IRS Official Apologizes for Targeting Tea Party/Patriot Organizations

Posted by Tina

Today Lois Lerner of the IRS admitted that the tax agency had inappropriately targeted non-profit organizations for special scrutiny if they had the words Patriot or Tea Party in their names. Commentary reports that targeting came from Cincinnati Ohio office “low-level” officials.

According to Breitbart Eric Cantor announced that the matter will be investigated in the House:

“The IRS cannot target or intimidate any individual or organization based on their political beliefs,” Cantor said on Friday. “The House will investigate this matter.”

I imagine there are several laws that have been broken or grossly trampled upon in this case. PJ Media Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, University of Tennessee law professor has a legal take:

My take: The employees involved should be fired and prosecuted. The affected groups should be compensated for the additional costs they incurred in responding to this illegal harassment, and Congress should take the money out of the IRS’s travel-and-entertainment budget.

I like the way this guy thinks!

The American Thinker has the official statement put out by the IRS that it calls “somewhat inconsistent” with the apology made by Lois Lerner:

Between 2010 and 2012, the IRS saw the number of applications for section 501(c)(4) status double. As a result, local career employees in Cincinnati sought to centralize work and assign cases to designated employees in an effort to promote consistency and quality. This approach has worked in other areas. However, the IRS recognizes we should have done a better job of handling the influx of advocacy applications. While centralizing cases for consistency made sense, the way we initially centralized them did not. Mistakes were made initially, but they were in no way due to any political or partisan rationale. We fixed the situation last year and have made significant progress in moving the centralized cases through our system. To date, more than half of the cases have been approved or withdrawn. It is important to recognize that all centralized applications received the same, even-handed treatment, and the majority of cases centralized were not based on a specific name. In addition, new procedures also were implemented last year to ensure that these mistakes won’t be made in the future. The IRS also stresses that our employees – all career civil servants – will continue to be guided by tax law and not partisan issues.

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15 Responses to IRS Official Apologizes for Targeting Tea Party/Patriot Organizations

  1. Tina says:

    More information at National Review

    Ms. Lerner also says that she did not inform her superiors about the problem, which must be a question of key interest to IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, who during testimony before Congress last year denied that tea-party groups or other conservative organizations were being targeted by the IRS. That had been the IRS’s last word on the subject until today. …

    …while the office handles applications from all sorts of organizations, a full 25 percent of those targeted for additional review were “Tea Party” or “Patriot” groups.

    “Obviously, you don’t get dozens of inquiries asking unconstitutional questions, with zero corresponding inquiries into liberal groups, unless there is something going on,” says David French, senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing 27 groups from 18 states in the IRS matter. “It’s not just the numbers, it’s the questions themselves. They were designed to dissect the operations of the organizations.” Mr. French believes that the IRS’s actions were intended as political intimidation.

    He also is skeptical that the problem is limited to the Cincinnati office: “We dealt with offices from California to D.C. on this,” he says. With regard to the congressional testimony denying such targeting, he concludes: “Either they lied or they didn’t do the most basic due diligence.”

  2. J. Soden says:

    An apology to the Tea Party is certainly not sufficient. And any claim that this wasn’t for political purposes or that it was only done by “underlings” is laughable.

    And these same IRS clowns are going to be responsible for Obumblecare? Right . . . .

  3. Pie Guevara says:

    Apology not accepted.

  4. Peggy says:

    Isn’t the IRS under the Treasury Dept.? When did tax cheater Tim Geithner leave? He was appointed by Obama.

    Boy, this administration will do anything to get their candidates elected.

    Since Obama only won by 1% of the popular vote it sure brings into question what the vote would/could have been if the opposition party had been allowed to function at full capacity instead of having their operational function denied and threats of personal audits.

    Just add another scandal to the very long list by this administration.

    Sure hope it’s payback time come 2014 and 2016. Wonder also how many democrats will abandon their party out of disgust?

  5. Chris says:

    This is truly outrageous, and anyone involved should be severely punished.

  6. Peggy says:

    This is a bombshell. Watch the video and read the words.

  7. Harold Ey says:

    Time to ‘Wake up’ LEGAL American voters, this is mostly the result of to many uninformed, no strike that, more like unthinking, self-indulgent and single issue voters preserving a free ride. We currently have Benghazi, now the IRS and soon the full depth of nepotism in the White house which will become another issue. And what is this President doing to resolve these issues in a transparent manner, he is going on TV and announcing more low cost money for re-financing home owners, without preventing the root cause of the last melt down created by subprime loans, and not preventing those from being allowed back into the market. Same old, same old, just appears to me he is back to buying his “din disposed” support once more.

  8. Jack . says:

    This is another sad day in American history. Of course it’s outrageous as many things gone wrong often are, but this cut’s down to the heart of America’s core values. On what level could any bureaucrat think this is a good idea? And not just one twisted official, but a host of IRS people. They all had to agree to initiate this policy. This is why it makes me incredibly sad for our country…I thought we were better than that, that we would be above such abuse of power, intimidation and extortion, but obviously we’re not.

  9. Tina says:

    A Jewish organization has chosen to file suit. You won’t believe the reason. From the Politico:

    Lerner acknowledged that the IRS targeted other groups based on “inappropriate” search terms but declined to specify which terms — beyond “tea party” or “patriot” — triggered the reviews.

    Z Street, a pro-Israel nonprofit, is suing the IRS for singling out its application. According to court documents filed by the group, the agency told Z Street officials in July 2010 that its application was delayed because the agency needed to “determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the administration’s public policies.” (emphasis mine)


  10. Peggy says:

    I wondered why this IRS story was “leaked” and Bachmann’s article answered my question. Remember to always watch what the left hand is doing.

    Why Obama released embarrassing IRS bombshell:

    “Americans, she said, should be wondering whether Obamacare, which is to be enforced by the IRS, will target conservative voices opposed to President Obama with delays or denials of medical care.

    But why would an administration ever confess to such a flagrant misuse of politics and power?

    Bachmann, who chairs the House Tea Party caucus, said it’s the Benghazi scandal.
    “There’s no doubt this was not a coincidence that they dumped this story today, a Friday dump day,” Bachmann told WND. “This is when they put their negative stories out.”
    But she said the looming storm cloud called Benghazi is the “soft underbelly” of the Obama administration and likely will keep Hillary Clinton from fulfilling her dream of occupying the Oval Office.

    That would make it logical to release an IRS story that, while embarrassing, also could be cubbyholed as another “conservative” dispute with the White House.

    Locked in a tight presidential race, a deliberate assault on American assets and the murder of Americans by al-Qaida on a date as significant as 9/11 would have damaged Obama’s campaign claim that his administration had al-Qaida under control.

    Bachmann said the IRS announcement of misbehavior was intended to provoke conservatives and draw their anger and attention.

    “I was in that Benghazi hearing,” she told WND. “I think the Obama administration is desperate to spin Benghazi, and they can’t. I think they saved this story up for a day like today so that conservatives would focus on this admission.”
    It won’t work, she insisted.

    “Conservatives can handle two shocking stories at the same time,” she said. “Both are equally unconstitutional and call into question the very president.”


  11. J. Soden says:

    Peggy, I think you nailed it. My first thought when this IRS admission came up was WHY NOW? When was the last time the IRS was forthcoming about anything?

    The only logical reason is for a Benghazigate distraction, however the end results might not be what the Obumble administration expects.
    One can only hope that Clowngress’ investigation will result in taking away IRS’s power to enforce Obublecare and thereby rendering it unworkable and rendering it to the dustbin of history.

  12. Tina says:

    There seems to be an overall political pattern here. First of all the TP/Patriot groups were targeted at the same time that these groups were being called racist by the Obama campaign. Also, Daily Caller reports today that a Romney donor was also targeted for audit at this time:

    Just months after being slimed by President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, Mitt Romney supporter and businessman Frank VanderSloot was informed that he was going to be audited not only by the Internal Revenue Service, but by the Labor Department as well.

    VanderSloot’s saga was told by columnist Kimberley Strassel in the Wall Street Journal last July.

    In April 2012, VanderSloot, who served as the national co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential finance committee, was one of eight Romney backers to be defamed as ”wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records” in a post on the Obama campaign’s website. The post, entitled “Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney’s donors,” singled out VanderSloot for being a ”litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

    Two months later, the IRS informed VanderSloot he and his wife were going to be audited, Strassel reported. Two weeks after that, VanderSloot was notified by the Labor Department that it was going to “audit workers he employs on his Idaho-based cattle ranch under the federal visa program for temporary agriculture workers,” reported Strassel.

    “The H-2A program allows tens of thousands of temporary workers in the U.S.; Mr. VanderSloot employs precisely three,” Strassel wrote. “All are from Mexico and have worked on the VanderSloot ranch—which employs about 20 people—for five years. Two are brothers. Mr. VanderSloot has never been audited for this, though two years ago his workers’ ranch homes were inspected. (The ranch was fined $8,400, mainly for too many ‘flies’ and for ‘grease build-up’ on the stove. God forbid a cattle ranch home has flies.)”

    • Post Scripts says:

      This is scary wrong. What a story of a vindictive government runamuck. Every bureaucrat responsible for this outrage should be named, publically scorned and then fired.

  13. Tina says:

    And if they were instructed by anyone those people should be exposed and dealt with as well.

  14. Peggy says:

    I’ve also heard Glen Beck and other conservatives say they’ve been targeted for audits by the IRS in the past couple of years.

    This is really big folks. Nixon resigned over these similar, if not same, allegations before he could be impeached.

    J. Soden, the article I read talked about Hillary being a master at the “red flag” approach to draw attention away from an issue or toward a misdirection. The Benghazi scandal was getting to big so they threw up the red flag with the IRS leak.

    Big problem I see though is it’s turned into a fully loaded train going down hill and gaining speed with no bottom in sight.

    The MSM were finally waking up at Carney’s press briefing last week and now with the IRS and AP scandal they have to come out of their rabbit holes or their credibility will be totally gone. Can’t you just see their bosses screaming at them to get out from behind their desks and go get the story. No more being fed their daily talking point directly from the WH.

    Like I said, this is BIG and I think a major turning point for journalism as we’ve known it for the past 8-10 years.

    “The King has no clothes on.” Could not be a truer comparison.

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