The Dirty Dozen aka Soros, Obama, Jarrett, Shulman, Kelley, Hull, Hall, Lerner, Paz, Thomas, Seok IRS Agents: White House–IRS Collectivist Conspiracy Targets Pro Israel, Pro Life, Tea Party and Conservative Movement Groups To Suppress Voter Turnout! — Violation of Civil Rights — Videos

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UPDATED June 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 111: May 31, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 110: May 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 109: May 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 108: May 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 107: May 3, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 106: April 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 105: April 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 104: April 12, 2013

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Segment 0: The Dirty Dozen aka Soros, Obama, Jarrett, Shulman, Kelley, Hall, Lerner, Paz, Thomas, Seck, IRS Agents: White House–IRS Collectivist Conspiracy Targets Pro Israel, Pro Life, Tea Party and Conservative Movement Groups To Suppress Voter Turnout! — Videos

George-Soros

902px-Barack_Obama_and_Valerie_Jarrett_in_the_West_Wing_corridor_cropped

Douglas_ShulmanWhithouse_Visits_Douglas_Shulman

shulman_lerner

colleen_Kelley_NTEU

Sarah-Hall-Ingram-IRS

Lois_Lerner

IRS Subject Matter Expert
Holly Paz Holly Paz
Manager
Exempt Organizations Guidance

Holly is a manager in Exempt Organizations’ Guidance office, which is responsible for drafting notices, announcements, revenue procedures, and other guidance on exempt organization matters. Holly’s work often involves coordination with the Office of Chief Counsel and the Treasury Department on legislative and technical issues, as well as providing information to the tax writing committees of Congress.

Before coming to Exempt Organizations, Holly served as an attorney-advisor in the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service that helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS. She also worked for eight years as an attorney in private practice focusing on exempt organizations issues. She earned her juris doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

tax-exempt-chart

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ObmaCare-IRS

The Dirty Dozen Movie Trailer

Dirty Dozen (1967) – General Inspection

Movie of the Week: Dirty Dozen – Lee Marvin Review by Best Movies By Farr

cartoon

 George Soros Exposed – Puppet master Glenn Beck

Obama Admin Evolution Of A Scandal – IRS Enemies List – Hannity

Targeted By The Taxman – He Made Us Do It! RPT: IRS Worker Names ATT”Y Carter Hull

Reality Check: IRS Scandal Exclusive

Heads are starting to roll at the IRS. Ben is following a story that is going in many directions. With many who are distancing themselves. In fact, He first told

you on March 1, 2012 that Tea Party and Liberty Groups in seven states claimed they were being targeted by the IRS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sit-….

In this Reality Check compilation, Ben goes in-depth on the IRS vs. Tea Party, Liberty groups, and religious organizations.

The IRS apologized. The white House decries the unacceptable actions and any connection to the current administration.

Ben has tracked the chain of command through the Cincinnati office and is going to show you how this situation transitions into the Washington D.C. office, and possibly beyond.

Obama Admin IRS Scandal & Congress Dealing With Scandals – Krauthammer On O’Reilly

IRS Worker At Center Of Targeting Scandal Gets Promoted -RPT – Cavuto – Wake Up America

Goldberg on IRS Scandal on IRS

Stein on IRS Scandal

IRS – May 6th Letter To Conservative Group Suggest Targeting Is Not Over Cavuto

Tea Party Groups Protests The IRS

The Blaze TV “The IRS Tax Scandal” Matt Kibbe & Adam Brandon 5/29/13

Part II – The Blaze TV “The IRS Tax Scandal” Matt Kibbe & Adam Brandon 5/29/13

Tea Party Groups To Sue IRS Over Targeting Of Conservatives – Megyn Kelly -Wake Up America

Katie Pavlich on Shulman’s 159 Visits to WH – IRS Scandal with Neil Cavuto – Fox Business – 5-30-13

IRS Scandal, How High Does It Go? Catastrophic Failure! – Greta On The Record

FreedomWorks VP: IRS Scandal Just Beginning [The Christian Broadcasting Network]

IRS Scandal – New Information On IRS Chain Of Command – Missing Link Cindy Thomas? – Megyn Kelly

IRS Targeting Scandal Sarah Hall Inram Now Running Obamacare Office & Benghazi Update

Glenn Beck » IRS, ObamaCare, And The White House

You are a conspiracy theorist if you blame Obama

Peakaboo Politics: The IRS Scandal — A Timeline of Confusing Statements

IRS Lois Lerner Pleads The Fifth, Dismissed From Scandal Hearing

IRS 5-22-2013 House Oversight Committee 4

TRIFECTA — Targeting Tea: Obama’s IRS Singles Out Conservative Groups

Mark Levin on Hannity: Obama Said Only Learned About IRS Story on Friday

The IRS and Sarah Hall Ingram

The IRS And ObamaCare

Former IRS Commish Shulman cites Easter Egg Roll for visiting White House 118 times

U.S. Treasury Knew About I.R.S. Partisanship

Why IRS Scandal Could Haunt Obama

FTN: NTEU urges political contributions

Why I Serve: Colleen Kelley, National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)

Myth About Federal Workers

2013 NTEU Legislative Conference – Press Conference

Glenn Beck – IRS targeted conservatives

Obama to “rule” as president

Who is Valerie Jarret?

Fall of America: G. Edward Griffin on Conspiracy Theories

G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy

PJTV: Obama IRS Scandal Uncovers the Ugly Side of Income Taxes

IRS scandal: GOP looks to seize election opportunity, CBS News Video 5-30-2013

FreedomWorks On Tap “The IRS Tax Terror” 5-16-13

Another 30 Mins w/ Glenn Beck & Richard Poe @ GBTV Regarding “The ShadowParty” Book, George Soros

Former IRS Chief’s Wife Works for Leftist Campaign Finance Reform Group

On Friday, reports broke that Former IRS chief Doug Shulman’s wife works with a liberal lobbying group, Public Campaign, where she is the senior program advisor. Public Campaign is an “organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.”

The goal of Public Campaign is to target political groups like the conservative non-profits at issue in the IRS scandal. The Campaign says it “is laying the foundation for reform by working with a broad range of organizations, including local community groups, around the country that are fighting for change and national organizations whose members are not fairly represented under the current campaign finance system.”

CEO of Public Campaign Nick Nyhart has offered words of support for the IRS’ targeting: “There are legitimate questions to be asked about political groups that are hiding behind a 501(c)4 status. It’s unfortunate a few bad apples at the IRS will make it harder for those questions to be asked without claims of bias.”

Public Campaign gets its cash from labor unions like AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, and Move On.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/31/former-IRS-chief-Public-Campiagn

George Soros Gives $1 Million To Barack Obama Super PAC

The Huffington Post | By Paul Blumenthal

The Democrats heavy-hitters are finally coming out of the dugout to play ball in the brave new world of unlimited contributions and super PACs.

A spokesperson for Priorities USA Action, the super PAC backing President Barack Obama’s reelection, confirmed to The Huffington Post Thursday that billionaire investor George Soros has committed $1 million to the PAC. A spokesman for House Majority PAC also confirmed to HuffPost that Soros had given a combined $500,000 to House Majority PAC and the Senate Majority PAC in September.

The New York Times’ Nick Confessore was first to publish the news about the Soros donations. According to Confessore, Soros’ political adviser Michael Vachon announced the contributions at a meeting of the liberal donor group, Democracy Alliance where former President Bill Clinton, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) were urging donors — most of whom have refused until now — to give to super PACs. Aside from the Soros donations, another $10 million was promised by donors attending the meeting.

Confessore writes that Soros, who did not attend the meeting, sent an email to Democracy Alliance members explaining his contributions:

“I fully support the re-election of President Obama,” Mr. Soros said in the email. He had not contributed until now, he wrote, because he opposed the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, which paved the way for super PACs and unlimited money in politics. But since then, Mr. Soros wrote, he had become “appalled by the Romney campaign which is openly soliciting the money of the rich to starve the state of the money it needs to provide social services.”

It’s a sharp contrast to where Soros stood shortly after the 2010 midterm elections, when he expressed criticism of the Obama administration before a group of donors at a private meeting and suggested they pledge their money elsewhere.

Soros already has given $1.275 million to super PACs, the majority of which went to the Democratic opposition research hub American Bridge. His announced contributions this election still come nowhere near the amount that he gave to try to unseat President George W. Bush in 2004. Soros donated more than $30 million in that election — a record sum until international casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson dropped more than $70 million this year into a host of super PACs and non-disclosing non-profits.

George Soros: His Influence on the Media and the IRS Scandal

Soros’ Hand in the IRS Scandal

By Russ Jones

New details regarding the IRS scandal that found the nation’s top tax office intentionally targeting conservative groups are surfacing. Like, for example, the fact that George Soros-funded organizations sent letters encouraging the IRS to investigate conservative organizations.

According to findings reported by the Media Research Center (MRC), Soros gave $6.1 million to liberal groups who urged the Internal Revenue Service to investigate conservative non-profit organizations, including various tea party and Christian groups.

Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture for MRC, says the scandal could be traced to a series of letters that two liberal groups — Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Democracy 21 — sent to the IRS in 2010 and 2011 asking for an “investigation” of political consultant Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.

“What they need to focus on is this timeline,” Gainor suggests. “We actually carry the timeline here, and the timeline is when these lefty operations sent their letters to the IRS and what the IRS did soon after.”

Pro Publica, The Huffington Post and Mother Jones were just a few of the accomplices that helped instigate IRS investigations. But as of 2010, Pro Publica received a two-year contribution of $125,000 each year from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

“It is a who’s who of far-left organizations,” the MRC spokesman offers. “Remember — this is George Soros, who has given $8.5 billion to charity. Of that … that we could track, $550 million has gone to liberal operations here in the United States.”

Applications of nine organizations applying for tax-exempt status that had yet to be approved were sent to Pro Publica. Unapproved applications are not supposed to be made public.

SOURCE: http://www.onenewsnow.com/politics-govt/2013/05/20/soros-hand-in-the-irs-scandal

Soros Gave $6.1 Million to Groups Linked to Pressure on IRS to Target Conservative Nonprofits

By Mike Ciandella (CNS News), May 15, 2013 •

As IRS efforts targeting politically-conservative groups gained momentum, George Soros-funded liberal groups repeatedly called on the IRS to investigate conservative nonprofit organizations.

While the first reported instances of extra IRS scrutiny for conservative groups began in Cincinnati in March of 2010, the attacks began to pick up steam on a national level soon after Soros-funded groups began firing off letters to the IRS in October of that year – following the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.

The talking points of these groups then bounced around a carefully created progressive “echo chamber,” until they eventually made their way into established media outlets. Key IRS policy changes about how it investigated conservative groups took place soon after it received three separate letters sent by Soros-funded liberal organizations.

Several Soros-funded groups including the Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21, the Center for Public Integrity, Mother Jones and Alternet have worked to pressure the IRS to target conservative nonprofit groups. The subsequent IRS investigation flagged more than 100 tea party-related applications for higher scrutiny, including applications that included the words “Tea Party” and “patriot.”

The IRS scandal can be traced back to a series of letters that the liberal groups Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Democracy 21 sent to the IRS back in 2010 and 2011. Both groups were funded by George’s Soros’s Open Society Foundations. The CLC received $677,000 and Democracy 21 got $365,000 from the Soros-backed foundation, according to the Foundation’s 990 tax forms.

The letters specifically targeted conservative Super PACs like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, asking the IRS to scrutinize them more thoroughly to determine whether or not they should retain their tax-exempt status.

On Oct. 5, 2010, when the first letter was sent to the IRS, calling specifically for the agency to “investigate” Crossroads GPS. The letter claimed Crossroads was “impermissibly using its tax status to spend tens of millions of dollars in the 2010 congressional races while hiding the donors funding these expenditures from the American people.” Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer wrote a blog post for the liberal Huffington Post to promote it, and the effort to get the media to notice the anti-conservative campaign began.

On June 27, 2011, a second letter by the CLC and Democracy 21 complained about enforcement of 501(c)(4) tax regulations, asking “that the IRS issue new regulations that better enforce the law.” Two days later, an IRS senior agency official was briefed on a new policy targeting groups which “criticize how the country is being run,” according to a Washington Post story. According to the Post, this policy was later revised.

A third letter by the CLC and Democracy 21, on Sept 28, 2011, got media traction. The letter showed the escalation of the left’s complaint about 501(c)(4) groups. It challenged “the eligibility of four organizations engaged in campaign activity to be treated as 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations.” The four organizations included Crossroads GPS, Priorities USA, American Action Network and Americans Elect.

The Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity ($2,716,328) published a “study” on 501(c)(4) groups, on October 31, which drew heavily from, and referenced, the CLC and Democracy 21. The Center for Public Integrity has strong media connections and boasts an advisory board that includes Ben Sherwood, president of ABC News, and Michele Norris, an NPR host, as well as a board of directors with such prominent names as Huffington Post CEO Arianna Huffington, Steve Kroft of CBS News’s 60 Minutes and Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist).

This study then led to a Mother Jones article about a month later, on November 18, which was reposted on the left-wing blog Alternet on November 21. By December of 2011, the topic had been picked up in a New York Times editorial, and then began receiving other media coverage. That editorial called for “the Internal Revenue Service to crack down on the secret political money already flooding the 2012 campaign from partisan operatives ludicrously claiming to be ‘social welfare’ activists.”

On Jan. 15, 2012, the IRS targeted groups focused on limiting government or educating people about the Constitution and Bill of Rights

Alternet and Mother Jones are both members of The Media Consortium, which is designed to do exactly what happened here. The Media Consortium was created to be a progressive “echo chamber,” where 63 separate left-wing media outlets can network and share ideas, as well as cross-promote stories. Other members of the Consortium include such liberal outlets as The Nation, Democracy Now! and The American Prospect. The consortium has also received $675,000 in Soros funds since 2000. Alternet ($285,000) and Mother Jones ($485,000) have both also received individual funding from Soros’s Open Society Foundations.

This isn’t the only time the IRS has targeted conservative groups recently, nor is it the only connection between the IRS and Soros-funded groups. The IRS gave the left-wing journalism site ProPublica the applications for nine conservative groups pending tax-exempt status.

The IRS also released the confidential donor lists of the National Organization for Marriage to the liberal Human Rights Campaign. Both the Human Rights Campaign ($2,716,328) and ProPublica ($300,000) are also Soros-funded. Despite its blatant liberal leanings, ProPublica boasts a staff of well-known journalists, including veterans of The New York Times and The Wall Street journal, as well as of liberal operations like the Center for American Progress and The Nation, and has even won two Pulitzer Prizes.

Timeline Shows Influence of Soros-Funded Groups:

March 1-17, 2010: First ten reported cases of targeting by the IRS against groups that had ties to the “tea party or similar organizations.”

Sept. 16, 2010: TIME article “The New GOP Money Stampede” quotes Wertheimer;

Sept. 23, 2010: DISCLOSE act, a campaign finance disclosure act specifically targeting a Tea Party group, in the writing of which the CLC participated, fails in the Senate;

Sept. 28, 2010: Democrat Senator Max Baucus writes a letter to the IRS, citing the TIME article;

Oct. 5, 2010: Democracy 21 and Campaign Legal Center petition IRS, Wertheimer writes HuffPo article;

Oct. 7, 2010: Legal brief from HoltzmanVogel PLLC against the Democracy 21 petition;

Oct. 14, 2010: Dick Durbin asks IRS to investigate American Crossroads, HuffPo coverage;

June 27, 2011: Second petition to the IRS by CLC and Democracy 21;

June 29, 2011: IRS senior agency official Lois Lerner briefed on efforts to target groups which “criticize how the country is being run”;

Sept. 28, 2011: CLC and Democracy 21 petition IRS again, this time about four conservative groups;

Oct. 31, 2011: CPI “investigation”;

Nov. 18, 2011: Mother Jones article;

Nov. 21, 2011: Alternet repost of Mother Jones Article;

Dec. 29, 2011: New York Times oped;

Jan. 15, 2012: IRS targeted groups focusing on limiting government or educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights;

February 2012: First articles promoting this issue appear in New York Times, Washington Post and LA Times.

$6.1 Million in Soros Funding Since 2000

  • Center for Public Integrity: $2,716,328
  • Campaign Legal Center: $677,000
  • Media Consortium: $675,000
  • Mother Jones: $485,000
  • Democracy 21: $365,000
  • ProPublica: $300,000
  • Alternet: $285,000
  • Human Rights Campaign: $600,000

SOURCE: http://cnsnews.com/blog/mike-ciandella/soros-gave-61-million-groups-linked-pressure-irs-target-conservative-nonprofits

IRS Chain of Command Suggests Scandal Not Limited to ‘Low-Level Employees’

By MARK HEMINGWAY

After the IRS revealed it had wrongly targeted hundreds of conservative and Tea Party groups, the agency claimed that the misconduct was limited to “low-level employees” in its Cincinnati office. Yesterday, the attorney for Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS’s tax-exempt organizations division, told the House Oversight Committee she would invoke her Fifth Amendment rights, making that explanation much less credible.

Now the local Cincinnati Fox affiliate, FOX19, has done some digging and uncovered information suggesting that top officials at the IRS weren’t too far removed from the six low-level employees identified as making unjustified inquiries. Fox19 has not only identified all six IRS agents in question, it turns out that they all have only one supervisor in common:

When an application for tax exempt status comes into the IRS, agents have 270 days to work through that application. If the application is not processed within those 270 days it automatically triggers flags in the system. When that happens, individual agents are required to input a status update on that individual case once a month, every month until the case is resolved. …

So who in the chain of command would have received all these flags? The answer, according to the IRS directory, one woman in Cincinnati, Cindy Thomas, the Program Manager of the Tax Exempt Division. Because all six of our IRS workers have different individual and territory managers, Cindy Thomas is one manager they all have common.

Cindy Thomas’s name is significant, because Thomas is the woman who leaked nine tax documents to the journalism outlet ProPublica last year. The leaking of pending tax documents is a clear violation of the law. After having uncovered the nature of Thomas’s involvement, FOX19 looks at her place in the IRS chain of command:

Former Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller… retires

Joseph Grant, Commissioner of Tax Exempt and Government Entities… retires.

Lois Lerner, Head of Exempt Organization…says she will invoke her 5th amendment right to not incriminate herself when called before Congress on Wednesday.

Holly Paz, Director of Exempt Organizations, subpoenaed to Washington to be interviewed by members of Congress.

All of this IRS leadership, in Washington D.C.

Then one level down is Cindy Thomas, the highest ranking employee in Cincinnati in this Tax Exempt and Government Entities Department that no one in Congress is talking to… yet.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/irs-chain-command-suggests-scandal-not-limited-low-level-employees_728777.html

Cracks Widen In The IRS Scandal Stonewall

Scandal Watch: New evidence makes it clear that the Internal Revenue Service campaign against conservatives wasn’t the result of two “rogue” agents, but was directed from higher up. The question is, how high up?

The claim that a couple of workers in the bowels of an IRS office in Cincinnati managed to block tax-exempt applications from conservative groups for more than two years, while subjecting them to outrageous, intrusive and improper requests for information, started falling apart days ago.

Last weekend, the Washington Post quoted a staffer saying that “everything comes from the top” at the IRS.

As Colleen Kelley, president of the union that represents IRS agents, told the Associated Press, “No processes or procedures or anything like that would ever be done just by frontline employees without any management involvement.”

And the New York Times reported that IRS accountants got a “directive from their manager” in early 2010 to “be on the lookout” for Tea Party-type groups.

This week, NBC News quoted a former manager of that Cincinnati office who explained how various internal checks and balances would have prevented workers from carrying out such a scheme on their own.

And Cincinnati’s Fox 19 News, which has done more solid reporting on this story than most of the major news outlets, looks to have put the final nail in the “rogue agent” story.

The local news station found that there were six agents — not two as former IRS head Steven Miller insisted just last week — who worked on these tax-exempt applications. These agents, Fox 19 learned, all had different direct managers, who in turn had different territory managers.

That means any directive applying to all these workers would had to have come from at least three levels up the management chain.

That manager turns out to be Cindy Thomas — who the IRS says oversees “exempt organization determinations” nationwide. She also happens to be the same person who ProPublica said signed off on releasing nine confidential tax-exempt applications from conservative groups to that liberal-leaning news website.

So if Thomas ordered the targeting, why? And if someone told her to get it done, who was that?

Fox 19 also learned all these managers would have known that Tea Party applications were being blocked long ago. IRS agents must handle tax-exempt applications within 270 days, after which the system automatically sends out an alert, making the agent provide a status update each month until the case is resolved.

Since the IRS started blocking Tea Party-type applications in April 2010 and didn’t approve a single one for more than two years, “thousands of red flags would have been generated.” Given the 270-day schedule, the first alerts would have hit back in December 2010.

Given all this, it’s not surprising that one top IRS official is now pleading the Fifth, and that the IRS is stonewalling congressional requests for communications relating to the targeting, including crucial emails.

Every new tidbit of information only makes the scandal look worse.

IRS Union Chief Stonewalls

By Jeffrey Lord

Yesterday I asked in this space, among other questions about the IRS scandal, this:

What was the subject of the Obama-Kelley March 31, 2010 meeting?

I received the following response to my question from the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) — the union for IRS employees headed by ex-14 year agent Colleen Kelley. The response came from union spokesperson Dina Long. It reads, in its entirety, this:

Statement of NTEU

On March 31, 2010, NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley attended the White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility at the Old Executive Office Building. The forum was attended by approximately 200 attendees including business leaders, workers, policy experts and labor representatives discussing telework and worklife balance issues. Attendees were broken into five groups to discuss workplace issues. The president made opening remarks. President Kelley did not have any direct contact with the president or the first lady. President Kelley has never discussed the tea party with the president.

Below is a description of the March 2010 forum from the White House web site:

On March 31, 2010, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House Council on Women and Girls hosted the White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility. The Forum brought together small business owners, corporate leaders, workers, policy experts, and labor leaders to explore the importance of creating workplace practices that allow America’s working men and women to meet the demands of their jobs without sacrificing the needs of their families. Building on the momentum coming out of that forum, the Administration is hosting follow-up forums around the country and encourages others to convene events in their communities to engage in dialogue and take action on this important issue.”

Sounds reasonable, yes?

Read again. Let’s see how the Washington game is played.

Over here, in a story by the Daily Caller’s Caroline May, the NTEU responded to Ms. May with the exact same statement that was sent to me.

With one difference. This interesting sentence:

President Kelley has never discussed the tea party with the president.

The folks over at the Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson’s site, are no dummies. If that sentence had been included in the otherwise identical response they received from the NTEU, they would have reported it.

So why was that one particular sentence tacked on to the otherwise identical statement from the NTEU? In a response to me?

Because in fact it is an answer — a disturbingly partial answer — to but one question of eight questions that I asked of Ms. Kelley. Let me share with you the exact email I sent to the NTEU for Colleen Kelley:

Hi…

This is Jeff Lord from the American Spectator.

I am the author of today’s article Obama and the IRS: The Smoking Gun? http://spectator.org/archives/2013/05/20/obama-and-the-irs-the-smoking which mentions NTEU president Colleen Kelley.

US News reports today the March 31, 2010 meeting mentioned in the article was a ” ‘Workplace Flexibility Forum,’ a March 2010 event that was about the state of flexible work arrangements.” I realize there are a number of questions here, but under the circumstances of this IRS controversy I want to make sure that Ms. Kelley has the opportunity to answer. I will be happy to publish her answers verbatim in The American Spectator.

Thanks,
Jeff Lord
The American Spectator

US News mentions that it has received no comment from Ms. Kelley. I would like to get a response from Ms. Kelley to the following questions:

• Did the President himself ever, at any time, discuss the Tea Party with Ms. Kelley?

• Did the President ever communicate his thoughts on the Tea Party to Kelley – in any fashion other than a face-to-face conversation such as e-mail, text or by phone?

• Was the Tea Party or any other group opposing the President’s agenda discussed at the March 31st meeting, or before or after that meeting?

• Will Ms. Kelley be asking the White House to release any e-mails, text or phone records that detail Kelley’s contacts with not only Mr. Obama but his staff? Will Ms. Kelley release any of these communications that are in the files of NTEU?

• Will Ms. Kelley ask the IRS to release all e-mail, text or phone records between Kelley or any other leader of the NTEU with IRS employees? With the Oversight Board? IRS employees are federal employees paid with taxpayer dollars.

• Has Ms. Kelley ever been given access to IRS records of Tea Party cases? Has she ever discussed the Tea Party or any conservative organization with IRS employees at any level?

• What did Ms. Kelley discuss with the President or any White House or government official at the December 3, 2009 White House Christmas Party that she attended?

• What role did Executive Order 13522 play in the IRS investigations of the Tea Party and all these other conservative groups?

That would be eight questions for “President Kelley,” as she was called in the NTEU response.

The very first question was:

Did the President himself ever, at any time, discuss the Tea Party with Ms. Kelley?

To which the NTEU responded by simply tacking on the following single sentence to their boilerplate reply to the media:

President Kelley has never discussed the tea party with the president.

But the rest of it? The answers to questions two through eight?

Silence.

Silence from the official NTEU spokesperson Dina Long. Silence from Colleen Kelley herself.

There was no “I’ll get back to you further.” There was no “Give us some time, what’s your deadline?” There was just….silence.

Note as well that when contacted by the Washington Post last week, the NTEU’s Kelley was, in the words of the Post headline, “mum.” Wrote the Post:

So far, the National Treasury Employees Union, which generally is not shy with public comment, has next to nothing to say about that or anything else.

NTEU is working to get the facts but does not have any specifics at this time. Moreover, IRS employees are not permitted to discuss taxpayer cases. We cannot comment further at this time,” NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley said via e-mail.

A call to the NTEU office in Cincinnati resulted in a similar response: “We’ve been directed by national office. We have no comment.”

So what do we have here?

This.

A powerful labor union — the union that represents IRS employees — is displaying a pattern of refusing to answer questions. Other than the solitary statement to The American Spectator that “President Kelley has never discussed the tea party with the president.”

Beyond a generic, boilerplate answer to media inquiries, there is silence.

No answers about releasing union e-mails or phone records to or from the White House, the IRS or the IRS Oversight Board (on which board sits a former NTEU president) and no answers on all the rest.

But over here at the Washington Post, we have, buried in a story about the Cincinnati office of the IRS, this key phrase:

“Everything comes from the top. We don’t have any authority to make those decisions without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive.”

Got that?

“Everything comes from the top.”

The top is where Colleen Kelley, the head of all those unionized IRS workers in Cincinnati, operates.

The top is the White House, the IRS offices in Washington, D.C., and the IRS Oversight Board.

The top is what makes it possible for the IRS union to have the run of the IRS, to get an Executive Order (# 13522) from the President to “allow employee and unions to have pre-decisional involvement in all workplace matters….”

The top is where Colleen Kelley goes to a White House Christmas party as the guest of President and Mrs. Obama — six days before that Executive Order 13522 is issued.

The top is where Colleen Kelley can be the head of the IRS union that gets its dues, its very survival money, from employees being paid by taxpayer dollars — and not have to answer questions about the details of her “collaboration” with the White House, the Obama-run IRS and the IRS Oversight Board.

And being at the top is what gives Ms. Kelley the belief that she can head an IRS public employees union — and do the old Nixon stonewall.

She isn’t the only one at the top busy stonewalling right now.

And as with Watergate, the place to get to the bottom of the top is Congress.

Where a new version of an old question should be asked:

What did the IRS union president know — and when did she know it?

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/05/21/irs-union-chief-stonewalls/

The Liberal Union Behind the IRSBy Jeffrey Lord

“My question is who is going to jail?”
House Speaker John Boehner on the IRS Scandal

The President couldn’t even bring himself to breathe a word of the truth.

He could fire some hapless Acting Commissioner, but last night Mr. Obama never came close to discussing that which must never be discussed.

The IRS?

It’s about a union: the National Treasury Employees Union. The NTEU. A left-wing union representing 150,000 employees in 31 separate government agencies, including the IRS. A union that not only endorsed President Obama for election and re-election, but a union whose current president, Colleen Kelly, was a 14-year IRS agent and now is both union president and Obama administration appointee (of which more in a moment).

It’s about 94% of NTEU union contributions going to Democrats in the Senate and House in 2012 — candidates who campaigned as vociferous opponents of the Tea Party.

And the recently released report from the Treasury Inspector General? You will not find a single reference to the NTEU. Whose members are both player and referee in the exploding controversy over the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Which raises the obvious question: how many NTEU members were involved in the writing of the Inspector General’s report?

Even more to the point, what contact — what coordination — has the Obama White House had with their allies in the NTEU leadership as both the White House and the NTEU race to get on top of a scandal that is rapidly engulfing both?

Did I mention that the NTEU has no comment on all of this? And that when President Obama went in front of cameras to make his statement on the IRS scandal — he never once mentioned his very powerful union buddies that have the run of the IRS? Right down to the control of who gets a Blackberry? Literally.

Let’s first see how the IRS/NTEU game with the Tea Party and conservatives is played, shall we?

In the 2012 election cycle, the IRS union gave its money this way:

For the U.S. Senate:
Total to Democrats: $156,750
Total to Republicans: $1,000

For the U.S. House:
Total to Democrats: $391,062
Total to Republicans: $23,000

And the candidates on the receiving end of those IRS employee dollars? Yes indeed. They were candidates who were running flat out against the Tea Party, depicting Tea Party-supported candidates as dangerous, extremists, and crazies. Exhibiting exactly the anti-Tea Party antipathy on the campaign trail that has been revealed to be permeating the IRS.

No wonder. These Senate and House races were fueled in part by money donated by IRS employees.

Let’s take a look at specific races where the IRS employee money was involved.

Wisconsin: One of those IRS employee-backed Senate candidates was Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who in fact won her Senate race over ex-Republican Governor Tommy Thompson.

The NTEU, the union representing IRS employees, gave Baldwin $8,500. And what was Baldwin’s view of the Tea Party? If you check over here at the Midwest Values PAC, a left-wing political action committee set up by liberal Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, you will find this headline:

National Memo: Tammy Baldwin Runs Straight At The Tea Party

The story begins this way, and I have put the key sentence in bold print:

Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin wants to be the first openly gay candidate elected to the United States Senate. In an exclusive interview with The National Memo over the weekend, she made clear how she means to go about doing it: running straight at the Tea Party.

Indiana: In the Indiana Senate race, the Democrats’ candidate was Joe Donnelly, who used his $5,000 contribution to run a winning anti-Tea Party race against Republican Richard Mourdock. Donnelly’s campaign website, presumably financed in part with the money contributed by IRS employees, has this headline attacking the Tea Party:

FACT CHECK: Mourdock Trying to Change Subject from Extreme TEA Party Views

The text of the Donnelly press release begins this way, with a direct attack on the Tea Party:

Indianapolis, Ind.—Today, Joe Donnelly’s campaign responded to Richard Mourdock’s latest ad trying to change the subject from his pattern of extreme TEA Party views.

“Hoosier voters are rejecting Richard Mourdock’s pattern of TEA Party extreme positions, so he is desperate to change the subject,” said Paul Tencher, campaign manager. “In fact, Indiana voters are responding to Joe’s message of working with both parties to get things done for middle class families. The only person playing politics in this race is Mr. Mourdock, as he tries to distract voters from his extreme views that are out of the mainstream.”

Missouri: Over in the Missouri Senate race between Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Todd Akin, the IRS employee money — in the form of a $10,000 contribution to McCaskill — was used by the McCaskill campaign to help send this e-mail to supporters that bluntly attacked the Tea Party as “dangerous”:

Akin’s Rap Sheet Makes It Clear: Tea Party Congressman’s Outside Of The Mainstream Views, Dangerous Policies Are Wrong for Missouri, From his record to his rhetoric, everything about Todd Akin’s Tea Party policies are outside of the mainstream and dangerous for Missouri families.

When Missouri Republicans nominated him last night, they pinned their Senate hopes on a far right, Tea Party Congressman whose candidacy diminishes the party’s prospects for November.

And over in House races? At the very top of the high dollar list were two vividly anti-Tea Party candidates who each received a $10,000 contribution of IRS employee dollars.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: Pelosi’s strategy was made plain in this interview with liberal columnist Eleanor Clift of the Daily Beast:

Stung by the debt-deal loss, the minority leader plans to get Democrats back on their jobs message and hammer Tea Party lawmakers as extremists who want to destroy government.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer: Hoyer famously attacked the Tea Party this way, as seen with this headline:

Hoyer: Tea Party People Come From Unhappy Families

There are a whole lot of people in the Tea Party that I see in these polls who don’t want any compromise. My presumption is they have unhappy families.

Understanding all of this — that IRS employees themselves are paying, through their union the NTEU, for the election of anti-Tea Party candidates — the absence of any mention whatsoever of the connection between the IRS and the NTEU puts the IG report in a very different light.

For example.

The IG report says — and I will bold print the key phrases — the following:

The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention. Ineffective management: 1) allowed inappropriate criteria to be developed and stay in place for more than 18 months, 2) resulted in substantial delays in processing certain applications, and 3) allowed unnecessary potentially involving information requests to be issued.

Although the processing of some applications with potential significant political campaign

intervention was started soon after receipt, no work was completed on the majority of these

applications for 13 months. This was due to delays in receiving assistance from the Exempt Organizations function Headquarters office. For the 296 total political campaign intervention applications TIGTA reviewed as of December 17, 2012, 108 had been approved, 28 were withdrawn by the applicant, none had been denied, and 160 were open from 206 to1,138 calendar days (some for more than three years and crossing two election cycles).

More than 20 months after the initial case was identified, processing the cases began in earnest. ….IRS officials stated that any donor information received in response to a request from its Determinations Unit was later destroyed.

Just in these opening statements of the IG report there is one very significant and glaring omission.

Where is the NTEU?

Note the phrases in bold print:

“The IRS”
“identified for review Tea Party and other organizations”
“Ineffective management”
“the processing”
“delays in receiving assistance from”
“approved”
“IRS officials stated”
“request from its Determinations Unit”

In each and every case these phrases identify actions taken by people — by IRS employees. IRS employees are members of the NTEU. The NTEU that is using money from these very same IRS employees to fund the campaigns of anti-Tea Party candidates like Baldwin, Donnelly, McCaskill, Pelosi and Hoyer. Not to mention all the rest of the Democrats who got a piece of the IRS employee money action.

As one would suspect, given the enormous clout of the liberal IRS union, it’s all about the politics. Liberal politics and the financing of the liberal welfare state. A federal version, if you will, of the recent famous struggle between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and state employee unions.

How powerful is the NTEU within the IRS?

Look no further than this IG report from back in January of this year that discusses the role the union has inside the IRS bureaucracy in the minutia of which IRS employees get to carry a Blackberry. The report notes:

In June 2010, the IRS and the NTEU signed an agreement to standardize IRS policy regarding which IRS employees would be allowed (referred to as a “profiled” position in the agreement) to receive certain information technology equipment, including aircards and BlackBerry® smartphones.

Notice: the NTEU, which gave 94% of its campaign money to anti-Tea Party candidates, has the clout within the IRS to demand a say in who can and cannot carry a Blackberry and receive other high tech communications equipment. The report goes on to say:

Initially, IRS policy limited the assignment of BlackBerry® smartphones to executives and senior/departmental managers. However, the agreement between the IRS and the NTEU expanded availability to employees below the executive and senior/departmental level.

This doesn’t even mention the power the NTEU has inside the IRS to decide everything from promotion rules to size of employee workspaces and on and on.

So the obvious.

If you are working in the IRS, and you are an NTEU member, and you know your union leadership is funneling your union dues to anti-Tea Party candidates, and your union has so much raw power within the IRS that they even control whether you, an IRS employee, can get even such mundane tech gear as a Blackberry — what attitude are you going to display as you review Tea Party applications that must, by law, come in to the IRS for approval?

You already know what to do. And inside the IRS, that’s exactly what was done. The Tea Party, in the vernacular, was screwed. By IRS bureaucrats whose union money is being used to attack the Tea Party. Of course these IRS employees know what to do — most probably without even being asked. There is no need to ask. And if they don’t follow the union program — and want a Blackberry — tough luck.

And what of the NTEU president, Ms. Kelly? The one-time IRS agent also doubles as an Obama appointee (announced here by the Obama White House) to the Federal Salary Council. Identified in the Washington Post as:

…a panel obscure to most Washingtonians but one that performs a vital role in recommending raises for most federal employees.

Got that? The President of the NTEU — a union that has gone out of its way to use IRS employee money to defeat the Tea Party — has a “vital role in recommending raises for most federal employees” — which includes, of course, IRS employees.

As if IRS employees don’t have enough incentive to go after the Tea Party, their anti-Tea Party president has a say in whether they get not just a Blackberry but a raise as well.

Can you say: “conflict of interest”?

Let’s stop here and take a look at a famous incident with the IRS that has made news in the last few days: the Articles of Impeachment filed against President Richard Nixon.

By now, all manner of people have been reminded that President Nixon’s resignation was prompted by the House Judiciary Committee passing Articles of Impeachment, with Article 2, Section One specifically saying:

He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored 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.

But there’s something missing in this recall of the tale of Nixon and the IRS.

In the early 1970s, President Nixon bypassed Congress and postponed salary increases for General Schedule federal employees. This included, of course, the IRS. The NTEU was furious with Nixon and took the President to court in a case called NTEU v. Nixon. The union won, and the federal government was forced to pay $533 million in back pay to federal employees.

So far, so normal in the world of Washington and relationships between a president and federal employees. Right?

Wrong.

Two years later, in 1974, the year the Watergate scandal reached high tide and Nixon was forced to resign, his abuse of the IRS cited in Article 2 as one of the reasons, there was another story out there involving the IRS and Richard Nixon.

As the liberal drive to get Nixon increased to the force of a political hurricane, reporter Jack White of Rhode Island’s Providence Journal-Evening Bulletin received an illegal leak — from the IRS. Specifically, an illegal leak from someone inside the IRS — an IRS employee — that leaked Richard Nixon’s 1970 and 1971 taxes. There was an immediate uproar — not about the leak or the identity of the leaker — but over the accusation that Nixon had underpaid his taxes. The House Judiciary Committee took the information and ran with it, opening an entire line of inquiry about Nixon’s tax deductions. So public was this it resulted in Nixon famously answering a question at a press conference this way:

People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.

And while people are remembering Nixon in the current furor over the IRS because of his own abuse of the IRS and Article 2, there was another Article —Article 4 — that was based on the leaked information from the still-unknown IRS employee to reporter Jack White. Read Article 4:

He knowingly and fraudulently failed to report certain income and claimed deductions in the year 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972 on his Federal income tax returns which were not authorized by law, including deductions for a gift of papers to the United States valued at approximately $576,000.

Nixon vigorously disputed this, of course. But it didn’t matter. He was out the door, forced to resign. A leak from the IRS to the media about Nixon’s taxes one big no-never-mind.

And what happened to reporter Jack White? The man who received the illegal leak of Nixon’s tax returns — a violation of law — and published them?

Jack White was rewarded by his liberal media peers with the 1974 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for National Reporting.

So.

What’s really going on with the IRS?

The Internal Revenue Service , with all of its mighty taxing and police powers, is in the hands of anti-Tea Party, anti-conservative, political activists. Liberal political activists from the NTEU masquerading as neutral career bureaucrats. The money of IRS employees used to fuel the National Treasury Employees Union’s open and expensive assault on the Tea Party and conservatives.

And comment on all this from the NTEU? Here’s this from the Washington Post:

So far, the National Treasury Employees Union, which generally is not shy with public comment, has next to nothing to say about that or anything else.

“NTEU is working to get the facts but does not have any specifics at this time. Moreover, IRS employees are not permitted to discuss taxpayer cases. We cannot comment further at this time,” NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley said via e-mail.

A call to the NTEU office in Cincinnati resulted in a similar response: “We’ve been directed by national office. We have no comment.”

No comment? No wonder.

IRS employees are not permitted to discuss taxpayer cases”??!! What a joke.

Here in the Wall Street Journal is author James Bovard with a short history of the political manipulation of the IRS by various presidents, and Bovard notes that: “With the current IRS scandal, we may have seen only the tip of the iceberg.”

Aside from Nixon they include FDR, JFK, and Bill Clinton. The difference is the latter three weren’t forced to resign because of it — and Clinton’s abuse of the IRS was not include in the Articles of Impeachment that focused on his lying to a grand jury over that liberal favorite — sexual harassment.

The real question now?

With the IRS assuming serious police powers of Obamacare, in effect the members of one left-wing labor union will have access to the private health care records of every single American.

And notes the Wall Street Journal, again the bold print for emphasis:

This March the IRS Inspector General reiterated that ObamaCare’s 47 major changes to the revenue code “represent the largest set of tax law changes the IRS has had to implement in more than 20 years.” Thus the IRS is playing Thelma to the Health and Human Service Department’s Louise. The tax agency has requested funding for 1,954 full-time equivalent employees for its Affordable Care Act office in 2014.

Got that? The real meaning here is that the NTEU is asking for 1,954 more union members whose union dues will be put to use to “hammer the Tea Party” in the words of Nancy Pelosi.

As James Taranto also noted over in the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

The Internal Revenue Service last year supplied a left-leaning nonprofit charity with confidential information about conservative organizations, which the charity disseminated to the public, ProPublica reported yesterday.

Once again, IRS employees — they of the anti-Tea Party union NTEU — were caught leaking private information.

Did I mention they were targeting Billy Graham — 95 year old Billy Graham??!!! Why? Because the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was urging “voters to back ‘candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles….’”

You know what terrifies every liberal in America right now? You want to know the real reason President Obama abruptly felt the need to go on national television last night and fire the Acting Commissioner of the IRS last night as Americans were having their dinner?

The distinct possibility that the IRS and the whole confection of Big Government liberalism built around the federal taxing power is about to implode in scandal.

Big scandal. The kind of scandal that will make Watergate look like a piker.

And the irony?

That in seeking to destroy the credibility of the Tea Party, the Obama administration and its allies have destroyed not just the credibility of the IRS and one very seriously powerful union.

They have destroyed their own credibility.

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/05/16/the-liberal-union-behind-the-i

IRS’s Shulman had more public White House visits than any Cabinet member

Publicly released records show that embattled former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House at least 157 times during the Obama administration, more recorded visits than even the most trusted members of the president’s Cabinet.

Obama-admin-visitors

Obama officials who’ve visited the White House (As prepared by The Daily Caller)

Shulman’s extensive access to the White House first came to light during his testimony last week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Shulman gave assorted answers when asked why he had visited the White House 118 times during the period that the IRS was targeting tea party and conservative nonprofits for extra scrutiny and delays on their tax-exempt applications.

By contrast, Shulman’s predecessor Mark Everson only visited the White House once during four years of service in the George W. Bush administration and compared the IRS’s remoteness from the president to “Siberia.” But the scope of Shulman’s White House visits — which strongly suggests coordination by White House officials in the campaign against the president’s political opponents — is even more striking in comparison to the publicly recorded access of Cabinet members.

An analysis by The Daily Caller of the White House’s public “visitor access records” showed that every current and former member of President Obama’s Cabinet would have had to rack up at least 60 more public visits to the president’s home to catch up with “Douglas Shulman.”

The visitor logs do not give a complete picture of White House access. Some high-level officials get cleared for access and do not have to sign in during visits. A Washington Post database of visitor log records cautions, “The log may include some scheduled visits that did not take place and exclude visits by members of Congress, top officials and others who are not required to sign in at security gates.”

The White House press office declined to comment on which visits by high-ranking officials do and do not get recorded in the visitor log, but it is probable that the vast majority of visits by major Cabinet members do not end up in the public record.

Nevertheless, many visits by current and former Cabinet members are in the logs, and the record depicts an IRS chief uniquely at home in the White House.

Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama’s friend and loyal lieutenant, logged 62 publicly known White House visits, not even half as many as Shulman’s 157.

Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, to whom Shulman reported, clocked in at just 48 publicly known visits.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earned a cool 43 public visits, and current Secretary of State John Kerry logged 49 known White House visits in the same timeframe, when he was still a U.S. senator.

Shulman has more recorded visits to the White House than HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (48), DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano (34), Education Secretary Arne Duncan (31), former Energy Secretary Steven Chu (22) and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates (17) combined.

The Daily Caller’s analysis includes current, former and presently-nominated members of Obama’s Cabinet.

After Shulman, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank (86), Asst. Attorney General Thomas Perez (83) and Penny Pritzker (76) — Obama’s nominee for Commerce Secretary — have the most publicly known White House visits.

IRS Crosses Green Line

Pro-Israel groups felt wrath of Obama IRS, WFB investigation reveals

BY: Alana Goodman

A Washington Free Beacon investigation has identified at least five pro-Israel organizations that have been audited by the IRS in the wake of a coordinated campaign by White House-allied activist groups in 2009 and 2010.

These organizations, some of which are too afraid of government reprisals to speak publicly, say in interviews with the Free Beacon that they now believe the IRS actions may have been coordinated by the Obama administration.

Many of the charities openly clashed with the Obama administration’s policy of opposing Israeli settlement construction over the so-called “Green Line,” which marks the pre-1967 boundary between Israel and the West Bank and West and East Jerusalem.

After the Obama administration took up the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as one of its most prominent foreign policy priorities in early 2009, and made a cessation of Israeli settlement construction the cornerstone of its approach, the nonprofits were subjected to a string of unflattering media reports.

White House-allied lobbying groups joined the media criticism by challenged the nonprofits’ tax-exempt status, arguing that they undercut President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies.

“Our concern at that time was that these articles weren’t just appearing by happenstance, but may have reflected an evolving policy shift in the Obama administration to scrutinize charitable giving by organizations on behalf of Jewish communities and institutions over the Green Line,” said Jerusalem-based attorney Marc Zell, who convened a private meeting of pro-Israel groups in August 2009 to discuss these concerns.

Tax-exempt charities that support Israeli settlements have been the subject of controversy for years. But the issue came to a head after Obama made opposition to settlement construction a focus of his Middle East policy in 2009 and demanded Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu halt all construction beyond the Green Line, including in the Israeli capital of Jerusalem.

While it is not illegal for these charities to contribute to groups and individuals across the Green Line, critics say that they should not receive tax-exempt status because they support communities the administration views as antagonistic to administration policy.

The media scrutiny began as early as March 26, 2009, when the Washington Post’s David Ignatius published a column questioning the groups’ tax-exempt status.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) announced the next day that it would begin a campaign of filing legal complaints with the IRS and the Treasury Department to investigate groups “allegedly raising funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.”

ADC is closely tied to the Obama White House. The president recorded a video greeting to the group’s annual conference and sent two senior administration officials to attend.

The ADC announced in October 2009 that it had expanded its legal campaign against pro-Israel charities and was “working with a number of coalition partners, both nationally and internationally, in conducting this ongoing campaign.”

The chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority raised the issue two days later during a meeting with U.S. Consul General Daniel Rubenstein, according to a State Department cable revealed by Wikileaks.

“[Palestinian negotiator Ahmad Quraya] gave the Consul General a copy of an article by Uri Blau and Nir Hasson, published in Israeli daily Haaretz newspaper on August 17, entitled ‘American Non-profit Organization Raises Funds for Settlement,’ and asked the USG to review the situation with an eye toward eliminating organizations’ tax exempt status if they are funding settlement activity,” said the cable.

On July 5, 2010, the New York Times published its 5,000-word cover story on the groups, following up with a Room for Debate series two days later. The article quoted an unnamed senior State Department administration official calling such groups “a problem” and “unhelpful to the efforts that we’re trying to make.”
The story also quoted a senior Obama Middle East adviser, Daniel Kurtzer, saying the groups “drove us crazy.”

J Street, a pro-Palestinian lobbying group that was closely aligned with the White House in 2009 and 2010, called the following week for an investigation into U.S. charities that contribute to settlements.

One pro-Israel targets was HaYovel, which was featured prominently in the New York Times article. Six months after the article was published, the IRS audited the Nashville-based charity, which sends volunteers to work in vineyards across the Green Line.

“We bookend that [New York Times] story. We were the first [group mentioned]. They really kind of focused on us,” said HaYovel’s founder Tommy Waller. “Then six months later we had an audit.”

Shari Waller, who cofounded HaYovel with her husband, said the couple received a phone call from the IRS in December 2010. She said she was not aware of anything in their tax documents that may have prompted the audit, and added that the additional scrutiny came during the group’s first five years of existence when audits tend to be rare.

“They contacted us the week of Christmas and told us they wanted to audit us, right now,” she said. “The most unusual thing to me was they contacted us at a time [that] for most people is a very hectic time, and we had just returned from Israel. To think about taking calls for an audit on the telephone—official business is usually conducted through the mail.”

Tommy Waller said he found the timing of the audit “suspicious” and believes it may have been politically motivated.

“We 100-percent support Judea and Samaria, and Jewish sovereignty in that area, and the current administration is 100 percent opposed to Jewish sovereignty in that area of Israel,” he said. “That’s why we suspected that we would have to deal with [an audit].”

Two other organizations—the American arm of an educational institution that operates across the Green Line and the American arm of a well-known Israeli charity that was mentioned in the New York Times article—say they were also audited.

Another organization that was criticized in multiple articles during 2009 and 2010 was audited last year. The organization, like many of the groups with whom the Free Beacon spoke, asked to remain anonymous out of fear of political retaliation and concern that exposure would harm fundraising efforts.

“The IRS carried out an examination of our organization, reviewing all of our accounting records, tax returns, bylaws, bank records, grant awards, etc, for the relevant period,” said a senior official of this organization.

“There was no vindictiveness in the audit itself and it was completed within a matter of months. Our feeling at the time was that this order must have come from above. The IRS seemed to be responding to a request or a complaint from higher up.”

Concerns that the IRS was targeting pro-Israel groups were first raised publicly by Z Street, a pro-Israel organization run by Lori Lowenthal Marcus.

Z Street filed a lawsuit against the IRS in 2010, alleging its application for tax-exempt status was delayed because it disagreed with the Obama administration’s Israel policy.

According to the suit, Marcus’s attorney was informed by IRS official Diane Gentry that Z Street’s “application for tax-exempt status has been at least delayed, and may be denied because of a special IRS policy in place regarding organizations in any way connected with Israel, and further that the applications of many such Israel-related organizations have been assigned to “a special unit in the D.C. office.”

Neither the IRS nor Gentry responded to a request for comment.

Marcus said Z Street has not funded anyone or any groups in the settlements. But, she added, the problems her organization faced could be related to the administration’s concerns over settlement-supporting groups.

Z Street’s application for tax-exempt status first ran into trouble with the IRS on July 19, 2010, two weeks after the lengthy New York Times article was published.

“Even if that is the case, that’s an explanation, but it’s not an answer. It’s not an adequate reason,” said Marcus. “It’s totally inappropriate.”

Zell told the Free Beacon he has not personally witnessed a shift in IRS policy since the 2009 meeting suggesting settlement-supporting nonprofits have been targeted.

However, he said it is a “yellow flag” that at least five of these organizations have been audited since 2009, considering the recent finding by the IRS inspector general that the agency targeted conservative groups.

“Now with the revelations of the IRS abuses vis-a-vis U.S. right-wing organizations, that have been published of late, there is renewed concerned that these kinds of policies, same kinds of policies and procedures, may have been targeted at these organizations [that support settlements],” he said.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop

Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett

Valerie B. Jarrett is a Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. She oversees the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, she was the Chief Executive Officer of The Habitat Company. She also served as Co-Chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, and Senior Advisor to Obama’s presidential campaign.

Ms. Jarrett has held positions in both the public and private sector, including the Chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, the Commissioner of Planning and Development for the City of Chicago, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard M. Daley. She also practiced law with two private law firms.

Jarrett also served as a director of corporate and not for profit boards, including Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees.

Jarrett received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/staff/valerie-jarrett

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Using the IRS Issues as a Political Weapon  Jenny Beth Martin Fox & Friends 051313

Who’s pulling the 501(c)(4)s’ strings?

What exactly is a 501(c)(4)?

IRS’s Tea-Party AUDIT: Explaining a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4)

NBC Owner Part Of Group Pushing New Obama 501c(4)

IRS in the spotlight: What’s a 501(c)(4)? By Martina Stewart, CNN

IRS Tea Party Scandal GOP Calling for Full Investigation

The Colbert Report 5/20/13 in :60 Seconds

Senator Menendez Speaks about 501(c)(4)s

The GOP has a “Liberal” Interpretation of IRS Law

Ex IRS agent Tells It all

Don’t Focus on Super Pacs.  Focus on 501(c)(4)’s — Dwyer /

Rep. Mike Kelley Destroys IRS Comm. Steven Miller

Types of Organizations Exempt under Section 501(c)(4)

Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(4) provides for the exemption of two very different types of organizations with their own distinct qualification requirements. They are:

  • Social welfare organizations: Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, and
  • Local associations of employees, the membership of which is limited to the employees of designated person(s) in a particular municipality, and the net earnings of which are devoted exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.

Homeowners associations and volunteer fire companies may be recognized as exempt as social welfare organizations if they meet the requirements for exemption. Organizations that engage in substantial lobbying activities sometimes also are classified as social welfare organizations.

Additional information

Social welfare organization – Examples

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Other-Non-Profits/Types-of-Organizations-Exempt-under-Section-501(c)(4)

Social Welfare Organizations

To be tax-exempt as a social welfare organization described in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(4), an organization must not be organized for profit and must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare. The earnings of a section 501(c)(4) organization may not inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any managers agreeing to the transaction. See Introduction to IRC 4958 for more information about this excise tax. For a more detailed discussion of the exemption requirements for section 501(c)(4) organizations, see IRC 501(c)(4) Organizations. For more information about applying for exemption, see Application for Recognition of Exemption.

To be operated exclusively to promote social welfare, an organization must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community (such as by bringing about civic betterment and social improvements). For example, an organization that restricts the use of its facilities to employees of selected corporations and their guests is primarily benefiting a private group rather than the community and, therefore, does not qualify as a section 501(c)(4) organization. Similarly, an organization formed to represent member-tenants of an apartment complex does not qualify, because its activities benefit the member-tenants and not all tenants in the community, while an organization formed to promote the legal rights of all tenants in a particular community may qualify under section 501(c)(4) as a social welfare organization. An organization is not operated primarily for the promotion of social welfare if its primary activity is operating a social club for the benefit, pleasure or recreation of its members, or is carrying on a business with the general public in a manner similar to organizations operated for profit link].

Seeking legislation germane to the organization’s programs is a permissible means of attaining social welfare purposes. Thus, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may further its exempt purposes through lobbying as its primary activity without jeopardizing its exempt status. An organization that has lost its section 501(c)(3) status due to substantial attempts to influence legislation may not thereafter qualify as a section 501(c)(4) organization. In addition, a section 501(c)(4) organization that engages in lobbying may be required to either provide notice to its members regarding the percentage of dues paid that are applicable to lobbying activities or pay a proxy tax. For more information, see Lobbying Issues .

The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. However, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. However, any expenditure it makes for political activities may be subject to tax under section 527(f). For further information regarding political and lobbying activities of section 501(c) organizations, see Election Year Issues, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities of IRC 501(c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(6) Organizations, and Revenue Ruling 2004-6.

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Other-Non-Profits/Social-Welfare-Organizations

Application for recognition of exemption

To apply for recognition by the IRS of exempt status under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, most organizations use Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption and the related instructions. (Organizations applying for recognition of exemption under a provision other than section 501(c)(3) generally use Form 1024.) The application must be complete and accompanied by the appropriate user fee. See Application Process for a step-by-step review of what an organization needs to know and to do in order to apply for recognition by the IRS of tax-exempt status. Frequently asked questions about applying for exemption are also available.

The organization should also request an employer identification number, even if it does not have any employees. See Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, and its instructions to learn how to obtain an EIN. You may also obtain an EIN via telephone, by calling 1-800-829-4933, or by applying online.

A tax-exempt organization must make available for public inspection its approved application for recognition of exemption with all supporting documents available and its last three annual information returns. The organization must provide copies of these documents upon request without charge (other than a reasonable fee for reproduction and copying costs). Penalties are provided for failure to comply with these requirements.

Additional information:

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Application-for-Recognition-of-Exemption-1

Exempt Organization Public Disclosure and Availability Requirements

Tax-exempt organizations must make annual returns and exemption applications filed with the IRS available for public inspection and copying upon request. In addition, the IRS makes these documents available. The questions below relate to the public disclosure and availability of documents filed by tax-exempt organizations with the IRS.

A. Questions about Requirements for Exempt Organizations to Disclose IRS Filings to the General Public

  1. In general, what public disclosure requirements apply to tax-exempt organizations?
  2. tax-exempt organizations for purposes of the law requiring that certain tax documents be disclosed and copies of those documents be provided to persons requesting them?”>What organizations are tax-exempt organizations for purposes of the law requiring that certain tax documents be disclosed and copies of those documents be provided to persons requesting them?
  3. What tax documents must an exempt organization make available for public inspection and copying?
  4. What does the disclosure law require a tax-exempt organization to do?
  5. What does the IRS consider to be a reasonable charge for copying costs, which an exempt organization may charge for copies of tax documents covered by public disclosure requirements?
  6. What are our organization’s public disclosure obligations for the Form 990?
  7. Are organizations that are not required to provide copies of their exemption applications also exempt from the requirement to provide copies of annual returns to requesters?
  8. What disclosure laws apply to private foundations?
  9. Is a tax-exempt organization required to disclose the names or addresses of its contributors?
  10. Is there an exception to the requirement that an exempt organization provide copies of its exemption application and annual returns?
  11. widely available must it make the documents available for public inspection?”>If an organization makes it documents widely available must it make the documents available for public inspection?
  12. What are the penalties for failure to comply with the disclosure requirements, and who must pay them?
  13. If a request for copies of exempt organizations documents is not fulfilled, to whom may the requester complain?
  14. What disclosures is a charitable organization required to make to its donors?
  15. What disclosures must an exempt organization, other than a charity, make to its donors?
  16. Is personal identifying information provided on an exempt organization return subject to public disclosure?
  17. How can I obtain a copy of an organization’s annual return or exemption application?
  18. What should I do if an exempt organization will not let me see its Form 990 or 990-T returns or exemption application materials?
  19. e-Postcard?”>How will the public get access to information on the e-Postcard?

B. Questions about Requirements that the IRS Make Exempt Organizations Filings Available for Public Inspection and Copying

  1. How can one get a copy of an organization’s exemption application or annual information return from the IRS?
  2. Is personal identifying information provided on an exempt organization return subject to public disclosure?
  3. e-Postcard?”>How will the public get access to information on the e-Postcard?

View and print all FAQs (Adobe).

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Exempt-Organization-Public-Disclosure-and-Availability-Requirements

What is a 501(c)(4), anyway?

The news that the Internal Revenue Service flagged conservative groups for extra scrutiny has drawn renewed public attention to 501(c)(4) organizations, which play a very influential role in politics. So, what the heck is a 501(c)(4), and why do such groups matter in electoral politics? If you’re curious, keep reading.

Typically referred to as “social welfare” groups, these are nonprofit organizations including civic leagues or local volunteer fire departments, for example, that in theory are designed to promote, well, social welfare causes. “501(c)” is just the IRS’s designation in the tax code for nonprofit groups, and (4) is the subsection of groups we are concerned with here. There are other types of nonprofits that fall under the “501(c)” umbrella, but they are subject to different requirements.

Here’s the official IRS definition, if you’re interested in reading more.

So where is the connection to electoral politics? Aren’t we talking about social welfare advocacy?

These groups are allowed to to participate in politics, so long as politics do not become their primary focus. What that means in practice is that they must spend less than 50 percent of their money on politics. So long as they don’t run afoul of that threshold, the groups can influence elections, which they typically do through advertising. The above “Colbert Report” segment sheds some more light on the nature 501(c)(4)s.

Give me some examples of 501(c)(4)s.

Crossroads GPS, the conservative group co-founded by Karl Rove is one well-known example. On the other end of the political spectrum is Organizing for Action, which is what President Obama’s campaign operation turned into after the 2012 election. Often, organizations will have multiple arms, including a nonprofit and a super PAC. American Crossroads, for example, is a super PAC affiliated with Crossroads GPS.

How much money are they spending?

A lot. And much of is being dished out by conservative groups. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, conservative nonprofits spent more than $263 million during the 2012 campaign, while liberal counterparts spent close to $35 million. A separate Center For Responsive Politics/Center for Public Integrity study found that in 2010, the social welfare nonprofits outspent super PACs by a 3-2 margin.

You mentioned super PACs? What’s the difference?

Here’s the key difference: Super PACs must disclose their donors while 501(c)(4)s do not. If you are a donor looking to influence election but do not want to reveal your identity, the 501(c)(4) is an attractive option through which to send your cash.

Why has the IRS gotten so many 501(c)(4) applications in recent years?

In 2010, the Supreme Court’s landmark “Citizens United” decision cleared the way for corporations and labor unions to raise and spend unlimited sums of money, and register for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4). So what happened next is not surprising. The IRS was flooded with applications from groups seeking the special 501(c)(4) designation. Applications more than doubled following the High Court’s ruling.

So which groups did the IRS single out?

In short, conservative ones. The IRS says it flagged groups with “tea party” and “patriot” in their names for extra scrutiny. The agency apologized and said partisanship did not motivate the tactics; rather, it was a misguided effort to come up with an efficient way to deal with the influx of applications. In addition, an inspector general’s report set to be released this week says the agency also gave extra scrutiny to groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution.

What’s next?

A lot more questions are going to be asked. Two congressional committees — the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee — are planning further investigations. The IG’s report will be released on Wednesday, which will shed more light on who in the IRS knew what and when they knew it.

Congressional Republicans and even some Democrats are up in arms. President Obama called it ”outrageous.” After a lot of review, look for officials and lawmakers to propose remedies to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/05/13/what-is-a-501c4-anyway/

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Lois Lerner –Top IRS Official — Took The Fifth Amendment — House and Senate Hearings On IRS Targeting Conservative Groups — Videos

Posted on May 21, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Diasters, Economics, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, history, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Politics, Raves, Tax Policy, Taxes, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Treasury Inspector General

for Tax Administration

Office of Audit

Original Inspector general’s report on the IRS

http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/700665/treasury-inspector-general-report.pdf

http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2013reports/201310053fr.pdf

Inspector general’s report on the IRS

http://documents.latimes.com/inspector-general-report-irs/

IRS Official Lois Lerner Pleads The Fifth, Dismissed From Scandal Hearing

Glenn Beck – Lois Lerner, IRS dodge questions

Mad at the IRS? Blame It on the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision

The Other IRS Scandal”: David Cay Johnston on Dark Money Political Groups Seeking Tax-Exemption

How Republicans Have Abused 501(c)(4) Applications Since Citizens United

Dan Pfeiffer on IRS Scandal During ‘This Week’ Interview

IRS’s Tea-Party AUDIT: Explaining a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4)

IRS in the spotlight: What’s a 501(c)(4)? By Martina Stewart, CNN

Glenn Beck » IRS, ObamaCare, And The White House

Dobson–I Was Targeted By IRS – TheBlazeTV – The Glenn Beck Radio Program – 2013.05.20

Rand Paul Suggests IRS Has ‘Written Policy’ About Targeting People ‘Opposed To The President’

Rand Paul on Benghazi and IRS Targeting of Tea Party Groups – State of the Union 5/19/2013

Paul Ryan Angry Over IRS, Benghazi on Fox News

Obama Has Declared WAR on American Values in IRS Scandal – Fox News Lou Dobbs

Jay Sekulow on Fox News: IRS Hearings Arrogant & Embarrassing

Heller Questions Secretary of the Treasury About IRS Scandal

Senate Finance Committee Hearing On IRS Scandal

C-SPAN Senator Hatch Opening Statement – IRS Hearing

A opening statement at the IRS scandal hearing by U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee.

Senator Hatch questions IRS during hearing

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, questions Douglas Shulman, former Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and Steven Miller, outgoing acting IRS Commissioner Tuesday, May 21, 2013, during the IRS scandal hearing.

Thune at Finance on IRS Scandal

Crapo questions the IG for tax administration on the IRS scandal

Senator Roberts’ Remarks at Today’s IRS Scandal Hearing in the Senate Finance Committee

IRS Commissioner: I Orchestrated Planted Q&A On IRS Scandal

House Hearing On IRS Scandal

House hearing on IRS scandal 

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 1

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 2

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 3

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HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 14

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 15

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 16

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 17

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 18

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 19

NOT REALLY FIRED YET Steven Miller Outgoing Acting IRS Commissioner

May 17 2013 House Ways and Means Hearing – Steven Miller testifying

IRS HEATED on Capitol Hill: IS THIS STILL AMERICA? Government Threatens average Americans?

IRS Commissioner: Targeting Conservatives is “Absolutely Not Illegal”

News Reports

Luke Russert: IRS Official ‘Winging This’ In Testimony, Saying ‘Hey, I’m The Fall Guy For This’

Jay Sekulow on Fox News: IRS Knew About Tageting Conservative Groups

Background Articles and Videos

How to Assert Your Rights with the Police

David Allen – Does the Fifth Amendment Apply to Tax Preparation Records

In Praise of the 5th Amendment – part 1

In Praise of the 5th Amendment – part 2

In Praise of the 5th Amendment – part 3

In Praise of the 5th Amendment – part 4

In Praise of the 5th Amendment – part 5

Top IRS official will invoke the Fifth Amendment in congressional hearing about  tea party targeting program

By David Martosko

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday  afternoon that Lois Lerner, who heads up the Internal Revenue Service’s  tax-exempt division, plans to invoke the Fifth Amendment to the U.S.  Constitution in a hearing Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and  Government Affairs.

The Fifth Amendment provides that U.S.  citizens may not be compelled to offer testimony if telling the truth would  incriminate them.

Lerner’s defense lawyer, William W. Taylor  III, wrote to the committee on Tuesday that his client would refuse to answer  questions related to what she knew about the extra levels of scrutiny applied to  conservative nonprofit organizations that applied for tax-exempt status  beginning in 2010.

She also will decline to say why she didn’t  disclose what she knew to Congress, according to the LA  Times.

Lerner ‘has not committed any crime or made  any misrepresentation,’ Taylor’s  letter read, ‘but under the circumstances she  has no choice but to take  this course.’

He is asking the oversight committee to  excuse Lerner from testifying, claiming that calling her in a congressional  hearing would ‘have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her’ since  members would not expect her to answer questions.

Ahmad Ali, a committee spokesman, told  MailOnline that ‘Ms. Lerner remains under subpoena from Chairman Issa to appear  at tomorrow’s hearing – the Committee has a Constitutional obligation to conduct  oversight.’

‘Chairman [Darrel] Issa remains hopeful that  she will ultimately decide to testify tomorrow about her knowledge of outrageous  IRS targeting of Americans for their political beliefs.’

The IRS applied special criteria to  conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status, putting them on a ‘Be On  The Lookout’ (BOLO) list, based on the groups’ names and political  philosophies.

President Barack Obama has said he was  unaware of the program until May 10, when excerpts of an IRS Inspector General  Report on the practice were leaked to reporters.

But Jay Carney, the president’s chief  spokesman, confirmed Monday that senior White House staff, including White House  Counsel Kathy Ruemmler and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, knew about the IRS’s  habits as early as April 24, and chose not to tell Obama.

The Inspector General report found that  Lerner and other IRS were notified in or before June 2011 that some staff in the  agency’s Cincinnati, Ohio office were using ‘tea party,’ ‘patriots’ and other  key words to add applicants to the BOLO list.

Once on that list, the groups were subjected  to additional auditing of their financial practices, their membership and their  political activities.

Despite knowing about the program, Lerner and  other senior IRS staffers withheld the information from Congress despite  receiving several requests from House committees whose members heard from  constituents that their tea party groups’ tax-exempt approvals were taking as  long as two years to be resolved.

The House Oversight and Government Affairs  Committee was among those that specifically asked the IRS whether it was  inspecting tea party groups more closely than other applicants, including those  on the political left.

Lerner herself launched her agency’s scandal  with a planted question-and-answer exchange during a May 10 American Bar  Association conference.

Asked the pre-arranged question, Lerner  responded by conceding that her employees had acted inappropriately.

‘Instead of referring to the cases as  advocacy cases, they actually used case names on this list,’ she told the  assembled tax lawyers.

‘They used names like “tea party” or  “Patriots,” and they selected cases simply because the applications had those  names in the title.That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, insensitive,  and inappropriate — that’s not how we go about selecting cases for further  review.’

She later claimed that the increase in  scrutiny of tea party groups was due to an influx of new applications from  right-wing organizations, following the Supreme Court’s ‘Citizens United’  ruling, which opened the floodgates to greater political participation by  nonprofit advocacy groups.

The Washington Post called that claim bogus,  however, with the newspaper’s fact checker awarding it a ‘four Pinocchios’  rating for dishonesty.

Read more:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2328696/Lois-Lerner-Top-IRS-official-invoke-Fifth-Amendment-congressional-hearing-tea-party-targeting-program.html

Top IRS official will invoke 5th Amendment

By Richard Simon and Joseph Tanfani May 21, 2013, 1:17 p.m.

WASHINGTON — A top IRS official in the division that reviews nonprofit groups will invoke the 5th Amendment and refuse to answer questions before a House committee investigating the agency’s improper screening of conservative nonprofit groups.

Lois Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division of the IRS, won’t answer questions about what she knew about the improper screening — or why she didn’t disclose it to Congress, according to a letter from her defense lawyer, William W. Taylor III. Lerner was scheduled to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” said a letter by Taylor to committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Vista). The letter, sent Monday, was obtained Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times.

DOCUMENT: The Inspector General’s report on the IRS

Taylor, a criminal defense attorney from the Washington firm Zuckerman Spaeder, said that the Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation, and that the House committee has asked Lerner to explain why she provided “false or misleading information” to the committee four times last year.

Since Lerner won’t answer questions, Taylor asked that she be excused from appearing, saying that would “have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her.” There was no immediate word whether the committee will grant her request.

According to an inspector general’s report, Lerner found out in June 2011 that some staff in the nonprofits division in Cincinnati had used terms such as “Tea Party” and “Patriots” to select some applications for additional screening of their political activities. She ordered changes.

But neither Lerner nor anyone else at the IRS told Congress, even after repeated queries from several committees, including the House Oversight panel, about whether some groups had been singled out unfairly.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-top-irs-official-fifth-amendment-20130521,0,6645565.story

IRS’s Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

By LAUREN FRENCH and GINGER GIBSON

Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner will invoke her Fifth Amendment right not  to incriminate herself when she appears before the House Oversight Committee on  Wednesday.

In a letter to Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Lerner’s attorney  William W. Taylor III cites the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into  the issue of whether the IRS singled out tea party and other conservative groups  for extra scrutiny.

Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner will invoke her Fifth Amendment right not  to incriminate herself when she appears before the House Oversight Committee on  Wednesday.

In a letter to Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Lerner’s attorney  William W. Taylor III cites the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into  the issue of whether the IRS singled out tea party and other conservative groups  for extra scrutiny.

“Just when you think things can’t get any stranger around here, they take a  twist,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told POLITICO, adding, “this is a very  serious matter.”

Taylor’s letter requests that Lerner be excused from testifying, but Issa has  issued a subpoena to compel her appearance.

“Requiring her to appear at the hearing merely to assert her Fifth Amendment  privilege would have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her,” Taylor  wrote.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Lerner’s decision shows she is “afraid” to  face Congress and account for her actions.

The decision to take the fifth is a “slap in the face” to Americans, said  Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.).

“What’s she hiding?” Buchanan asked. “The American people demand and deserve  answers. Pleading the Fifth is a direct slap in the face of every American  taxpayer betrayed by the IRS’s gross abuse of power.”

Issa has accused Lerner of lying to Congress on four separate occasions last  year. He and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote a letter to Lerner last week asking  her to brief the Oversight Committee on the disparities in her comments before  the scandal broke on the criteria used to flag conservative applications for  tax-exempt status.

“It appears that you provided false or misleading information on four  separate occasions last year in response to the Committee’s oversight of the  IRS’s treatment of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status,” Issa and  Jordan wrote.

The California Republican has cast himself as the chief investigator of the  administration and had demanded Lerner’s presence to better understand when the  IRS learned of the extent of the targeting program.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said  he expects Lerner to appear before the panel Wednesday, but had suggested she  may invoke her Fifth Amendment right.

“She might, she very well may,” Cummings told reporters Tuesday afternoon  when asked if she could invoke the Fifth Amendment. “We’ll see when she comes.  She will be there.”

The question was prompted by Cummings correcting himself after saying she  would be testifying on Wednesday.

“She should be testifying. She should be there tomorrow,” Cummings said,  correcting himself. “I expected her to be there.”

Asked whether she could show up and not testify, he said, “I can’t answer  that right now.”

Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin, former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman  and J. Russell George, the IRS inspector general who conducted the  investigation, are scheduled to testify.

Taylor has been involved in several high-profile cases in recent years,  including the defense of former IMF President Dominique Strauss-Kahn against  criminal assault charges and leading the team that obtained dismissal of claims  against former NYSE official and Home Depot co-founder Kenneth Langone,  according to the website  of his firm, Zuckerman Spaeder.

He has given over $100,000 to Democratic candidates and causes over the  years, according to Federal Election Commission records. Taylor donated $57,000  to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008 and $10,000 to the Obama Victory Fund 2012  last year.

The Los Angeles Times first reported Lerner’s intention to invoke the Fifth  Amendment.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/lois-lerner-could-plead-the-fifth-rep-cummings-says-91686.html#ixzz2TyFY25U8

How the IRS seeded the clouds in 2010 for a political deluge three years later

By Zachary A. Goldfarb and Kimberly Kindy,

In early 2010, an Internal Revenue Service team in Cincinnati began noticing a stream of applications from groups with ­political-sounding names, setting in motion a dragnet aimed at ­separating legitimate tax-exempt groups from those working to get candidates elected.

The IRS officials decided to single out one type of political group for particular scrutiny. “These cases involve various local organizations in the Tea Party movement,” read one internal IRS e-mail sent at the time.

A few hours north in Fremont, Ohio, the owners of a drainage supply shop, Tom and Marion Bower, were wondering why it was taking so long to get a tax exemption for their new tea party group.“I didn’t think any of us thought we’d be targeted,” said Marion Bower, of American Patriots Against Government Excess. “We started the group because we wanted to learn about our country and educate people. Now I’m becoming a little paranoid. If they can do this, what else can they do?”Groups such as the Bowers’ were among more than a hundred conservative organizations singled out for extra screening by the IRS, part of an attempt to identify politically active groups not eligible for tax exemptions. The revelations, described in detail last week by the IRS watchdog, have caused a political earthquake — prompting the resignations of two top IRS officials, a criminal investigation and multiple congressional probes, including hearings scheduled for this week.The story of the IRS’s policy of targeting right-leaning groups, which played out over several years in Cincinnati, Washington, and dozens of other cities and towns, was one of a bureaucracy caught in a morass of uncertainty and outside pressure. The actions also confirmed the suspicions of many conservatives after they had complained for years of harassment by the tax agency.According to the inspector general’s report, as IRS officials in Cincinnati tried to decide what to do about the groups — political advocacy organizations seeking what is known as 501 (c)(4) status — they sent out intrusive questionnaires seeking donor lists, copies of meeting minutes and reams of other documents. Applications sat around for months, sometimes years; some organizations ended up folding while awaiting answers that never came.

IRS officials in Cincinnati were ignorant of the law and did not recognize that they should not scrutinize groups solely based on terms such as “tea party,” “patriots” and other conservative-sounding descriptions in their names, the inspector general’s report said. Many liberal-leaning and nonpolitical groups were also caught up in the effort.

At the same time, the IRS faced growing criticism from the outside that it was not doing enough to examine an increasing number of politically active groups seeking tax-exempt status.

“You had a lot of pressure on the IRS to figure out who and what should be a (c)(4) and complaints being filed by groups saying they had erred in granting (c)(4) status,” said Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center and a former Federal Elections Commission chairman. “You had (c)(4)s on both the Democratic and Republican side spending a lot on politics. That’s the background of how we got here.”

Rise of the tea party

On July 4, 2009, the Bowers threw a tea party event in a strip mall by their home in Fremont, about 40 miles from Toledo. The speakers’ stage was a flatbed trailer. The pair worried about how big of a crowd they could possibly draw in a town with fewer than 17,000 residents. Then 500 people showed up.

The Bowers decided there was enough interest to start their own nonprofit group and applied to the IRS in December 2009 as a 501(c)(4). The couple held weekly meetings at their shop, inviting local politicians to speak, showing films and discussing books. A woven basket was put out for cash donations, which usually amounted to no more than $15.“We saw we weren’t the only ones worried about things,” Tom Bower said. “Others thought our country was going in the wrong direction.”The desire by the Bowers to form a nonprofit group reflected two broader trends in American politics. First was the rise of the tea party movement — hundreds of local organizations, frustrated by spending in Washington and the growing national debt, whose power would soon be seen in local, state and, in 2010, congressional elections.Second, campaign finance laws were changing. In January 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission that corporations and unions could spend unlimited funds on elections, setting off a tidal wave of political spending that would wash over the next two election cycles.Nonprofit groups that do not have to pay taxes are supposed to ensure that political activity is not their primary purpose, so evidence that some of the new organizations seeking tax-exempt status were fronts for campaign organizations drew bipartisan interest. Good-government groups started pressuring the IRS to more closely scrutinize applicants. One such group, Democracy 21, wrote a series of letters to the IRS arguing that many of the groups should not receive favored tax status.

“In all of these cases, the groups were claiming (c)(4) status basically for the purpose of hiding their donors,” said Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer.

The IRS is not well equipped to make political judgements. Its accountants and lawyers are sticklers and technocrats, trying to enforce the letter of the law. When the law is left vague — as it is for 501(c)(4)s and political advocacy groups — it could take years to come up with clear guidelines.

“Unless there is a higher-up push to get something done and get guidance done, it doesn’t happen,” said Louisiana State University law professor Philip Hackney, who worked in the chief counsel’s office of the IRS from 2006 to 2011.

By late summer 2010, the IRS officials in Cincinnati, part of what was called a “determinations unit,” decided they needed a better way to track the influx of advocacy groups. It had been an informal process before — just e-mails sent out among the team highlighting groups that might need closer scrutiny.

They created a spreadsheet of group names and activities to watch, called a “be on the lookout” list, or BOLO, borrowing jargon used by police. The list soon included 40 groups, including 22 with “tea party” in their names.

The determinations unit wanted to send additional questions to the groups to determine whether they were too involved in political campaigns to receive tax-exempt status. They requested help from headquarters officials in Washington to draft the language of such letters.

But no definitive help was forthcoming, according to the inspector general’s report. Months passed without agreement on what should be asked, frustrating the team in Cincinnati.

Questions, more questionsThe Bowers were frustrated, too. In 2010, they had called the IRS to see what was happening with their application. “They said they were behind but they were getting to it,” Marion Bower said. The same thing happened in the spring of 2011.It took two years from when they applied to get a response. In a letter, the IRS said it wanted copies and recordings of all speeches given at their group’s meetings. They wanted notes and copies of every handout or brochure distributed at all events they organized or participated in. It took three weeks to gather the materials, which amounted to about 80 pages, the Bowers said.Marion Bower told them about films they showed, including the “American Heritage Series,” consisting of 10 DVDs about the early history of the United States recounted by evangelical minister David Barton, and a book the group read about the Founding Fathers, “The 5000 Year Leap.”“They wanted a lot of information, and they wanted it quickly,” Bower said. “Each set of questions had a subset of questions. And none of them were yes or no. But the questions themselves did not seem that outrageous with the first letter.”

A second letter came with dozens of additional questions. The IRS wanted a synopsis of films the group may have shown or books the group may have read. Bower was outraged.

“I’m a 68-year-old woman. I don’t do book reports anymore, and I certainly don’t do them for the IRS,” she said. “I sent them copies of everything, including the book. It’s not a very thick book, and it’s not ‘Mein Kampf,’ for Pete’s sake. They can read it if they want.”

In early March 2012, the group mailed off its second package of documents to the IRS and waited.

As the Bowers’ case dragged on, the IRS determinations unit was stuck in bureaucratic sludge. In June 2011, the Washington official who oversees the unit, Lois G. Lerner, organized a meeting to discuss its work on political advocacy groups. She expressed concerns about the broad reach of the BOLO list.

About 100 groups had made it on the list simply because their names included reference to the “tea party,” “patriots” or “9/12,” a term associated with conservative commentator Glenn Beck. Other criteria included a focus on government spending, debt or taxes; a focus on how to “make America a better place”; or critical comments about how the country is being run.

Lerner asked that the criteria be changed to a more neutral theme — organizations involved in politics, lobbying or advocacy. A “triage” was also conducted, trying to determine which groups actually required scrutiny.

But as Lerner pressed to broaden the criteria, the Cincinnati unit began to send letters out to conservative groups. Some asked for donor information.

Still, the determinations unit was having trouble using the general criteria advocated by Lerner. It decided on an alternative phrasing: “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding government, educating on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement.”

At the end of February 2012, Lerner stopped the letters. But it was too late. Conservative groups began complaining, sparking media interest. Lawmakers lodged complaints. In March, eight months before Election Day, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee contacted the IRS inspector general to ask what was going on.

Throughout 2012, Lerner and other officials were quietly trying to come up with new policies for examining nonprofits. Higher-level officials, including then-IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman, a George W. Bush appointee, and his deputy, career employee Steven T. Miller, became aware of the problems. They instituted new internal rules in an effort to make sure the issues did not recur.

But the IRS did not tell the public or Congress about what was going on. On May 9 of this year, knowing that the inspector general’s report was imminent, Lerner called a member of the IRS’s tax-exempt advisory council. Lerner requested that the council member ask her at a conference the next day about the status of tax-exempt organizations that were facing additional scrutiny.

The next morning, Lerner responded to the planted question, acknowledging that the IRS had improperly scrutinized conservative groups. She apologized. She held a conference call later that day in which she struggled to answer a fusillade of questions from reporters, at one point exclaiming in response to a query about the specific number of groups targeted, “I’m not good at math.”

By Wednesday, Obama had demanded and received Miller’s resignation and appointed a new acting IRS commissioner, Daniel Werfel, a budget adviser who has served in Republican and Democrat administrations.

On Friday, Miller was testifying on Capitol Hill, at the first in a series of hearings scheduled for coming weeks. Miller said that the IRS was guilty of “horrible customer service” but that its motives were not political.↓

Marion Bower was in the audience. “I really didn’t want to come,” she said. “But what they did was wrong. I felt it was time for me to speak up so this doesn’t happen again to someone else.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-the-irs-seeded-the-clouds-in-2010-for-a-political-deluge-three-years-later/2013/05/19/b707d940-bf10-11e2-97d4-a479289a31f9_story.html

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