Correct .You're acting like this is something new between the two parties. It's SOP [standard operating procedure ] just like Benghazi , Acorn , the Birth certificate , The Ammunition purchase by Homeland Security ,….want a list ?

        • kasandra

          The last time a political party did anything like this in this country, it ended up forming the First Article of Impeachment introduced against Nixon. So don't give me this crap about both parties doing it. Maybe it's just SOP for your party.

    • NAHALKIDES

      The party holding the executive branch does not have a license to harass an opposing party. Republicans haven't done anything like this since Nixon, and we see now the most Nixon-like President in the past 40 years is Barry Soetoro.

      • slider 96

        LOLOL…what a croc ! What rock have you been living under ?

        • Defcon 4

          No one died in the Watergate fiasco and cover-up. US citizens were murdered at Benghazi, due in no small part to the actions and inactions of the current presidential regime.

  • truebearing

    The Obama-Soros cabal has always been aware of the power inherent in the IRS. They gave the IRS massive increases in power with Obamacare, and are essentially creating an agency of persecution for anyone opposed to their neo-communist agenda.

    While a class action lawsuit has a certain appeal, it really does no good, other than exposing more treachery in the discovery process. The IRS isn't paying any settlemen anyway, the taxpayers are. The Left has manipulated our system to the point where we essentially punish ourselves when we seek legal redress. No, a lawsuit is not a satisfactory solution.

    It seems that the Obama regime is trying to exhaust/outrage Americans into doing something that he can construe as grounds for martial law. Then he can shut down the internet, talk radio, and of course, Fox News. American Pravda would continue to function as his mouthpiece. We are getting close to the point where the revolution needs to make that brief, violent push that Antonio Gramsci described as the necessary final step.

  • Chezwick

    It's imperative that there is a Congressional investigation and that heads role. If it turns out to be the responsibility of low-level bureaucrats, as the the official position reflects, they should be terminated. But as we can all guess, responsibility is bound to point higher and higher….straight to the White House.

    So, let's find out who these low level officials are….let's get them on to testify under oath, and let's find out what they have to say.

    • Chris

      Obama is a bureaucrat. His intellect is "low level" as are his moral standards.
      Obama is therefore a "low level bureaucrat".
      I blame him!

  • pierce

    I sometimes wonder if Obama didn't sic the IRS on the Tea Party. After all the Tea Party is an obstruction to the Great Obama's plans for breaking up the wealth of this country. Certainly the IRS did not do this on their own, or did they. Even though they are hated by one and all, more fear than hate, some one had to prod them. I would not put it passed Obama to prod them, but let us find out who, they (IRS) don't do it on their own.

    • gee59

      The Tea Party is a political organization not a non-profit

  • ApolloSpeaks

    WHY OBAMA IS TO BLAME FOR IRS TARGETING OF CONSERVATIVE GROUPS

    Why no special scrutiny of unpatriotic, anti-American, free market hating, violence prone Occupy Wall Street Groups? Could our unAmerican, hyper partisan, Constitution hating, free market loathing, socialistic president have something to do with it? If not directly than by the culture of divisiveness, deception, demonization and desperation that he's created throughout his administration seeping down, by way of infection, into the bowels of the IRS? You betcha.

  • stern

    It's not just conservative groups that have been targeted. The IRS has also been discriminating against groups that hold a more pro-Israel view than is correct. Z Street is one: http://fresnozionism.org/2013/05/zionists-targete

  • Kevin Stroup

    Resist the call for resignations. No, resiganation is not the answer. Criminal prosecution is the answer. These people used the power of their office to settle personal vendetta.They used government resources to punish percieved enemies who had not broken the law. Send them to prison for a good long time.

    • NAHALKIDES

      Obama will never prosecute his own people. If the criminal law was violated, and that isn't clear yet, we'll have to have a Republican President to see justice done.

      • defcon 4

        Can you imagine a Republican president investigating all the malfeasance committed by the obama regime? It almost behooves obama to insure a Repub doesn't get elected.

  • STEVE CHAVEZ

    DIDN'T HARRY REID SAY ROMNEY WAS CHEATING ON HIS TAXES and that "he wasn't paying his fair share?" HOW WHO HARRY KNOW THAT? You know that OBAMA had his someone, probably ordered to Valerie or Michelle, and then down the line to get the "LOW-LEVEL" employees to do the dirty work and to take the fall when needed. FOLLOW THE TRAIL FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP.

    THEN YOU HAD JOE THE PLUMBER and his personal info released.

    YOU CAN GUARANTEE THAT THE FBI, IRS, AND HOMELAND SECURITY, whose leaders were appointed by Obama, were used to gather all types of info on any Conservative group, member, and donor.

    WERE THEY ALSO INVESTIGATING LEADING REPUBLICANS LIKE RUBIO, NOW CRUZ, and all the Republican candidates for President??? YOU BET THEY WERE!!!!

  • Rifleman

    That's just the IRS, the Hussein administration (or is that the Hussein/Clinton administration now that the msm has coronated her as the next president?) has lots of agencies to sic on political opposition and other "enemies of the party." The right 'unofficial' email from a surreptitious administration account to the right partisan at the right state or local offices can get the harassment going on those levels as well.

    When the Clinton administration got away with using the IRS and justice department as weapons against their political enemies, we knew we would see it again the next time a democrat occupied the WH.

  • davarino

    So their targeting Conservative groups that want lower taxes, or "cheat" on their taxes. Since when did Geithner and company become conservative? : )

  • Rianna Richards

    I read similar stories on other conservative websites this morning and I am truthfully very shocked.

  • Jim_C

    If these were people known to be building a front to get around tax laws, then they should be investigated. And if there is a reasonable explanation for targeting these groups, no "apology" (from a gov agency? utterly meaningless) should have been issued.

    But so far, I haven't heard a reasonable explanation for why they were targeted–and if there is no reasonable explanation, then this is pretty outrageous, and heads should roll.

  • Liason

    Im no fan of the IRS of of this tyranical government, but let me get this straight…there were 300 groups singled out for special treatment…75 of which were conservative groups??!! Well HELLO…most were NOT conservative groups. Good grief!!

  • Knucklehead

    I just read an article about Obama's reaction to the IRS scandal — phony outrage from the phony white house imposter. Frankly, I have no doubt that this is simply a case of Obama throwing the IRS under the bus to deflect attention from Benghazi. Why not? The IRS can't be hurt. it's the world's biggest and most powerful terrorist organization. They'll survive this, to be sure. They'll come up with as big a pack of lies to justify this as the Obama criminal organization came up with for Benghazi (and pretty much every other anti-constitutional outrage the criminal-in-chief has perpetrated on the country).

    Nothing to see here. Move on, move on.

  • onecornpone

    HA!!! Lerner's unfortunate confession may have been unsolicited, but it was NOT unplanned.

    This is the tyrannical regime carefully choosing the venue, in an attempt to try to get control of this revelation, with a PR campaign certainly orchestrated by a team of Lefty lawyers and Madison Ave damage control experts.

    WHO knows whether the LSM will pursue the information put out, to it's logical conclusion. I suppose it depends how badly they need a distraction from Behghazi. After all, everyone loves to hate the IRS, therefor this little diversion is purely perfect.

    The agency then attempted to obfuscate what Lerner had revealed.

    "Attempted to obfuscate"???

    NOPE!!! This was all planned, held for release whenever the fascist needed a sparkly new topic.

    NOW we can see why this clown-show regime couldn't intercept the Boston IED Massacre… ALL agencies and depts are in full-blown political action against enemies mode.

    And the totally impotent Republican leaders in the Senate and House want to let the "White House" do its own investigation?!?! WTH?

  • tagalog

    The decisions to give stricter scrutiny to applications from Tea Party or Patriot organizations "were in no way due to any political or partisan rationale.”

    Right. Got it. That's the hot ticket.

    Is that one of them there "talking points" they keep on talking about when they talk about the Obama administration lying?

  • marios

    Fifth year of Obama reign and all years accompanied by scandal after scandal. Interesing that Obama is not responsible in any case. What he is doing in WH if he always know nothing about anything? Lie, after lie; deception after deception… His style of reign exactly reminds leaders of USSR and other soci…sts countries. No surprise actually as he recently confessed "I am not already that young, strong MUSLIM SOCIALIST". Muslims with their taqyyia ( infidels deception to promote Islam) and soc…sts with their ideology penetrated by lie of idialistic ideas( which never worked). It was not a joke, it was very rear moment of truth what Obama said. BHO can allow it now as he was already reelected.
    This administration tactic include few task: intimidation of their opponents and awarding of their supporters. It is "Pay to Play " on Federal level. With cotrolled by Leftists MSM cover whatever criminality acts they perform, it is still work for them.

  • slhancock

    If we can get the media to cover any of this…! The IRS should not be a an enforcement agency. They should be a tax collection agency. If taxpayers are found to be delinquent or their forms appear dubious, they should be handed over to an agency within the AG's office. The IRS takes measures that are often criminal and are rarely forced to undo the damage that they inflict on one's person, family, name, etc. They often make mistakes, themselves. They act as a police force when that should NOT be their jobs. Our government is much more than too big, it operates as "big brother", ideological enforcer, NANNY, etc. When you think of the cost of their mistakes, their actions taken to ruin certain groups, individuals, political parties, etc. and then realize that we taxpayers foot all this corruption…it is so mind-boggling and infuriating that it is hard to look at politicians and their crony agencies without utter contempt.

  • slider 96

    Well conservatives are Obama's enemies , and Obama is no doubt conservatives' enemy , so have at it . May as well harass each other , in what ever manner they can get away with . The lines were drawn Nov.'08 and it's been a pisssing contest ever since . Both sides lie through their teeth and denigrate one another so ……CARRY ON .
    Neither side has the Greater Good of the Country at heart My way or the highway rules and compromise may as well be shiit in a dead language . I enjoy MOCKING you both . At Huffpo I'm a Nazi/fascist and at rightwing blogs I'm a commie liberal .

    • kasandra

      And at both places you're a waste of time to read.

  • Cathy

    Could it be the recent revelation encompassing the IRS issue is all an administrative attempt to distract from the Benghazi cover up and the proposed amnesty of over 11 million Illegal immigrants?

    In other words … liberal/progressive politicians and the liberal media have jumped on the bandwagon of Conservative outrage … liberal/progressive politicians and the liberal media that are one with Obama.

    Think about it. The targeting of Conservative organizations by the IRS was known by the administration since 2011. The timing of exposure is suspicious

    • Cathy

      FLASHBACK: Doug Shulman in March 2012: ‘There is absolutely no targeting’
      May 13, 2013 12:23 pm

      Then-Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service Doug Shulman asserted in March 2012 that there was “absolutely no targeting” by the IRS of tax-exempt conservative organizations while testifying before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight.

      The report also stated the investigation revealed that a high-ranking IRS official knew as early as mid-2011 that conservative groups were being inappropriately targeted—nearly a year before Shulman told a congressional committee the agency was doing no such thing: ….

      Read more:
      http://freebeacon.com/flashback-doug-shulman-in-m

    • Cathy

      JAY CARNEY – DAMAGE CONTROL?

      Carney: White House counsel told of IRS review
      May 13, 2013

      White House spokesman Jay Carney says the IRS inspector general notified the White House counsel’s office during the week of April 22 that it was completing a review of the IRS office in Cincinnati that targeted conservative political groups for special examination. Carney says the counsel’s office was not given details about the review.

      Carney said President Barack Obama was not told about the review, and he reiterated Obama’s assertion Monday that he did not learn such groups had been targeted until news reports broke Friday.

      http://www.middletownjournal.com/ap/ap/top-news/o

  • Ellman

    My God, are McConnell and Boehner finally growing a pair? Maybe there's some hope after all?!

  • Ellman

    "At this point, however, one can only hope the public has not reached “information overload” and is not tuning events out on account of so much malfeasance occurring in such rapid succession."

    The people most in need of this information have an innate defense mechanism which automatically precludes 'information overload'. Those lacking this information immunity are the ones experiencing 'overload' and they are likely to be patriots, tea partiers, conservatives, people with a lot of common sense, people with an aversion to 'Kool Aid' and the like. Unfortunately, those with the immunity are in the majority and they also voted for Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. They have no immunity to 'disinformation' and this is what Obama and his propaganda media are capitalizing on.

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