IRS apology on targeting 75 Tea Party groups is NOT EVEN CLOSE to enough

Posted by: ST on May 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I wish I could say I was shocked by this disturbing news (via) but I am most certainly not (bolded emphasis by me):

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for additional reviews because they included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their exemption applications, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. In some cases, groups were asked for lists of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.

The agency — led at the time by a Bush administration appointee [note the AP's attempt at covering for the admin there - ST] — blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware. But that wasn’t good enough for Republicans in Congress, who are conducting several investigations and asked for more.

“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 under way at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

White House spokesman Jay Carney declared it was indeed inappropriate for the IRS to target tea party groups. But he brushed aside questions about whether the White House itself would investigate.

Instead, Carney said the administration expects a thorough investigation by the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration. The inspector general has been looking into the issue since last summer, and his report is expected to come out next week, the IG’s office said Friday.

[...]

Many conservative groups complained during the campaign that they were being harassed by the IRS. They accused the agency of frustrating their attempts to become tax exempt by sending them lengthy, intrusive questionnaires.

The forms, which the groups have made available, sought information about group members’ political activities, including details of their postings on social networking websites and about family members.

IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told Congress in March 2012 that the IRS was not targeting groups based on politics.

“There’s absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people” who apply for tax-exempt status, Shulman told a House Ways and Means subcommittee.

Absolute, total, and complete BULL SH*T.  This was an ELECTION YEAR and groups hostile to the re-election of President Obama were TARGETED BY THE Internal Revenue Service.  John Hinderaker at Power Line explains:

The IRS claims that “the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias.” That last point is risible. Of course it was motivated by political bias. Ms. Lerner says further that “no high level IRS officials knew about the practice.” That, too, seems extremely doubtful. If I knew the IRS was auditing Tea Party groups, how likely is it that no senior agency officials had heard about it?

Congress should investigate this, obviously. By Congress, I mean the House of Representatives. There is zero chance of the Democratic Senate investigating anything related to the Obama administration. (See David Gelernter’s essay posted immediately below.) Come to think of it, this may be one more reason why Obama is so single-mindedly devoted to winning back the House in 2014: the way his administration’s scandals are multiplying, an all-Democrat Congress provides insurance against having to leave office via helicopter.

Yep. And not to freak y’all out even worse, but there’s also this from Professor William Jacobson:

Remember, the IRS is the Obamacare mandate enforcer. What level of confidence do you have as to fair enforcement, and that “low level” IRS employees will not misuse information gained in connection with assuring compliance with the health insurance requirements? (I’ve been warning about that since August 14, 2009, IRS The New Health Care Enforcer.)

Absolutely chilling.

BTW, thank Mark Levin for this issue getting sunlight to begin with:

Let  several other points be noted, though. First, I think our friend Mark Levin merits a lot of the credit for forcing the apology; he was the main one who forced the issue, legally. It was his Landmark Legal Foundation that sent the letter that pressured the IRS into coming clean.

Sunlight is, of course, always the best disinfectant when it comes to lies and corruption – especially in government.

As I noted on Twitter, this has been a bad week for the Obama administration, but a good one for America. Phineas pointed out earlier, the administration’s web of lies on Benghazi is unraveling thanks to more than one or two in the media finally giving a rip, and now comes the forced admission by the IRS that opponents of this President were targeted for audits during a re-election year. More questions will have to be answered on both, and in the case of the IRS,  we need to know who ordered the 75 groups to be targeted and why (even though we all know why), and hearings are already in the works.  Bottom line: The truth about the corruptocrat liars in the White House – and the Chicago Way types who surround them in a protective cocoon can no longer be contained by the our celebrity President’s allies in the mainstream press.

It’s about damned time.

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  • 13 Responses to “IRS apology on targeting 75 Tea Party groups is NOT EVEN CLOSE to enough”

    Comments

    1. Drew the Infidel says:

      After seeing this, it occurs to me that IRS audit of the shooting range where I am a member may not be the “Lone Ranger”. Others may have had a shakedown also, a la the “Chicago way”. Incidentally, we had nothing amiss.

      Along that same line, remember the initiative by the Obhammud administration to require patients to reveal their gun possession and ownership to their provider? That may come back to haunt us now that he has the health care system “by the short hairs”.

      Though their survival plans and skills lack a certain degree of substance, those “preppers” may be onto something after all.

    2. Neo says:

      Let’s consider … Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242, Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law and Title 42, U.S.C., Section 14141 Pattern and Practice

    3. Great White Rat says:

      “He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”

      From the Articles of Impeachment against Richard M. Nixon adopted July 27, 1974.

      Sound familiar?

      http://watergate.info/impeachment/articles-of-impeachment

    4. Carlos says:

      OK, out here in the dusty hinterlands of Oregon, I was aware (as were many others out here) that the IRS was specifically choosing to harass TEA party affiliates before the election last year. That means either the higher-ups of the IRS (mid-level managers and higher, all the way to D.C.) don’t read or listen to the news, pay attention only to the COAM (not real bright if one wishes to be aware of trouble brewing), have reading and comprehension problems (I can see that, but what are they doing as higher-ups if that is the case?), or were aware of the problems and decided they could create plausible deniability if necessary.

      I personally vote for the last one, especially given the revelations of the last couple of days few years.

      And they are the ones to administer the ObamaCare? Heck, save the government the trouble and just shoot yourself before they do.

    5. Even Juan Williams was upset about this one. However, my guess is that in a week the Democrats will be saying that enough of an investigation has already been done and it’s time to “move on.” So we’ll never know how high up knowledge of this went….

    6. Cube says:

      Knowledge of the Tea Party harassment goes all the way to the top. There is no way it can possibly be otherwise. The first rule of survival in a bureaucracy is “Cover your ass”. In other words, make sure you can’t be blamed for anything that might possibly ever go wrong. The best way to do that is to be able to document that you follow approved procedures to the letter, because following procedures is an iron-clad defense against any accusation of wrongdoing in a bureaucracy.

      In this case, it is highly unlikely there is a procedure telling “low level workers” to generate intrusive requests only for the Democrats political opposition, because no one who wants to stay out of prison would ever sign off on such a document. For the same reason, no “low level worker” would ever initiate such document requests without a direct order in writing from their management. And no low level supervisor would give such an order without a written directive from upper management. Therefore you can bet the farm that there is a paper trail documenting this harassment that goes all the way to the top of the agency and everyone involved will use it to avoid being thrown under the bus.

    7. Great White Rat says:

      It gets even better….the latest news is that it wasn’t “low level employees”. Turns out that the people at the top of the IRS were fully aware of the practice. From ST’s first link above:

      Senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011, according to a draft of an inspector general’s report obtained by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner.

      Translation: the commissioner has been caught in a lie.

      Oh, but when the IRS honchos found out, they took corrective action right away. They changed the evaluation criteria:

      On Jan, 25, 2012, the criteria for flagging suspect groups was changed to, “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement,” the report says.

      Because the LAST thing any group should be doing is educating people about the Constitution or Bill of Rights. Having Americans know their rights is downright subversive!! It’s so much easier for the Obama administration to do anything it wants when people think there’s an inconvenient Constitution saying otherwise – even if it’s a document that King Putt ridicules as “deeply flawed” because it doesn’t require any socialist income redistribution. And that Bill of Rights thing can really come pesky – how are you supposed to convince people that taxpayer-funded abortifacients are an absolute, no-question, case-closed right (but owning a firearm isn’t) when some scrap of paper says differently? Hey, if you let people get away with that, the next thing you know, they’ll start wanting you to be a citizen to vote, and alive too. That would be really bad for liberals!! Must stop that at all costs!!

      By the way, note the date on the change…just in time for the presidential election campaign. Just a coincidence, I’m suuuuure.

    8. Carlos says:

      Yep, one of the hallmark cries of the elitists is to make sure of “equal education for all children.”

      What is missing from those cries is that it is not “education” per se, but indoctrination, and if the “education” is to enlighten the children about such nasty things as “freedom” and “liberty” in the traditional definitions of those words, the “education” is not acceptable.

      If, on the other hand, the “education” in such areas as “freedom” and “liberty” is based upon the redefined versions of those words (think “Core Curriculum” here), then that is OK.

      The left are such language sluts. And the sluts that targeted conservative groups see absolutely nothing wrong with what they did because at the end of the day it was only to protect the “truth” as they know it, which, typically to the left, is the only one that counts.

      If the specific higher-ups cannot be determined, every mid-level manager and up should be fired (including the head of the IRS), just to make sure the responsible ones are gotten rid of and to send the message that such behavior is not to be tolerated to ANY degree in our society.

    9. Dana says:

      From the Articles of Impeachment against Richard Nixon, President of the United States, Adopted 28-10 — including by six Republicans — by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, at 7.07pm on Saturday, 27th July, 1974, in Room 2141 of the Rayburn Office Building, Washington D.C.:

      Article 2

      Using the powers of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposed of these agencies.

      This conduct has included one or more of the following:

      He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be intitiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.

      He misused the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and other executive personnel, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct or continue electronic surveillance or other investigations for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; he did direct, authorize, or permit the use of information obtained thereby for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; and he did direct the concealment of certain records made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of electronic surveillance.

      We have been told that these were the acts of rogue, low-level Infernal Revenue Service employees, but IRS senior leadership knew about this since 2011 at the latest.

      Two members of the House Judiciary Committee who voted for the Articles of Impeachment, Charles Rangel of New York and John Conyers of Michigan, are still in the House of Representatives; Mr Conyers is currently the Democratic ranking member of that committee, and would have to vote on any Articles of Impeachment that the Republicans brought against President Obama on these things. (Mr Rangel is no longer on the Judiciary Committee.) Since he believed that these actions, when alleged against President Nixon, warranted impeachment and removal, shouldn’t we expect that he would believe that the same conduct, alleged against President Obama, would similarly merit impeachment?

      Oh, wait, what was I thinking?

    10. Kate says:

      Apology? Who wants or needs an apology. We need a special prosecutor to investigate this to get to the very core of the problem! This is the kind of behavior that brought down Nixon… now that a Democrat is in office I know that they won’t do the honorable thing…decry the activity and find solutions and fire those who were involved.

    11. kd says:

      You know, I find it ironic — and, nasty me, amusing — that those who during the Nixon administration were shouting “your government is lying to you” now are saddled with one headed by their own party.:-?

    12. Carlos says:

      @kd: except that those “saddled with one headed by their own party” are included in the liars desperate to continue the lying of the government because it just happens to fit their own ideology and goals (tyrannical control of people via oppressive government and lining their own pockets from the public treasury).

      We need a thorough house cleaning at all levels of government, but unfortunately, government is the one who makes and interprets the rules, and the low-info voter couldn’t care less if he’s lied to as long as he gets his welfare check each month, whether it’s in the form of an actual welfare check or in the form of a government payroll check. Tough to tell the difference sometimes.