Hmmmm….I wonder why?
Could it be the 2012 election?
E-mails between staff members of the House Oversight Committee and the office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) suggest that the findings of a report on IRS targeting of conservative groups were initially scheduled to be released in September 2012, before the election. It was not formally released until May 14, 2013.
“You mentioned your report would be ready in September. Any update for us?” a committee staff member wrote a TITGA employee on September 24, 2012. The employee responded that same day, explaining that “field work for this audit is still on going.”
Committee staff followed up on December 18, 2012, but the TITGA employee did not reply until December 20 — “Sorry for the delayed response. I was studying for a final,” the employee wrote in an e-mail. “We will be able to offer a substantive briefing, i.e., the facts, findings, recommendations, and outcomes by March.”
Isn’t that cute…studying for final.
But wait, they are mandated to give “incremental” updates it appears:
“You have a responsibility to keep us continually, and according to statue, equally informed,” Issa said. “In this case, it appears you did not. Would you agree with that?”
“No actually,” George answered, explaining that he should not brief Congress until all the information had been analyzed and a solid, correct conclusion has been made. “There are established procedures for conducting an audit. … It would be impractical to give you partial information which might not be accurate. It would be counterproductive, sir, if we were to do that.”
But Issa said, “That is not the statute.”
Issa is referring to part of the Inspector General Act that requires watchdogs to report serious problems to Congress through the head of an agency within seven days. It’s known as the “seven-day rule” — but it’s often used sparingly.
So they waited for a year when they already knew pretty much everything about this scandal:
‘Just yesterday the committee interviewed Holly Paz, the director of exempt organizations, rulings and agreements, division of the IRS,’ Issa said. ‘While a tremendous amount of attention is centered about the Inspector General’s report, or investigation, the committee has learned from Ms. Paz that she in fact participated in an IRS internal investigation that concluded in May of 2012 – May 3 of 2012 – and found essentially the same thing that Mr. George found more than a year later.’
‘Think about it,’ he continued: ‘For more than a year, the IRS knew that it had inappropriately targeted groups of Americans based on their political beliefs, and without mentioning it, and in fact without honestly answering questions that were the result of this internal investigation.’
But everything is safe now….the election is over, Obama won.
Meanwhile our “unbiased” media is hard at work:
Spotted: @joshtpm @capehartj @ezraklein & other lefty columnists headed into the West Wing as a group. POTUS coffee? Carney meeting? Anyone?
— Ari Shapiro (@arishapiro) May 21, 2013
That was yesterday. Today? Same talking points by those stellar journalists:
Josh Marshall (10:15a.m.): Lerner Must Go talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/… Ezra Klein (9:45a.m.): Heads should roll at IRS washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog…
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) May 22, 2013
Now we know damn well where these talking points came from so it looks like Obama and pals have decided that Lerner will be the fall guy. Chop her head off, tell the world it was just some rogue “overworked” agents (so overworked they did MORE work by asking a million intrusive questions of conservative groups), and the scandal will go away.
Keep walking….nothing to see here.
How deep does this go? Just the IRS? Catherine Englebrecht of True the Vote, a truely non-partisan group that simply wanted to clean up the voter rolls from those who were illegally registered to vote, or who had died and remained on the rolls, had the IRS down the throat of her group. Add to that the ATF, the FBI, and the EPA. Not to mention having her personal tax returns audited, as well as having the business she and her husband own audited.
Let me see: Tea Party groups, 9-12 groups, Christian groups, CatholicVote.org, Jewish groups, pro-life groups and traditional marriage groups; all harrassed by the IRS over a 501(c)3/4 tax exemption while Obama’s half brother saw his tax exempt status approved in just weeks when his address was a UPS Store.
Nah, no political motives here. Moveon folks. Nothing to see.
Issa was told about the IRS last July that was before the election. so what do you think ? did Issa conspire to doom Romney ? This is typical of the: first form conclusion: second find facts to back up conclusion
The Investigation Of IRS Targeting Tea Party Completed A Year Ago
‘The misconduct had stopped in May of 2012,” Jay Carney.
OK, then what’s going on now?
Many conservative groups after years of waiting and countless rounds of invasive questions have yet to receive recognition from the IRS.
More than two dozen conservative groups that claim their harassment at the hands of the nation’s tax authority continued long past the White House’s purported end date — and, for a number of them, continues still.
Albuquerque Tea Party
The White House narrative, parroted by outgoing IRS commissioner Steve Miller to the House Ways and Means Committee that “the problems were resolved last year,” simply does not square with the facts.
There are going to be a lot of challenges for Representative Issa ahead, I hope he doesn’t run out of steam, and I applaud him and his staff [so far] for their tenacity…. it must be very frustrating to not be able to get a straight forward answers; I don’t know, or it was rouge employees…
Who knew what and when did they know it…?
Now there are those who are beginning to claim the 5th…which actually may be a good thing in the sense they will seek some type of immunity….let the eating ‘up the food chain’ begin….
What is really frustrating in [all of these debacles] is this Government and this Administration – Ofraud, Pelosi, Reid, Axelrod, Geitner …Benghazi, AP, IRS Blah Blah Blah] this Government continues to keep on insulting the intelligence of a vast number of Americans…. it is just so insulting…the lies, the “rouge actors” and ‘rouge videos’….oh, please….
True The Vote applied for its 501(c) tax exemption in July, 2010. They are still waiting.
So much for “the problems were resolved last year,” by Baghdad Bob.
@john: Let me fill in your half truth.
Issa and his committee knew last year that the IG was investigating tea-party complaints, even though (a) they couldn’t know for sure at the time what the results of the investigation would be and the IG took care to make sure they didn’t find out before November, and (b) if Issa or Romney had accused Obama and the IRS last year of targeting tea partiers without any hard proof, they would have been capital-D Destroyed by the media for it. Imagine Romney walking out to a presser last October, a few points down in the polls, and declaring that he had it on good authority that the Treasury Department would find that the IRS had targeted Obama’s political opponents for extra scrutiny and that he … couldn’t actually prove a word of it. But he had sources! Just like the sources Harry Reid supposedly had showing that Romney hadn’t paid income tax in 10 years or whatever. How would our fair and newly credulous press have reacted to that claim four weeks or so out from an election?
I can’t believe anybody, regardless of party affiliation, etc…would try and defend the IRS in this. Nor make excuses for them. Nor try and suggest that the people trying to get answers were somehow at fault. It’s ridiculous.
Even accepted on the premise that their own internal investigation would like for us to go…that this was just a few low level employees who “went off the reservation”…it should be chilling for every American that this happened: Low level IRS employees, with no supervision or oversight, are left to their own judgement to shape policy by targeting groups based on their political affiliation.
That’s what the IRS has said happened. That somehow, each of these people who were supposed to have had separate managers and oversight (previous laws put in place to keep things like this from happening), were left alone to go off the reservation for 3 years EVEN after it was reported to the highest levels within the IRS that they were doing this.
I’ve seen liberals try to play this off as ..well…it “is” the Tea Party, what if they “were” guilty? Or, trying to dismiss the whole event because they feel this is just RNC making up stuff to go after the President. I’ve seen liberals say…it doesn’t matter. That it’s not important. That some of the people (directors and the IG) involved in this were Bush appointees (which I guess they infer because they were elected by Bush that they are “republicans” and would have no interest in politically assaulting other republicans). I’ve seen references based on this that this was all on internal squabble between Tea Party conservatives and other right wingers. Talk about starting with a theory and then looking for facts?
You can’t get to who knew what when, without asking and looking for who knew what when and letting the facts go where they may. The attempts to slow, drag and/or misdirect that effort isn’t helping the investigation, the President, or your party. If all of these things, from Benghazi, to IRS…were simple misunderstandings…then they would have been easy to clear up long ago with the information that we have. We have already moved on from that point.
I would just say…if you think being a liberal somehow protects you from abuses of gov……think again. If left in place, the most powerful arm of the gov to confiscate, scrutinize and to crush you (financially and otherwise) can be used against you in any number of ways (not just to keep your grass roots campaign efforts in an election year stiffled).
Do you mean like AGW?
Do you mean like the “fact” of the number of uninsured(healthcare-wise)?
Do you mean like gun control?
Do you mean like the 2008-09 financial crisis?
Do you mean about the Bush “tax cuts for the rich”?
Do you mean about any number of other liberal/progressive “facts” and themes that have played on since Bush was first elected in 2000, about any group that hasn’t given blanket support and blind faith to the liberal/progressive doctrines?
The left is famous for doing that which you just described. Remember, when you point a finger at someone, you have three more pointing right back at you.
Since nobody else has commented here…let me just express my outrage…that the ACLU…has been expressing discontent about AlQueda POWs being detained …but not a peep about violations of civil rights of US citizens. When was the last time the ACLU defended a “republican” who had their rights violated?
What don’t we just call it what it is…the “liberal”POV rights union. And then have the IRS remove their non profit status based on political activity/bias…so we can actually fly american flags in our neighborhoods again without being sued. (as to the POTUS comments about “america” and the “flag”. The flag..has reached the same point as public non denominational prayer has. Verboten. My neighborhood association would never allow the display of flags the POTUS used to invoke the “flag” in his speech. Irony?
Dc, perhaps it’s the news company you keep?
In Forbes early this month:
Additionally, the ACLU has been all over the IRS engaging in reading emails and texts without warrants.
Occasionally they do something right. When it comes to the IRS, you’ll generally find that the right and left converge to share their outrage. Take advantage of the rare moment of harmony.
Oh…they put it out in “Forbes”. Well, that explains why I missed it. (sigh)
But also the South Town Star:
http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/20108708-522/irs-civil-liberties-scandals-could-cloud-obamas-second-term.html The American Civil Liberties Union pointed to the IRS scandal as “particularly alarming.”
The Washington Post:
Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said, “The IRS selective enforcement and the surveillance of reporters show a willingness to compromise values in the Obama administration.” He called the practices “enormously troubling.”
“And the tone is set at the top,” Romero said. “While not directly involved, the president bears responsibility for what his government officials can and should do.”
The Washington Times:
The president denies all responsibility in any of this, but Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, says, “the president bears responsibility for what his government officials can and should do.”
As Mr. Romero says, “The tone is set at the top.” It’s time to come clean, Mr. President.
The Daily Caller:
On Friday, the ACLU stated, “Even the appearance of playing partisan politics with the tax code is about as constitutionally troubling as it gets. With the recent push to grant federal agencies broad new powers to mandate donor disclosure for advocacy groups on both the left and the right, there must be clear checks in place to prevent this from ever happening again.”
And many more.
While I don’t follow Forbes or South Town Star or Daily Caller for my news…I do follow Washington Post and Times. Just must have missed it. Thanks for pointing that out.
No biggie, Dc. Figured you must have missed it. Sorry to only link Forbes because I had seen it elsewhere. I know even HuffPo ran it, but didn’t think that link would go over well… LOL! But Forbes was the first respectable place I remembered. It’s been a few weeks since that news was out. And thanks to Nan G for adding the other publications who also caught the ACLU’s observations.
Truthfully, tho they have spoken out, as lawyers they aren’t pointing direct fingers at individuals for liability. Perhaps because they haven’t engaged in specific named targets, (legal liability and all that jazz) they are considered less newsworthy than other groups who are willing to name names quickly, and not necessarily with legal evidence for guilt.
But there’s no doubt that the ACLU doesn’t like what the IRS has been up to. They’ve actually have had far more press on their FOIA demand for data about the IRS mining emails and text messages without warrants. Oddly enough, that particular story is not getting much press in the more conservative media and blogs, since they prefer to focus on the conservative angle.
What the IRS did was reprehensible. On the flip side, and putting it in to perspective, the 2010 mid term elections showed the various conservative groups and TPs being heavily scrutinized since their applications still did very well with their free speech and influence, all without the non profit status they seek. It’s just a financial perk, but has not affected their power of voice in this time. After this news, they will enjoy even more influence, whether they are granted non profit status or not. The press is pure gold.
Lois Lerner seems to have a history of using her past post at the FEC with the same modus operadus of agency harassment of other Republican leaning groups.
Weekly Standard: IRS’s Lois Lerner Has History of Harassing Religious Groups
Yet she would have us believe that she is a innocent supervisor and that it’s those “low level” workers who are to blame.
The question is…can/will the MSM actually follow the investigations sure to come? Or, more likely will they continue to downplay and hide facts from the low information voters who depend on the likes of the TODAY SHOW and similar venues for their “news”? My guess is the latter.
The MSM is the single biggest hurdle the Truth has. Sad but true.
Report: Urged by Palestinians and Anti-Israel Groups, IRS Targeted Five Pro-Israel Orgs