IRS targeting Tea party

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AlyssaEimers's picture
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IRS targeting Tea party

IRS IG Report: Targeting Conservatives Began In 2010 - ABC News

The targeting of conservatives by the IRS started earlier and was more extensive than the IRS acknowledged last week, according to a draft IRS inspector general report obtained by ABC News.
As we reported on ?Good Morning America? this morning, the IRS began targeting ?Tea Party or similar organizations? in March 2010. That was when the Cincinnati-based IRS unit responsible for overseeing the applications for tax exempt status starting using the phrases ?Tea Party,? ?patriots? and ?9/12″ to search for applications warranting greater scrutiny.
During this first phase, 10 Tea Party cases were identified. By April of 2010, 18 Tea Party organizations were targeted, including three that had already been approved for tax-exempt status.
By June 2011, the unit had flagged over 100 Tea Party-related applications and the criteria used to scrutinize organizations had grown considerably, flagging not just ?Tea Party? or ?Patriot? in group names, but also groups that were working on issues like ?government debt,? ?taxes? and even organizations making statements that ?criticize how the country is being run.?
The report, done by the Inspector General for the IRS, also shows that senior IRS officials in Washington was aware of what was going on as early as August 4, 2011 when, according to the report, the IRS chief counsel held a meeting with the IRS?s Rulings and Agreements unit ?so that everyone would have the latest information on the issue.?

Debate question - What do you think should happen about this? Who do you think should be held responsible if anyone?

mom3girls's picture
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They should absolutely hold whoever is responsible accountable. I just believe this is evidence of deep corruption that has overtaken our government

GloriaInTX's picture
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Heads should definitely roll, starting with these 2 who not only lied about it in 2011 but let it continue to happen into 2012.

The internal IG timeline shows a unit in the agency was looking at Tea Party and "patriot" groups dating back to early 2010. But it shows that list of criteria drastically expanding by the time a June 2011 briefing was held. It then included groups focused on government spending, government debt, taxes, and education on ways to "make America a better place to live." It even flagged groups whose file included criticism of "how the country is being run."

By early 2012, the criteria were updated to include organizations involved in "limiting/expanding government," education on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and social economic reform.

Taken together, the findings of the IG and the initial admissions by the IRS Friday are fueling complaints from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Evidence that the IRS was flagging such groups in 2011 was included in a draft inspector general's report obtained Saturday by Fox News and other news organizations and expected to be released in full later this week.

That information seemingly contradicts public statements by IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who told congressional investigators in March 2011 that specific groups were not being targeted.

The IRS said Friday that it was sorry for what it called the "inappropriate" targeting of the conservative groups during the 2012 elections.

Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, said the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias.

But on June 29, 2011, Lerner found out that such groups were being targeted, according to the inspector general's report.

She was told at a meeting that groups with "Tea Party," "Patriot" or "9/12 Project" in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny, the report states.

Read more: IRS scrutiny went beyond Tea Party, targeting of conservative groups broader than thought | Fox News

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So the DOJ is going to investigate the IRS while they are under investigation for wiretapping phone records of AP reporters. Yes the corruption just gets deeper every day.

AP blasts feds for phone records search - CNN.com

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I'm sorry but I don't understand the question. What's the problem with the IRS scrutinizing a bunch of brand-new organizations claiming non-profit status? Isn't that what they are supposed to do, to make sure that organizations claiming tax-exempt status are actually not for profit and doing charitable work.? They also scrutinize existing non-profit organizations on a regular basis. :shrug:

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"Spacers" wrote:

I'm sorry but I don't understand the question. What's the problem with the IRS scrutinizing a bunch of brand-new organizations claiming non-profit status? Isn't that what they are supposed to do, to make sure that organizations claiming tax-exempt status are actually not for profit and doing charitable work.? They also scrutinize existing non-profit organizations on a regular basis. :shrug:

Yeah, this is more my feeling. I get that people are freaking out, but all I keep coming back to in my heart when I try to summon up the appropriate outrage is "Oh, the IRS has lazy employees who picked the low lying fruit?" SHOCKER. I mean, yeah, at the end of the day if these organizations weren't doing anything wrong there would be no problem. It sortov reminds me of the "papers" debate with immigrants. Like, the ones where conservatives defend everyone brown being asked to see their papers/ID simply because of their color, then say that its okay, because the legals have nothing to worry about if they are legal. Same idea.

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"Spacers" wrote:

I'm sorry but I don't understand the question. What's the problem with the IRS scrutinizing a bunch of brand-new organizations claiming non-profit status? Isn't that what they are supposed to do, to make sure that organizations claiming tax-exempt status are actually not for profit and doing charitable work.? They also scrutinize existing non-profit organizations on a regular basis. :shrug:

But they didn't investigate ALL brand new organizations. Only ones that had tea party or patriot in their name. That is ok with you that they singled out ONLY organizations with certain names for extra checks? And it is a huge expense to have to hire lawyers to get all the extra paperwork they were asking for, they went as far as to ask for lists of donors and volunteers and information from Facebook pages.

Revealed: The 55 questions the IRS asked one tea party group after more than two years of waiting - including demands for names of all its donors and volunteers | Mail Online

This is the list of requirements sent to the Richmond Tea Party. The list of things they requested was ridiculous.
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/05_02/Richmond%20tea%20party%20IRS%20letter.pdf

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

But they didn't investigate ALL brand new organizations. Only ones that had tea party or patriot in their name. That is ok with you that they singled out ONLY organizations with certain names for extra checks? And it is a huge expense to have to hire lawyers to get all the extra paperwork they were asking for, they went as far as to ask for lists of donors and volunteers and information from Facebook pages.

Revealed: The 55 questions the IRS asked one tea party group after more than two years of waiting - including demands for names of all its donors and volunteers | Mail Online

This is the list of requirements sent to the Richmond Tea Party. The list of things they requested was ridiculous.
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/05_02/Richmond tea party IRS letter.pdf

To the bolded, how do you know that? Do you work for IRS? I find it very hard to believe that IRS just slacked off on all their other responsibilities to go after "tea party" organizations.

And as someone who has worked in the non-profit world and assisted clients with IRS compliance reporting, I find nothing on that list to be out of the ordinary for those types of organizations. The IRS needs to ensure that they are more than simply fundraisers for a candidate or a lobbying arm of a sponsor of legislation. It's called due diligence and that's the IRS's job. Good for them for doing it even if it ticks off a few tea partyists. The ones that are legitimate were granted status. Again, what's the big deal?

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"Spacers" wrote:

To the bolded, how do you know that? Do you work for IRS? I find it very hard to believe that IRS just slacked off on all their other responsibilities to go after "tea party" organizations.

And as someone who has worked in the non-profit world and assisted clients with IRS compliance reporting, I find nothing on that list to be out of the ordinary for those types of organizations. The IRS needs to ensure that they are more than simply fundraisers for a candidate or a lobbying arm of a sponsor of legislation. It's called due diligence and that's the IRS's job. Good for them for doing it even if it ticks off a few tea partyists. The ones that are legitimate were granted status. Again, what's the big deal?

THEY HAVE ADMITTED IT! Would you think it was no big deal if every organization that had gay or LGBT in its name was singled out and their application put on hold for 2 years while they asked for all kinds of additional information?

IRS officials, according to the report, did not consult anyone beyond the agency about the development of the additional screening criteria. They believed that the criteria they came up with was a screening shortcut meant to help with the influx of applications, the report said.

The agency's top watchdog found that the criteria used to flag potential political applications resulted in substantial delays and the request of unnecessary information from the groups.

Among the criteria used by IRS officials to flag applications was a "Be On the Look Out" list, or a BOLO, which was discontinued in 2012, according to the report. The criteria on the BOLO included:

-- Whether "Tea Party," "Patriots" or "9/12 Project" was referenced in the case file.

-- Whether the issues outlined in the application included government spending, government debt or taxes.

-- Whether there was advocating or lobbying to "make America a better place to live."

-- Whether a statement in the case file criticized how the country is being run.

-- Whether it advocated education about the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration was initiated after congressional complaints began to surface in the media in 2012 that the IRS was targeting conservative groups and holding up applications.

"Whether the inappropriate criterion was shorthand for all potential political cases or not, developing and using criteria that focuses on organization names and policy positions instead of the activities permitted under the Treasury regulations does not promote public confidence that tax-exempt laws are being adhered to impartially," the report said.

The IRS welcomed the Treasury inspector general's report, saying that it agreed that aspects of its original approach in handling the influx of tax-exempt applications was inappropriate.

"The IRS is required by law to determine if organizations are engaging in a legally permissible level of political activity. Centralizing these cases was necessary to achieve consistent treatment," it said in a statement.

Report finds IRS targeted conservative groups, delayed applications - CNN.com

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They had a huge influx of "tea party" organizations in a short period of time, I've heard it was roughly ten times the number of applications they get of that nature in that time frame. Did they make some poor decisions in how to prioritize the work? Perhaps. That does not mean that it was an organized effort to purposely delay the applications, or that they asked more of those organizations than they would of another similar organization. The BOLO list was not put into place for the tea party, it was in place long before then, so the fact that "tea party" was added to it doesn't bother me a bit. It was a tool to help prioritize applications by flagging those that might need more scrutiny.

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"Spacers" wrote:

They had a huge influx of "tea party" organizations in a short period of time, I've heard it was roughly ten times the number of applications they get of that nature in that time frame. Did they make some poor decisions in how to prioritize the work? Perhaps. That does not mean that it was an organized effort to purposely delay the applications, or that they asked more of those organizations than they would of another similar organization. The BOLO list was not put into place for the tea party, it was in place long before then, so the fact that "tea party" was added to it doesn't bother me a bit. It was a tool to help prioritize applications by flagging those that might need more scrutiny.

Well I guess it is strange that you have no problem with it since almost every other official including Democrats AND President Obama, admit it was a problem and that it shouldn't have happened. And I think if they had targeted LGBT applications instead you would have a huge problem with it.

Attorney General Eric Holder said he's ordered the Justice Department to investigate the agency.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said what the agency did is "inexcusable," though he said the agency has also inappropriately targeted left-leaning groups in the past.

Issa and Jordan wrote their letter after receiving a briefing from IRS staff.

They claimed that the additional scrutiny from the IRS effectively placed Tea Party and other groups "in a state of purgatory where they often languished without action for periods as long as two years."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/14/lawmakers-say-irs-targeted-dozens-more-conservative-groups-than-initially/#ixzz2TO7tWpz1

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If the problem occurred because of the increase in applications, why weren't these labor organizations singled out?

A highly anticipated watchdog report, released late Tuesday by the inspector general's office, depicted an even bigger spike in applications for tax-exempt status from a type of group that includes labor organizations. Yet, according to the report, the conservative groups were the ones singled out for special treatment.

This special treatment included the agency creating a unique "be on the lookout" list. The list covered "political-sounding" names like Tea Party, Patriots, and 9/12. The criteria, labeled by the report as "inappropriate," later expanded to include groups focused on government spending, government debt, taxes and other areas.

The IRS has explained that low-level staffers at an Ohio office were effectively scrambling to deal with an influx in applications from these groups, for tax-exempt status known in the IRS code as 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4).

But around the same time, there was another influx of cases under a classification known as 501(c)(5). This is the tax-exempt status that applies to labor organizations, as well as agricultural and horticultural groups.

While the number of applications from these groups was not as high as the number from the other two categories, the increase in applications in both 2011 and 2012 was far more pronounced. The number increased by 41 percent in 2011, and then by a whopping 164 percent in 2012.

By comparison, the number of 501(c)(4) cases rose 30 percent, and then 48 percent in that time period. The IG report said the numbers could not be independently verified.

Read more: Double standard? IRS targeted conservatives, despite spike in applications from labor groups | Fox News

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You're comparing apples to oranges. 501(c)5 is a different classification and has different requirements than 501(c)3. Show me where a different bunch of 300+ organizations seeking 501(c)3 status during a similar compressed time period were all processed quickly and without scrutiny.

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"Spacers" wrote:

You're comparing apples to oranges. 501(c)5 is a different classification and has different requirements than 501(c)3. Show me where a different bunch of 300+ organizations seeking 501(c)3 status during a similar compressed time period were all processed quickly and without scrutiny.

All the other applications that didn't have Tea Party in their name. But nah progressive groups didn't get special treatment.

But other news reports underscored the difference in the agency's treatment of various politically tinged groups. USA Today reported that during the two-year period when Tea Party applications were being held up, the IRS approved roughly a dozen applications from liberal and progressive groups.

The groups included those with words like "progress" or "progressive" in their names, and reportedly were engaged in the same types of activities as those organizations whose applications were held up.

The Daily Caller also reported that Lerner in 2011 approved an application for the charity run by Obama's half brother -- the Barack H. Obama Foundation.

While some Tea Party applications sat at the IRS office for years, the charity's application was approved within a month.

Read more: Double standard? IRS targeted conservatives, despite spike in applications from labor groups | Fox News

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That doesn't answer Stacey's question. Was this group also a 5013c?

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"Jessica80" wrote:

That doesn't answer Stacey's question. Was this group also a 5013c?

I would guess so since the article says they were in the same category.

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I guess the IRS Commissioner just resigned for no reason since this wasn't a problem.

President Barack Obama vowed Wednesday to hold accountable those at the Internal Revenue Service involved in the targeting of conservative groups applying for federal tax-exempt status, beginning with the resignation of the agency's acting commissioner.

In a brief statement delivered to reporters at the East Room of the White House, the president announced that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew requested -- and accepted -- the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller.

The president said the "misconduct" detailed in the IRS Inspector General's report released Tuesday over the singling out of conservative groups is "inexcusable."

"Americans have a right to be angry about, and I'm angry about it," Obama said.

The president said new safeguards will be put in place so that "this doesn't happen again."

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/15/politics/irs-conservative-targeting/index.html

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He's a scapegoat because Americans want fast blood. I've been too busy today to read anything beyond summaries but I'm still not convinced there is evidence of anything more than some supervisors slacking and some analysts trying to do the obviously overwhelming job of processing 300+ applications that came in in a matter of weeks with little guidance beyond a BOLO list. That's not a good way to run an agency but it's not collusion and it's not actively thwarting the tea party movement. I'm withholding judgement until we get more facts about how many other 501(c)3 applications these reviewers *did* process and how many other applications were flagged for review, and whether other 501(c)3 applications were processed in a timely manner and if those groups were asked the same kinds of questions. We don't have that information yet, as far as I've seen.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I would guess so since the article says they were in the same category.

I just read it as same activities not same classifications. My company and United Healthcare are doing similar activities but we are classified differently for tax purposes.

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Sounds to me like the IRS is really starting to put their own political spin on all the applications they get.

The Internal Revenue Service allegedly told an Iowa pro-life group they had to sign documents promising not to protest or picket Planned Parenthood and they told a Texas pro-life organization they had to promote abortion, according to documents obtained by Fox News.

“The IRS was concerned about advocacy,” said Sally Wagenmaker, special counsel to the Thomas More Society. “The (agent) said picketing and protesting is not allowed.”

She said the IRS’s role “should only be to determine whether organizations fit the section 501(c)(3) test for ‘charitable, religious, or educational’ qualification, not to inquire about the content of prayers, protests, and petitions.”

It’s high time that the IRS be called to account for its workers’ potential to trample on our constitutional rights, through such ostensibly innocuous means,” Wagenmaker said – hinting that this may only be the tip of the iceberg of IRS abuses.

An IRS spokesman said they would look into the cases.

Wagenmaker was representing Coalition for Life of Iowa and Christian Voices For Life of Fort Bend County, Texas. Both groups were seeking tax exempt status. Their requests were eventually granted but only after they sought legal help from the Thomas More Society.

In 2009 the Coalition for Life received correspondence from the IRS raising questions about their prayer activity – specifically outside Planned Parenthood clinics.

“You then asked … to have all Coalition Board members sign a statement that the coalition will not ‘picket’ or ‘protest’ outside of Planned Parenthood or similar organizations and will not ‘organize’ others to do so,” Wagenmaker wrote in a letter to an IRS representative known only as “Ms. Richards.”

Wagenmaker said the IRS’s demand was clearly a violation of the pro-life group’s constitutional rights.

“It really concerned me there would seem to be this protection of Planned Parenthood,” Wagenmaker told Fox News. “They had revenues of $55 million and the Coalition is just a group of volunteers.”

The attorney wrote in her letter to the IRS that their demands “come perilously close to violating the First Amendment constitutional rights of the Coalition’s supporters.”

“The IRS’s delay and questioning of the Coalition’s tax-exempt, legitimate activities constitutes unnecessary and prejudicial interference with the Coalition’s legal right to a tax-exempt determination,” she wrote.

Wagenmaker said the IRS’s dogged pursuit of the Coalition was “intimidating” and “heavy-handed.”

In the case of Christian Voices, the IRS implied that the group had to include pro-abortion balance to their programming.

They were directed to explain whether the group’s educational programs educate both sides of the issues.

“Your question implies some sort of legal duty to provide a balanced presentation of educational information,” the attorney wrote.

She said it was incredible to think that the government wanted to require a pro-life group to give equal access to pro-choice groups.

“You can’t push an organization around like that,” she said. “You can’t impose your own out-dated, improper, unconstitutional views.”

Shortly after Wagenmaker began pushing back – the groups got their exemptions approved.

“They just needed someone to stand up for their rights and push back,” she said.

IRS Told Pro-Life Group Not to Picket Planned Parenthood | FOX News & Commentary: Todd Starnes

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*ABORTION MENTIONED/RESPONSE TO ABORTION IN ARTICLE*

I need to read more on that but I of course the IRS shouldn't put stipulations in what a group can and cannot do if it does not involve tax status, income etc.

On a side note, I find it funny that the person interviewed doesn't want to limit what a pro life group does and having to give them equal time when it's often put into law that people seeking abortions have to wait or have to discuss other alternatives. Not too fun on the other side.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

On a side note, I find it funny that the person interviewed doesn't want to limit what a pro life group does and having to give them equal time when it's often put into law that people seeking abortions have to wait or have to discuss other alternatives. Not too fun on the other side.

I don't see how that has anything to do with it why should a pro-life group have to spend their contributions to promote a different view that is ridiculous.

If someone is seeking an abortion they are debating a life or death decision I don't see how that should be taken lightly by anyone after all the life of a child is at stake. It's not like you can just change your mind the next day and bring that baby back to life. There are waiting periods put on other important life decisions even marriage in some places.

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*CONTINUED RESPONSE TO ARTICLE ON ABORTION*

I never said they should have to fund money! I just find it funny that if the stipulations were made to the opposite side all of sudden that side has a problem with it. I have a problem with the stipulations given to women seeking an abortion and I voice that. I don't agree with waiting periods as I don't feel the majority of women take it lightly. I don't think they need to present all sides except when seeking out advice. This is why I find it so odd that if suggested (and I don't think the IRS is the one to suggest this) that they have to present all options as many abortion providers do that all of sudden it is not cool with them.

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I just wanted to point out that I had nothing to do with bring abortion into this debate.

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No you didn't. I am pretty sure that it is clear. It happen as a response to an article that was posted. I did forget to title my posts. I will edit.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

I just read it as same activities not same classifications. My company and United Healthcare are doing similar activities but we are classified differently for tax purposes.

This article states they were applying for the same tax status.

In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no questions asked.

That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn't be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months.

In that time, the IRS approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows.

As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months. With names including words like "Progress" or "Progressive," the liberal groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups.

IRS approved liberal groups while Tea Party in limbo

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I agree that there are a lot of questions to be raised. I just can't necessarily go on one article nor should anyone. I would like to know though what is a "liberal" group just that they had the name Progress or Progressive?

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"Jessica80" wrote:

I agree that there are a lot of questions to be raised. I just can't necessarily go on one article nor should anyone. I would like to know though what is a "liberal" group just that they had the name Progress or Progressive?

Here is a description of some of the groups from the same article.

They included:

• Bus for Progress, a New Jersey non-profit that uses a red, white and blue bus to "drive the progressive change." According to its website, its mission includes "support (for) progressive politicians with the courage to serve the people's interests and make tough choices." It got an IRS approval as a social welfare group in April 2011.

• Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment says it fights against corporate welfare and for increasing the minimum wage. "It would be fair to say we're on the progressive end of the spectrum," said executive director Jeff Ordower. He said the group got tax-exempt status in September 2011 in just nine months after "a pretty simple, straightforward process."

• Progress Florida, granted tax-exempt status in January 2011, is lobbying the Florida Legislature to expand Medicaid under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, one of President Obama's signature accomplishments. The group did not return phone calls. "We're busy fighting to build a more progressive Florida and cannot take your call right now," the group's voice mail said.

Like the Tea Party groups, the liberal groups sought recognition as social welfare groups under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, based on activities like "citizen participation" or "voter education and registration."

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My initial feeling stands. I think they decided to group things for additional review which is common and not something I'm concerned about. I think they grouped things poorly however. I don't support investigations that are not across the board but I don't know if the influx in apps for tea party had the same amount as progressives and I don't really feel like going back to check.

I think there are a lot of questions and workflows that the IRS needs to look into.

mom3girls's picture
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With all the new information on this subject coming out are those of you that were okay with it still feeling like it is not a big deal

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"mom3girls" wrote:

With all the new information on this subject coming out are those of you that were okay with it still feeling like it is not a big deal

Of course they don't think its a big deal because liberal groups weren't targeted.

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Do you think Lerner should have to testify now that she made a statement that she didn't do anything wrong?

House Republicans are considering trying to haul back into the hearing room the embattled IRS official who refused to testify Wednesday, claiming she may have inadvertently waived her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent by delivering an opening statement.

Lois Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division which oversaw the controversial targeting of conservative groups, caused confusion on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning when she -- according to some lawmakers -- tried to have it both ways. She pleaded the Fifth, saying she would refuse to answer questions from a House committee probing the IRS program. But before she did so, she delivered a defiant opening statement declaring she had done nothing wrong.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, questioned whether she had "effectively waived" her rights, but ultimately dismissed her from the hearing room. But Issa and others are now strongly considering trying to call her back.

"If you could do it the way she wants to do it, then every defendant would come, say 'I didn't rob the bank, and I'm not going to answer the prosecutor's questions,'" Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., told Fox News. "So we'd all in life like to get out our version without having to answer anyone else's questions. It's just not fair. And I don't think it's legal."

Issa made clear by the end of Wednesday's hearing that he was strongly considering calling Lerner back.

"I must consider this, so although I excuse Ms. Lerner, subject to a recall, I am looking into the possibility of recalling her and insisting that she answer questions in light of a waiver," Issa said.

He said for that reason, the hearing would stand in recess, but not be adjourned.

In her opening statement, Lerner asserted her innocence.

"I have not done anything wrong," she said. "I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee."

Lerner is represented by lawyer William W. Taylor, who is noted for winning a dismissal of all charges against former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a high-profile sexual assault case.

It's unclear whether Lerner can avoid another round of questioning by the committee.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the top Democrat on the committee who was as tough as any Republican on the IRS witnesses Wednesday, said he thought Lerner was still in her right to refuse to answer questions.

"I'd like to see (hearings) run like a federal court. Unfortunately, this is not a federal court and she does have a right," Cummings said Wednesday. "And we have to adhere to that."

Former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, who stayed to testify Wednesday, endured a tough round of questioning for the second day in a row. Lawmakers were visibly frustrated as he struggled to explain why he didn't notify Congress after learning of the practice last year.

But lawmakers are itching to question Lerner, having aired a string of complaints about her own failure to notify Congress.

Lerner touched off the public controversy when, at an American Bar Association conference this month, she apologized for the IRS' practice of targeting conservative organizations for additional scrutiny. It was the first time the agency acknowledged the practice.

She said she hadn't revealed the information sooner, because she was never asked. But just two days before the ABA conference, Lerner was specifically asked about the investigation.

Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., who had asked her about it, later called her answer evasive.

"The bottom line is you cannot lie to Congress, and you cannot be evasive, you cannot try to mislead Congress," he said.

Republicans may call back IRS official who refused to testify | Fox News

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Of course they don't think its a big deal because liberal groups weren't targeted.

?? What sort of debate tactic is this? I mean really. I was going to answer but really this is just so off putting that I'd just rather stick to debates where people don't assume to speak for entire groups of people.