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Heads should roll at the IRS over targeting of right-wing groups

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No matter that the targets were groups I consider wacky and bad for America, THIS SORT OF THING is outrageous:

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.

The IRS 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. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.

But on June 29, 2011, Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, learned at a meeting that groups were being targeted, according to the watchdog’s report. At the meeting, she was told that groups with “Tea Party,” ”Patriot” or “9/12 Project” in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny, the report says…

The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration is expected to release the results of a nearly yearlong investigation in the coming week. The AP obtained part of the draft report, which has been shared with congressional aides…

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.

While this was happening, several committees in Congress were writing IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman to express concern because tea party groups were complaining of IRS harassment.

In Shulman’s responses, he did not acknowledge targeting of tea party groups. At a congressional hearing March 22, 2012, Shulman was adamant in his denials.

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

Shulman was appointed by President George W. Bush, a Republican. His 6-year term ended in November. President Barack Obama has yet to nominate a successor. The agency is now run by an acting commissioner, Steven Miller.

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7 Comments

  1. Robert

    This kind of action had to be a mandate from someone in upper level authority. Who was that someone? This just does not happen in some random order or manner.

    These investigations are not launched by a few rogue elements. There had to be a direct or implied order to begin these activities.

    How long will it take to interview the people who started and managed the investigations, to see who they got their orders from? 2 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years? Should be quite easy to find out sooner than later. I would think the FBI or whoever is over such investigations could begin as soon as tomorrow. Each case has a manager. That’s where it begins.

  2. Steverino

    Since non-profit organizations are increasing it’s possible that the IRS would conduct their application process with a bit more scrutiny and of course anything associated with the tea party groups should be considered suspicious.

  3. kevind1986

    Love the deflection about who last ran the agency, like that has any relevancy. And it will work, because the low-informed will accept whatever the headlines say. Of course, it’s obvious that this administration’s disdain and antipathy for those that don’t fall in love with him leads directly to this type of behavior. If you work for the government and the president talks like he agrees with you, what can be the harm, right?

  4. kevind1986: As usual, you’re not making any sense.

    What are you babbling about? Pray tell, exactly what headlines will “the low-informed” accept?

    Oh, and that last sentence of yours is a real head-scratcher: “If you work for the government and the president talks like he agrees with you, what can be the harm, right?” What the hell is that supposed to mean?

    We’ve learned from many of your previous comments that you’re not a very good reader. And you’re demonstrating once again that you’re a bad writer as well.

  5. wilson

    Jake Carney’s response.
    “I.R.S. is an independent enforcement agency,” said Carney. “The which I believe, as I understand it, contains only two political appointees within it. The individual who is running the I.R.S. at the time was actually an appointee from the previous administration.”

  6. Good point, Wilson. Thanks.

  7. Steverino

    Darrell Issa is already foaming at the mouth since striking out on Benghazi. This event will give him another opportunity to play judge, jury and executioner. Wish we had someone with this much zeal when W was committing all those war crimes.

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