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IRS IG Report: Targeting Conservatives Began In 2010


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#91 g5jamz

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:33 AM

The program should be investigating these 501cs.  They are not supposed to be political in nature if they are asking for tax exemption.  They just should be doing it evenly for both sides of the political spectrum.

 

What the IRS was doing investigatively is not the issue.  The issue is that their screening process unfairly targeted conservative groups.  The Inspector General and just about everyone else who works for or used to work for the IRS claim that it was a byproduct of a screening process and not partisan in nature.  Everyone who hasn't worked at the IRS or investigated the discrepancy think that a puppet master President is using trying to destroy their freedom of raising unlimited funds and not disclosing donors to try and influence elections.  Everyone know our founding fathers were pro Super Pacs /sarcasm

 

The great irony of all this is that if Congress is upset that conservative groups got unfairly targeted they are essentially admitting that these groups are political and not about general welfare, so all these groups should immediately lose tax exempt status anyway.

 

The program does investigate 501cs.  501cs are deemed "political" if their cause isn't liberal?  The
"byproduct of at screening process" doesn't hold water simply for the fact a lot of those organizations are still awaiting.  Did you read some of the questions the IRS posed to the groups for a response?  No one is saying that the President himself directed this...but that the culture of Chicago perpetuates this...but then again...you could always look at who's talking to who and the timing of things.

 

http://spectator.org...irs-the-smoking

 

 

Founding fathers were pro-freedom to associate without fear of government reprisal..regardless of dollar amounts.  For the record...I'm fine with yanking tax status from every group...every one of them including unions.  You willing to go for that?



#92 teeray

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:46 AM

Absolutely I am 10000000% willing to go for that if the 501c is acting political in nature.  There is other classifications for Super Pac.  The 501c are the ones that get tax exempt status.  If they are acting in a political manner and not promoting social welfare I am all for taking tax exempt status away from any group if they are not acting in accordance with the law on this.

 

The tough part is proving that they are indeed political in nature unless Congress and the politicians they support come out and admit it like they have in this case. 



#93 g5jamz

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:47 AM

Define "political".



#94 teeray

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 11:20 AM

Define "political".


Therein lies the problem.

#95 g5jamz

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 11:50 AM

In terms of issue advocacy...perfectly within your right. 

 

In terms of candidate advocacy either for or against...not within your right IMO. 



#96 g5jamz

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 11:54 AM

http://www.nationalr...com/node/349199

 

 

Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service’s director of exempt organizations, has been placed on administrative leave, according to a source in the agency’s Cincinnati office.

 

But her pay isn't cut.

 

Think they've found one of their fall guys/gals.



#97 teeray

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:47 PM

In terms of issue advocacy...perfectly within your right.

In terms of candidate advocacy either for or against...not within your right IMO.


I would probably tend to agree with this.

One other issue that arises with 501c is that they can take donations and then donate to their other Super PACs that are allowed to be political but must disclose their donors thus shielding the donors by a one off entity.

#98 g5jamz

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:53 PM

I would probably tend to agree with this.

One other issue that arises with 501c is that they can take donations and then donate to their other Super PACs that are allowed to be political but must disclose their donors thus shielding the donors by a one off entity.

 

Even 501c(s) have to disclose their donors (to my knowledge) if they go over a certain amount ($5,000) I'm pretty sure.



#99 teeray

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 01:15 PM

I am in my car so I can't really provide a link. But 501c(4)s are not technically Super PACs. Those are 527s or something like that. 501cs do not have to ever disclose who their donors are.

To my knowledge 527 also don't have to pay taxes on donations either but they have to disclose donors ever quarter.

To get around that groups set up a 501c and donate to the 527s and then donors remain anonymous because the 527 only has to report the donation from the 501c. A little convoluted but I hope that makes sense.

Neither side is immune from doing this but the only example I have off the top of.my head us that there is a Crossroads that is a 527 but there is also a Crossroads GPS that is a 501c which can donate to other politic groups and no one will know where that money is coming from.

#100 mav1234

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 01:48 PM

don't know if anything has changed since this, but : http://www.nytimes.c...04Callahan.html

 



#101 cookinwithgas

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:21 PM

http://www.nytimes.c...s.html?hp&_r=3

 

When CVFC, a conservative veterans’ group in California, applied for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service, its biggest expenditure that year was several thousand dollars in radio ads backing a Republican candidate for Congress.

 

The Wetumpka Tea Party, from Alabama, sponsored training for a get-out-the-vote initiative dedicated to the “defeat of President Barack Obama” while the I.R.S. was weighing its application.

And the head of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, whose application languished with the I.R.S. for more than two years, sent out e-mails to members about Mitt Romney campaign events and organized members to distribute Mr. Romney’s presidential campaign literature.

Representatives of these organizations have cried foul in recent weeks about their treatment by the I.R.S., saying they were among dozens of conservative groups unfairly targeted by the agency, harassed with inappropriate questionnaires and put off for months or years as the agency delayed decisions on their applications.

But a close examination of these groups and others reveals an array of election activities that tax experts and former I.R.S. officials said would provide a legitimate basis for flagging them for closer review.

“Money is not the only thing that matters,” said Donald B. Tobin, a former lawyer with the Justice Department’s tax division who is a law professor at Ohio State University. “While some of the I.R.S. questions may have been overbroad, you can look at some of these groups and understand why these questions were being asked.”

The stakes are high for both the I.R.S. and lawmakers in Congress, whose election fortunes next year will hinge in no small part on a flood of political spending by such advocacy groups. They are often favored by strategists and donors not for the tax benefits — they typically do not have significant income subject to tax — but because they do not have to reveal their donors, allowing them to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into elections without disclosing where the money came from.

The I.R.S. is already separately reviewing roughly 300 tax-exempt groups that may have engaged in improper campaign activity in past years, according to agency planning documents. Some election lawyers said they believed a wave of lawsuits against the I.R.S. and intensifying Congressional criticism of its handling of applications were intended in part to derail those audits, giving political nonprofit organizations a freer hand during the 2014 campaign.

After the tax agency was denounced in recent weeks by President Obama, lawmakers and critics for what they described as improper scrutiny of at least 100 groups seeking I.R.S. recognition, The New York Times examined more than a dozen of the organizations, most of them organized as 501©(4) “social welfare” groups under the tax code, or in some cases as 501©(3) charities. None ran major election advertising campaigns, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, the main activity of a small number of big-spending tax-exempt groups that emerged as major players in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

But some organized volunteers, distributed pamphlets and held rallies leading up to the 2010 elections or the 2012 presidential election, as conservatives fought to turn out Mr. Obama.

A report issued this month by the Treasury Department’s inspector general, J. Russell George, found that inappropriate criteria, including groups’ policy positions, were used to flag some cases and that specialists in the I.R.S. office in Cincinnati, which reviews all tax-exemption requests, sometimes asked questions that were irrelevant to the application process.

And agency officials have acknowledged that specialists inappropriately used keywords like “Tea Party” and “Patriots” in searching through applications.

But some former I.R.S. officials disputed several of Mr. George’s conclusions, including his assertion that it was inappropriate to ask groups about their donors, or whether their leaders had plans to run for public office. While unusual, the former officials said, such questions are not prohibited if relevant to an application under consideration.

 

“The I.G. was as careless with terminology as the Cincinnati office was,” said Marcus S. Owens, who headed the I.R.S.’s exempt organizations division until 2000. “Half of those questions have been found to be germane in court decisions.”

 

I.R.S. agents are obligated to determine whether a 501©(4) group is primarily promoting “social welfare.” While such groups are permitted some election involvement, it cannot be an organization’s primary activity. That judgment does not hinge strictly on the proportion of funds a group spends on campaign ads, but on an amorphous mix of facts and circumstances.

“If you have a thousand volunteer hours and only spend a dollar, but those volunteers are to help a particular candidate, that’s a problem,” Mr. Tobin said.

Agents may examine when and for how long a group advocates policy positions, in part to see whether those positions are associated with a specific candidate, which can be relevant to the group’s tax status, tax lawyers and former I.R.S. officials said.

Agents may look at what a group publishes in print or on a Web site, whether it provides funds to other organizations involved in elections or whether a group’s officers are also employed by political parties. They may also consider other public information, former officials and tax experts said, though they are required to ask the organization to provide those materials or comment on them before the information can be included in an application review.

“My experience has been that the agents immediately start Googling to see what the organization is doing outside of the application,” said Kevin J. Shortill, a former tax law specialist in the I.R.S.’s exempt organization division. “And that explains why you get these requests for information like, ‘Please print out your Web site and send it in.’ ”

Emerge America, which trained women to run for office, was granted 501©(4) recognition in 2006, but its status was revoked in 2012. Training people how to run for office is not in itself partisan activity, but the I.R.S. determined that the group trained only Democratic women and was operated to benefit one party.

At least some of the conservative groups that are complaining about I.R.S. treatment were clearly involved in election activities on behalf of Republicans or against Democrats. When CVFC, the veterans’ group, first applied for I.R.S. recognition in early 2010, it stated that it did not plan to spend any money on politics. The group, whose full name in its application was CVFC 501©(4), listed an address shared with a political organization called Combat Veterans for Congress PAC. CVFC told the I.R.S. that it planned to e-mail veterans about ways in which they “may engage in government” and provide “social welfare programs to assist combat veterans to get involved in government.”

But later in 2010, as it awaited an I.R.S. ruling, the organization spent close to $8,000 on radio ads backing Michael Crimmins, a Republican and a former Marine, for a House seat in San Diego, according to Federal Election Commission records.

The spending is not detailed in the group’s tax return for 2010, raising questions about whether it properly accounted for the expense to the I.R.S. The group also checked off a box marked “No” when asked if it had engaged in direct or indirect political activities on behalf of a candidate for political office.

The group received two rounds of questions from the I.R.S. in 2012, according to its lawyer, Dan Backer. They included queries about the group’s donors and its exact relationship with Combat Veterans for Congress PAC. The agency also asked about CVFC’s activities, but the group neglected to bring up its radio ads in its follow-up responses.

Mr. Backer called the agency’s questions “sweepingly overbroad” and said the group had answered them appropriately.

In Alabama, the Wetumpka Tea Party organized a day of training for its members and other Tea Party activists across the region in the run-up to the 2012 election. The training was held under the auspices of the Adopt-a-State program, a nationwide effort that encouraged Tea Party groups in safely red or blue states to support Tea Party groups in battleground states working to get out the vote for Republicans.

Adopt-a-State was a key component of Code Red USA, a get-out-the-vote initiative organized by a conservative political action committee. The goal of Code Red USA was made clear in one of its fund-raising videos, which told supporters: “On Nov. 6, 2012, Code Red USA authorizes the defeat of President Barack Obama.”

Becky Gerritson, Wetumpka’s president, said in an e-mailed statement that her group engaged “mostly in education on all sorts of topics” and that the day of training was just one of a variety of events that it held for “educational purposes.”

Some groups appeared to be confused or misinformed about the I.R.S. rules applying to their activity.

Tom Zawistowski, president of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, another Tea Party group that has complained about the scrutiny it received from the I.R.S., sent out regular e-mails to members about Romney campaign events and organized protests around the state to “demand the truth about Benghazi” when Mr. Obama visited before the 2012 election. The coalition also canvassed neighborhoods, handing out Romney campaign “door hangers,” Mr. Zawistowski said.

The I.R.S. usually considers such activities to be partisan. But when Mr. Zawistowski consulted his group’s lawyers, he said, he came away understanding that the I.R.S. was most concerned with radio or television advertising. He said he believed that other activities, like distributing literature for the Romney campaign, would not raise concerns.

“It’s not political activity,” he said.

[/quote]



#102 g5jamz

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:38 AM

I know nothing!

 

Obama-admin-visitors.jpg



#103 g5jamz

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:21 AM

Since CWG loves copying novels....how about these depositions from Cincinnati office IRS employees to the house committee.

 

http://oversight.hou...ng-on-cnn-sotu/

 

 


WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) revealed new testimony from IRS employees in Cincinnati involved with the IRS’s political targeting today on CNN’s State of the Union.

The Committee released excerpts from bipartisan transcribed interviews between Committee Investigators and Cincinnati IRS employees. In these interviews Cincinnati IRS employees reject the White House’s claim that the targeting was merely work of “rogue” agents and say targeting of conservative political groups came from Washington, D.C.

“As late as last week, the administration was still trying to say the [IRS targeting scandal] was from a few rogue agents in Cincinnati, when in fact the indication is that they were directly being ordered from Washington,” Issa told CNN.

Below is an excerpt from the transcribed interviews between Committee Investigators and Cincinnati IRS employees:

One Cincinnati IRS employee interviewed by the Oversight Committee rejects the White House assertion and points to Washington as being responsible for targeting effort:

Q: In early 2010, was there a time when you became aware of applications that referenced Tea Party or other conservative groups?
A: In March of 2010, I was made aware.

******
Q: Okay. Now, was there a point around this time period when [your supervisor] asked you to do a search for similar applications?
A: Yes.
Q: To the best of your recollection, when was this request made?
A: Sometime in early March of 2010.

******
Q: Did [your supervisor] give you any indication of the need for the search, any more context?
A: He told me that Washington, D.C., wanted some cases.

******

Q: So as of April 2010, these 40 cases were held at that moment in your group; is that right?
A: Some were.
Q: How many were held there?
A: Less than 40. Some went to Washington, D.C.
Q: Okay. How many went to Washington, D.C.?
A: I sent seven.

******

Q: So you prepared seven hard copy versions of the applications to go to Washington, D.C.?
A: Correct.

******

Q: Did he give you any sort of indication as to why he requested you to do that?

[…]
A: He said Washington, D.C. wanted seven. Because at one point I believe I heard they were thinking 10, but it came down to seven. I said okay, seven.
Q: How did you decide which seven were sent?
A: Just the first seven.
Q: The first seven to come into the system?
A: Yes.

*****

Q: Did anyone else ever make a request that you send any cases to Washington?
A: [Different IRS employee] wanted to have two cases that she couldn't ‑‑ Washington, D.C. wanted them, but she couldn't find the paper. So she requested me, through an email, to find these cases for her and to send them to Washington, D.C.
Q: When was this, what time frame?
A: I don't recall the time frame, maybe May of 2010.

******

Q: But just to be clear, she told you the specific names of these applicants.
A: Yes.
Q: And she told you that Washington, D.C. had requested these two specific applications be sent to D.C.
A: Yes, or parts of them.

******

Q: Okay. So she asked you to send particular parts of these applications.
A: Mm‑hmm.
Q: And that was unusual. Did you say that?
A: Yes.
Q: And she indicated that Washington had requested these specific parts of these specific applications; is that right?
A: Correct.

******

Q: So what do you think about this, that allegation has been made, I think as you have seen in lots of press reports, that there were two rogue agents in Cincinnati that are sort of responsible for all of the issues that we have been talking about today. What do you think about those allegations?
[…]
A: It's impossible. As an agent we are controlled by many, many people. We have to submit many, many reports. So the chance of two agents being rogue and doing things like that could never happen.

******

Q: And you've heard, I'm sure, news reports about individuals here in Washington saying this is a problem that was originated in and contained in the Cincinnati office, and that it was the Cincinnati office that was at fault. What is your reaction to those types of stories?
[…]
A: Well, it's hard to answer the question because in my mind I still hear people saying we were low‑level employees, so we were lower than dirt, according to people in D.C. So, take it for what it is. They were basically throwing us underneath the bus.

******

Q: So is it your perspective that ultimately the responsible parties for the decisions that were reported by the IG are not in the Cincinnati office?
A: I don't know how to answer that question. I mean, from an agent standpoint, we didn't do anything wrong. We followed directions based on other people telling us what to do.
Q: And you ultimately followed directions from Washington; is that correct?
A: If direction had come down from Washington, yes.
Q: But with respect to the particular scrutiny that was given to Tea Party applications, those directions emanated from Washington; is that right?
A: I believe so.

And another more senior IRS Cincinnati employee complained about micromanagement from D.C.:

Q: But you specifically recall that the BOLO terms included "Tea Party?"
A: Yes, I do.
Q: And it was your understanding ‑‑ was it your understanding that the purpose of the BOLO was to identify Tea Party groups?
A: That is correct.
Q: Was it your understanding that the purpose of the BOLO was to identify conservative groups?
A: Yes, it was.
Q: Was it your understanding that the purpose of the BOLO was to identify Republican groups?
A: Yes, it was.

******

Q: Earlier I believe you informed us that the primary reason for applying for another job in July [2010] was because of the micromanagement from [Washington, DC, IRS Attorney], is that correct?
A: Right. It was the whole Tea Party. It was the whole picture. I mean, it was the micromanagement. The fact that the subject area was extremely sensitive and it was something that I didn't want to be associated with.
Q: Why didn't you want to be associated with it?
A: For what happened now. I mean, rogue agent? Even though I was taking all my direction from EO Technical [Washington, D.C], I didn't want my name in the paper for being this rogue agent for a project I had no control over.
Q: Did you think there was something inappropriate about what was happening in 2010?
A: Yes. The inappropriateness was not processing these applications fairly and timely.

******

Q: You have stated you had concerns with the fairness and the timeliness of the application process. Did you have concerns with just the fact that these cases were grouped together and you were the only one handling them?
A: I was the only one handling the Tea Party's, that is correct.
Q: Did that specifically cause you concern?
A: Yes, it did. And I was the only person handling them.
Q: Were you concerned that you didn't have the capacity to process all of the applications in a timely manner?
A: That is correct. And it is just ‑‑ I mean, like you brought up, the micromanagement, the fact that the topic was just weirdly handled was a huge concern to me.



#104 g5jamz

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 08:10 AM

Seems Shulman's wife was a crazy Occupy Obamabot. 

 

http://twitchy.com/2...olitical-views/

 




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