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Politically motivated IRS Investigation

by Josh K / May 13, 2013 10:28 PM PDT

NAACP leadership continued to denounce an Internal Revenue Service audit of the Baltimore-based civil rights group yesterday, while three members of Congress challenged the IRS to drop the investigation.

A letter sent yesterday to IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson by three House Democrats - Charles B. Rangel of New York, Pete Stark of California and John Conyers Jr. of Michigan - demanded that Everson "publicly, specifically and immediately repudiate the recent actions of the IRS taken against the NAACP."

The IRS is auditing the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People after its chairman, Julian Bond, criticized the Bush administration in a speech at its annual convention in July.

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And their equally poorly conceived attack on the Tea Party.
by Ziks511 / May 13, 2013 10:50 PM PDT

Though in both cases, it may well have been IRS agents internally deciding to go after the goose that might lay a golden egg.


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Did you notice the date on that one?
by Steven Haninger / May 14, 2013 12:36 AM PDT

It's from 9 years ago. The more current objects of IRS scrutiny are linked in a post I made a few days ago and that the president has already commented on. Apparently, prior to last year's presidential election, the IRS used key word filters to flag certain groups which were seeking tax exempt status. Those groups being scrutinized just happened to be considered as unfriendly to the Obama campaign. It's funny how many things come to light after an election that could raise people's suspicions as to campaign integrity.

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Yes, I know how old that story is
by Josh K / May 14, 2013 12:39 AM PDT

I posted it to point out that the accusations being made this week aren't the first time such accusations have been made.

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Looks like I made my post on the subject 4 days ago
by Steven Haninger / May 14, 2013 12:50 AM PDT

and there's not been a single response either in defense or otherwise. So why now?...and why is do so many defenses for wrongful behavior sound so similar to kids pointing their sibling's faults when called to task by their parents. "No fair, mom! Jimmy did almost the same thing and you didn't punish him." Maybe we all should just grow up. Wink

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I've been holding off
by TONI H / May 14, 2013 3:27 AM PDT

with my response to see how badly BO and Carney will be spinning this over the past two days and the next few days. Carney is on right now doing another press briefing.....he got hammered pretty badly on Friday and I'm hoping for another sledgehammer effect today.

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This almost has to be just a few IRS employees
by Steven Haninger / May 14, 2013 4:39 AM PDT
In reply to: I've been holding off

who have schemed this up. I can't think of any way anyone from outside the department could have requested it and gotten away with it. I don't think there's much doubt as to which party's candidates get the most votes from government employees and has the most to win or lose in federal elections, however. Obama made it quite clear (via the innuendo method) that he intended to fill the government coffers and from whose pockets the money would mainly come from. That's about the only thing I can think of that could make this look suspicious as, to my knowledge, the IRS is not a department that gets replaced at every election cycle.

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The current IRS Director is a Bush appointee
by Josh K / May 14, 2013 5:02 AM PDT

That alone makes me think it's highly unlikely that this effort originated from on high.

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I was under the impression
by TONI H / May 14, 2013 6:41 AM PDT

that the IRS director (Shulman...Bush appointee) a year or so ago came to a Congressional hearing and he said emphatically that there was no targeting going on, and that he left that position about a month later and was replaced. And supposedly there were various branches that started this in 2011, more than a year earlier than one high official (Lerner) who apologized last week stated it had started when she also said that it was confined to the Cincinnati branch, which wasn't true and that it had been going on much longer than she said.


It is possible/probable that head officials of various branches are the ones who dreamed this up and it never got to Shulman....but it was definitely going on.

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Funny, that's how I feel about Benghazi.
by Ziks511 / May 20, 2013 12:30 PM PDT

The decision was made in the field, and the requests never made it sufficiently far up the chain of command. In other words, There is no There there. What? was that an echo?


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Sarcasm on your part aside
by TONI H / May 20, 2013 8:18 PM PDT

When you have a leader of a company or a country that indicates over and over with his words the direction HE wants things to go, there are many underlings who take up that banner themselves and believe that the end justifies the means to achieve the goal of the leader. BO may not have given the direct order to do the kinds of things that this administration has been doing and getting away with, but he definitely set the tone for it all right from the very beginning, and when those underlings are actually rewarded with promotions, bonuses, etc. for a 'job well done', the tacit mentality is that not only have they cushioned and protected him and others from direct knowledge (deniability) but that somehow he will also protect them from prosecution. Case in point, the head of the Cincinnati office going on to head up Obamacare at the DC IRS office, Holder over F&F, HC over Benghazi, etc.

There is plenty of 'there there', Ziks........

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I'd not even think that makes a difference
by Steven Haninger / May 14, 2013 6:44 AM PDT

Why would a man in that position continue to kowtow to a former president rather than bow to the new one if his job was at stake? The IRS should be politically neutral but, just like anywhere else, folks of like mind in government positions just might band together for their mutual benefit. I don't think Obama is stupid enough to have gotten personally involved in such shenanigans but I could certainly believe some of his supporters could have. If it's true that such happened, it should backfire in a way that the person whose cause was to be aided was harmed instead.

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Two curiosities about it
by TONI H / May 14, 2013 8:16 AM PDT

The targeting began in earnest early in 2010 (the election year that swamped the Dems in the House), and complaints were being lodged and ignored. The second curiosity is that I'm under the belief that the Treasury Dept controls the IRS so you have to wonder if the complaints ever got that high up the food chain by going directly to them rather than the ladder in the IRS to the director(s). The parties/organizations complaining had to have believed that they couldn't trust anyone high in the IRS would do anything about it, but what was to stop them from going around them straight to Treasury? (Then again, Geithner was in charge of that)

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Been that way since Johnson
by James Denison / May 14, 2013 1:25 AM PDT

He's the one who started it all in the 60's.

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This may be higher
by TONI H / May 14, 2013 11:18 AM PDT

than we thought.......supposedly there are two letters (one from Baucus and one from Shumer with 7 other Dems signing this one along with him) dated from March and June 2010 to both the IRS and the Treasury Dept 'demanding' that they begin strong investigations into Tea Party type of organizations.

I don't have the links available yet and can't take the time right now to search as I have company here...just wanted to report what I just saw on the news.

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Let's keep in mind.....
by Josh K / May 14, 2013 9:43 PM PDT
In reply to: This may be higher

......that there are laws regarding how political an organization is allowed to be and still have tax-exempt status. If a group like the Tea Party, which is a primarily political group, tried to get tax-exempt status then the IRS was doing its job in checking them out. That law goes for groups on both sides of the aisle. If anyone at the IRS singled out conservative groups while not holding left-leaning groups up to the same level of scrutiny, then that is the problem. But just the mere fact of checking out the Tea Party on its own is not a scandal. That would be the IRS doing its job.

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Were they also doing
by TONI H / May 14, 2013 10:23 PM PDT

their job when they decided to also audit and scrutinize the headquarter offices of Billy Graham AFTER he made a public announcement that he was not only donating to but supporting Mitt Romney? Graham's son, who now runs the organization, wrote a scathing letter to the IRS condemning the scrutiny but accused them of 'targeting'. By IRS rules, less than 50% of an organization is supposed to be 'non-political' in nature to qualify and what would normally be a two-month (sixty days) process was being stalled along for over a year in most of these investigations to the point that most of the organizations went under because they couldn't get their donations while under investigation.....effectively shutting them down. I was actually wondering and critical of the 2012 election/campaign period of the Tea Party because you rarely heard from any of those organizations like you did during the 2010 campaign period......now I know why. More and more organizations are coming forward about this and how the IRS effectively bankrupted their organizations by forcing them to use personal funds to keep fighting the IRS while waiting to get their tax-exempt status. In Graham's case, they were forced to use their members' contributions taking away from the charitable work it would have otherwise gone to and that was also pointed out in their letter to the IRS. There was one spokesperson for a conservative group who stated that if they owed $50K to a loanshark and $50K to the IRS, the IRS would get paid first every time because the intimidation and threats are more forceful and effective......loansharks will break your kneecaps, the IRS will destroy you and never bat an eyelash over it.

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Whoever said that about loan sharks.....
by Josh K / May 14, 2013 10:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Were they also doing

.....obviously knows very little about loan sharks.

Were they also doing their job when they audited the NAACP in 2004, right before that election?

Sounds like the IRS audited the Graham people (a tax-exempt organization) after they paid for a bunch of political ads.

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by TONI H / May 14, 2013 11:40 PM PDT

has always been left-leaning; however, you are talking about one audit months before an election (which Republicans lost, BTW) versus hundreds of applications for exemption all geared toward stalling those applications during the period of time when the Tea Party all over the country was gaining ground specifically in order to shut them down prior to the mid-term elections.....and at the request/demand of leading Dems. There is a difference between an audit of the NAACP and hundreds of investigations (not audits) demanding information on those applications that were against the law to even ask for. Moveon.org has not been held to any audits or investigations regarding their status even though they have notoriously been politically left....nor have any other organizations or people like Michael Moore ever been targeting for investigations or audits.

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The Republicans lost in 2004?
by Josh K / May 14, 2013 11:51 PM PDT
In reply to: The NAACP

You mean Kerry won??????

I am not defending biased audits if that's what happened. I just find it hard to believe that they were authorized or ordered from the top of the chain of command there, being that the IRS Director was appointed by the guy who (apparently) lost that 2004 election. Wink

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OK..let's make it plain to you
by TONI H / May 15, 2013 12:32 AM PDT

2004 was the election year where the Republicans lost control of both Houses......

Whether Bush appointed the IRS director doesn't matter. The IRS is supposedly a non-political entity and even after Bush left office, he wanted to keep his job obviously so would continue to take direction from Dems controlling the Administration.....even if the command from Baucus and Shumer et al didn't go directly to him, there are plenty enough under Shuler who ARE politically motivated that they perhaps took it upon themselves to stall those applications, including illegal questions, in order to help the Dem candidates running that year.

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If the IRS Director.....
by Josh K / May 15, 2013 1:05 AM PDT

.....is willing to do things he considers unethical "to keep his job," then he should be fired, no matter what he did or who he did it for.

Let's keep in mind that there is NO indication that the Director knew about or approved of these audits, never mind "was following orders."

Do you think that just this once we can limit the discussion to what we actually know?

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Just this once
by TONI H / May 15, 2013 1:45 AM PDT

If you were actually interested in doing that, Josh, you would have noticed in my posts already that I never blamed him......I actually stated that the demand or directive from the Dems in Congress might never have reached his desk and that 'underlings' might have taken it upon themselves to do this because of their own personal political feelings and the demands WERE coming from Congressional leaders to do this.

YOU are the one who brought the director into all of this by stating he was appointed by Bush, which had NOTHING to do with any of this in the first place. Again, you want to have it both ways as usual.

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You're putting this on Democrats in Congress, Toni
by Josh K / May 15, 2013 2:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Just this once

There is not a shred of information linking what happened to anyone in Congress. That's all speculation on your part.

I pointed out the head of the IRS being a Bush appointee in order to head off a conspiracy theory, not start one.

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Oh good grief....
by TONI H / May 15, 2013 3:13 AM PDT

nobody in this administration will ever be criticized by you or any other liberal......even when other Dems are already jumping on the bandwagon calling for a complete investigation into who all at the IRS took up the torch for Baucus, Shumer, et al. I never called this a conspiracy or even brought up the word, Josh.....YOU did. I'm saying that SOME people at the IRS were willing to break the law on behalf of demands by Dems, including stalling those applications. There has been NO such request by Reps regarding Dem donors, organizations, supporters, etc.


He wanted to transform the USA........and he has for the last over four years.....it's turning into Chicago full steam, and his cronies on the hill are perfectly happy with abusing power to do so. There are already complaints coming in that not only did the IRS bully organizations and people, but the EPA did it as well.......if you weren't part of the green energy agenda or join it, companies were being scrutinized more than ever before and fined/penalized.

And now you have Sebeilius (SP) being investigated for begging for funds from private donors and organizations to fund advertising for Obamacare because the House refuses to allocate the money. This is exactly the same situation that Reagan was caught up with the Contra scandal......and heads rolled over it when it was discovered that private money was being begged for in order to arm the rebels.

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Nice non-response
by Josh K / May 15, 2013 3:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh good grief....

"I'm saying that SOME people at the IRS were willing to break the law on behalf of demands by Dems....."

Yes, I know you're saying that. And I'm saying that I'm aware of nothing linking what happened to any "Dems" or "demands." As far as I can tell you're making that part up.

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Making it up, Josh???? AGAIN with your crap
by TONI H / May 15, 2013 4:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh good grief....
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OK, let's call it "creatively interpreting" then
by Josh K / May 15, 2013 4:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh good grief....

Read the whole article. These are apparently allegations that were never proven and (at least according to the White House) were twisted from a press briefing about tax codes.

It also now appears that left-leaning groups received the same audit letter that has the Tea Party so outraged:


Not only that, but the only group that apparently had its tax exempt status revoked as a result of one of these audits was a liberal group called Emerge America.

That's a pretty lousy conspiracy if it was one.
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Your article is nearly
by TONI H / May 15, 2013 5:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh good grief....

three years old.......that's when the complaints were actually becoming public and were being pooh=poohed by not only the government but also by the media so it became a non-story.

The most recent IG report is directly pointing at various directors at the IRS....the IG also issued directives to the IRS with at least 9 things that the IRS must do in order to correct problems and things they must stop doing. They got an arrogant response back from the IRS telling the IG that there are seven they will do and will not do the other two. The IG is now hitting back pretty hard.

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Of course the article is nearly 3 years old
by Josh K / May 15, 2013 5:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh good grief....

That's when those Democrats allegedly did what you're accusing them of. The article (from the New York Times, by the way) should also satisfy you that "the liberal media" reported on this at the time it occurred.

Nothing about the fact that left-leaning groups were also audited and that the only group to lose its tax-exempt status was left-leaning?

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Name just a few
by TONI H / May 15, 2013 6:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh good grief....

of those left wing organizations that were also 'targeted' and for what? Were those new applications that were being deliberately held (some conservatives groups have been waiting three years already and still don't have their exempt status)? Were those new applications also having to fill out questions about their donors, and if anybody in their organization (donors, friends, or family members) planning on running for office and which office and as what party affiliation? Did the IRS have 'code words' to look for in the titles of those groups in order to target them? Were any of them actually targeted or were they only audited, since there is a difference?Come on, Josh.....you're being vague. Give me facts to back up your statements.

How many of them had to face three audits: one from the Labor Dept and two from the IRS, won them all, but at the personal expense of about $25,000 per audit like Frank VanderSloot was.......and his crime? He had the audacity to be a Mitt Romney donor. His punishment after the audits? NADA because he had nothing wrong. He was flat out harassed and they wanted his money.


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