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IRS admits targeting conservative groups

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GreenGoo
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:24 am

Pyperkub wrote:
Kraken wrote:This is the same government that bungled the health care website, right?
Nah, they outsourced that ;)
Go Canada!

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by theohall » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:32 pm

Pyperkub wrote:For those who didn't see the Report from last year, here's the link (it's a pdf):
According to the Director,
Now there is a reliable source :roll: Why is it no one seems capable of searching for Lerner emails from the other end?? Good forbid the truth ever come to light about the criminals running our country right now. Nixon anyone? At least he didn't use the IRS.

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:44 pm

:pop:

I saw the latest poster and knew it was going to be good.

I mean, I felt the same way when Bush was in office, but at least he was killing people. But yeah, extra scrutiny from the IRS when applying for tax free status is pretty bad too. :wub:

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IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Zarathud » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:06 pm

They did, theohall.

That's why the IRS didn't think it was a big deal. They found what they could and turned it over. This Issa investigation exists solely to fuel the confirmation bias of conservative conspiracy theorists. Every time you dig past the inferences of illegal activity, there's nothing there or evidence the conspiracy doesn't exist.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Rip » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:12 pm

IRS

Incriminating records Removal Service

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Captain Caveman » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:22 pm

Zarathud wrote:They did, theohall.

That's why the IRS didn't think it was a big deal. They found what they could and turned it over. This Issa investigation exists solely to fuel the confirmation bias of conservative conspiracy theorists.
RIP wrote:IRS

Incriminating records Removal Service
:D

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Alefroth » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:24 pm

Zarathud wrote:They did, theohall.

This Issa investigation exists solely to fuel the confirmation bias of conservative conspiracy theorists.
I wonder if it's working.

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by theohall » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:14 pm

Zarathud wrote:They did, theohall.

That's why the IRS didn't think it was a big deal. They found what they could and turned it over. This Issa investigation exists solely to fuel the confirmation bias of conservative conspiracy theorists. Every time you dig past the inferences of illegal activity, there's nothing there or evidence the conspiracy doesn't exist.
And the new excuse per an IRS dude (Thomas Kane) is essentially everyone who had a computer, in various locations throughout the country, and worked with Lerner had a computer crash in this time frame and all of the data is lost. Riiiiiggghhhhht. If you actually believe this, you are insanely naive.

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by malchior » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:52 pm

theohall wrote:
Zarathud wrote:They did, theohall.

That's why the IRS didn't think it was a big deal. They found what they could and turned it over. This Issa investigation exists solely to fuel the confirmation bias of conservative conspiracy theorists. Every time you dig past the inferences of illegal activity, there's nothing there or evidence the conspiracy doesn't exist.
And the new excuse per an IRS dude (Thomas Kane) is essentially everyone who had a computer, in various locations throughout the country, and worked with Lerner had a computer crash in this time frame and all of the data is lost. Riiiiiggghhhhht. If you actually believe this, you are insanely naive.
If you believe anyone outside the right-wing noise machine even gives a shit about any of this anymore, you are insanely naive.

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Zarathud » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:26 pm

IRS official says they're still looking at the possibility some additional backup might be out there because the House is throwing a fit. But that's just part of the conspiracy, not the IRS bending over backwards to accommodate Issa's witch hunt.

There is no :roll: large enough.

What Kane really said:
“Did you uncover any evidence that Ms. Lerner intentionally destroyed her hard drive? … [or] intentionally destroyed documents or emails … [or] uncover any evidence that any IRS employee intentionally destroyed documents or emails to avoid their disclosure?” one investigator asked.

To each, essentially he (Kane) responded: “I have seen nothing to that effect.”
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Rip » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:10 pm

Lois is such an obvious elitist liberal.
“Has [sic] work this morning. Got to talk to their internal 'spooks.' I was going to take the train to windsor Castle, but stuff closes early in winter so it wasn't going to work. Instead, went Hempstead --an Edwardian English village, full of beautiful, huge houses--which have been ruined by letting the hoi paloi live there! These people have ruined everything with their equality push!”
Lerner then sent another email: “Overheard some ladies talking about American today. According to them we've bankrupted ourselves and at through. We'll never be able to pay off our debt and are going down the tubes. They don't seem to see that they can't afford to keep up their welfare state either. Strange.”
IRS official then replied: “Well, you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP. The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to.”

Lerner replied: “Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many ---holes.”

The anonymous IRS official replied: “I'm talking about the hosts of the shows. The callers are rabid,” to which Lerner replied: “So we don't need to worry about alien teRrorists. It's our own crazies that will take us down.”
http://www.foxbusiness.com/2014/07/31/e ... te-either/

The more I hear about her the more I think the POTUS didn't need to give her marching orders. She was probably just doing what she believed the POTUS desired and figured they would provide cover if needed.

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by geezer » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:21 pm

Rip wrote:Lois is such an obvious elitist liberal.
“Has [sic] work this morning. Got to talk to their internal 'spooks.' I was going to take the train to windsor Castle, but stuff closes early in winter so it wasn't going to work. Instead, went Hempstead --an Edwardian English village, full of beautiful, huge houses--which have been ruined by letting the hoi paloi live there! These people have ruined everything with their equality push!”
Lerner then sent another email: “Overheard some ladies talking about American today. According to them we've bankrupted ourselves and at through. We'll never be able to pay off our debt and are going down the tubes. They don't seem to see that they can't afford to keep up their welfare state either. Strange.”
IRS official then replied: “Well, you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP. The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to.”

Lerner replied: “Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many ---holes.”

The anonymous IRS official replied: “I'm talking about the hosts of the shows. The callers are rabid,” to which Lerner replied: “So we don't need to worry about alien teRrorists. It's our own crazies that will take us down.”
http://www.foxbusiness.com/2014/07/31/e ... te-either/

The more I hear about her the more I think the POTUS didn't need to give her marching orders. She was probably just doing what she believed the POTUS desired and figured they would provide cover if needed.
Those first two quotes don't sound very liberal to me, and the third is just... true. :think:

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Rip » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:28 pm

Which is why I said elitist. Which is to say they talk liberal for popularity and support but really believe they are better than the "commoners".

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:32 pm

Have you met the commoners? Who among us doesn't feel better about ourselves than most everyone else?
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Rip » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:33 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Have you met the commoners? Who among us doesn't feel better about ourselves than most everyone else?
I don't.

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:35 pm

I'll remember that next time you talk about how you don't fly commercial. :P
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Zarathud » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:29 pm

If there's any lesson in this, it's not to use work email to discuss personal opinions.

Then again, Lois was only exercising her Constitutional right to free speech and her emails are only available for Rip to dissect because of oppressive government oversight. Hooray for freedom!?!

:roll:
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Rip » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:43 pm

Zarathud wrote:If there's any lesson in this, it's not to use work email to discuss personal opinions.

Then again, Lois was only exercising her Constitutional right to free speech and her emails are only available for Rip to dissect because of oppressive government oversight. Hooray for freedom!?!

:roll:
Not sure how oversight and oppressive get thrown together. I am much more a fan of the government monitoring and overseeing their own rather than spending all their time monitoring and trying to oversee the rest of us.

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Rip » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:10 pm

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/09 ... by-unions/
The official at the center of the Internal Revenue Service tea party scandal once dismissed complaints that labor unions were not reporting millions of dollars in political activities on their tax forms, according to an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

In 2007, Lerner responded directly to a complaint that some major labor unions reported completely different amounts of political expenditures when filing with the IRS and the Department of Labor.

At the time of the email, Lerner was the Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS.

Lerner wrote, “We looked at the information you provided regarding organizations that report substantial amounts of political activity and lobbying expenditures on the DOL Form LM-2, but report little to no political expenditures on the Form 990 filed with the IRS.”
Don Todd, the deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) at the time the email was sent, confirmed seeing Lerner’s email and remembering similar complaints at the time. OLMS oversees labor union financial disclosures within the Department of Labor.

“The laws never been enforced,” Todd told TheDCNF. “The IRS was telling us it would cost more to enforce the law then they would collect.”

In 2006, the year leading up to Lerner’s email, the national headquarters for the AFL-CIO reported no direct or indirect political expenditures with the IRS on their 990 form, leaving the line 81a blank. That same year, the AFL-CIO reported $29,585,661 in political activities with the Department of Labor.

Also in 2006 the Teamsters Union reported no political expenditures with the IRS while at the same time reporting $7,081,965 with the Labor Department.

Again in 2006, Unite-Here reported no political activity with the IRS and $1,451,002 with the Labor Department.

In 2005, the National Education Association also reported no political expenditures with the IRS while at the same time reporting $24,985,250 with the Labor Department.

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by malchior » Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:10 pm

Got to love the Fox News misleading URL/headline here. So to highlight - she didn't ignore the matter, the office looked into it, offered some (possibly reasonable; possibly not) explanations about some of the discrepancies, referred those discrepancies to another office to investigate, and that office more accurately possibly ignored it. How they ascertained that the Dallas office did not investigate it wasn't really spelled out. This is not exactly hard hitting stuff here.
Lerner acknowledged in the 2007 email, “The definition of political campaign activity required to be reported on Form LM2 coincides with the definition of political campaign activity expenditures required to be reported on Form 990.”

But she did offer some possible reasons for the discrepancies. “The Form LM-2 does not separate this reporting from the reporting of lobbying expenditures,” she wrote. “Furthermore, even if section 501(c)(5) labor organizations were required to report their lobbying expenditures, the amount required to be reported on Form LM-2 includes activity, such as attempting to influence regulations, that is not required to be reported as lobbying, as the IRS limitations apply to legislative lobbying.”

Lerner conceded, “Having said that, we did see some instances that raised concerns and we referred that information to our Dallas office to determine whether examination is warranted.” It does not appear any further investigation was conducted.

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Zarathud » Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:48 pm

It also misunderstands the IRS procedure. When you apply to tax-exempt status, you pay a fee and the IRS is supposed to review your application for issues and make a ruling on whether you comply with the rules. You start the process.

In audit situations, the IRS justifies the expense if they think there's a basis to collect revenue. They don't have any seed money to cover the expense of looking for issues. When you report numbers to the IRS on an information return (which is what charities, labor unions and associations file), they audit basically when there's a scandal or penalty. The IRS doesn't have money to chase down technical violations.

And they're going to have much much less money. If Republicans really wanted the IRS to do audits, why the hell did they make massive budget cuts?
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:51 pm

They only want them to do their job when none of their friends are under scrutiny. They should catch every violation, regardless of cost, and do it all with no budget. If not, they are a complete failure as a government entity and should be abolished.
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Rip » Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:25 pm

Yea because they would have recovered a fortune from Grassley IF he had taken those tickets and not claimed them. :roll:

I bet if they would have had something to look at Grassley about they would have found the money for that.
They only want them to do their job when none of their friends are under scrutiny. They should catch every violation, regardless of cost, and do it all with no budget. If not, they are a complete failure as a government entity and should be abolished.
I see it as more they are pointing out that when it is their friends (conservatives) they (the IRS) does do their job with a near reckless zeal. However when it is a liberal friendly person or organization they conveniently overlook it or decide it isn't financially worth it.

Of course many of you don't see it, because it works just how you think it should. Because all conservative political spending is evil and all liberal political spending is just for helping the poor people. :doh:

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:49 pm

I'm all for the IRS doing their job properly. However, in the current administration, it's only the party out of power that's doing the complaining. And it will be when the pattern reverses course. But even if the IRS decided to take down a liberal organization with extreme prejudice, at the moment, there would be little to no media coverage about it. Neither side would call attention to it. If the Dems did, it would be bad for their image. If the Repubs did, it would be a tacit admission that they're not being solely pilloried, and that things might actually be done fairly or badly in equal measure.
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Zarathud » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:32 pm

BTW, the IRS turn around on looking at tax exemption applications has gone from 15 months to 3-4 months.

It's not because the IRS suddenly found a way to be more efficient. They're trying to get ahead of the massive budget cuts by slacking where there's no revenue. There's even a new form where the small charity can make a bunch of representations under perjury and get approved with minimal disclosure.

The Republicans have intimidated the IRS to give up on even its minimal due diligence on charities. When there is the eventual "charity abuse" scandal, this political tempest will be discovered as the cause. And the Republicans will try to avoid responsibility by blaming government.
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Zarathud » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:40 pm

Grassley wasn't investigated--because there was no money in it. Why can't you grasp that simple fact?

I have read several Tea Party tax exempt applications. They were put together by idiots who didn't understand the rules. They deserved to get audited, and made the situation worse at every step.

Now the application of Crossroads GPS is a masterpiece of obfuscation in answering the IRS questions without hinting at the issues. That's why it sailed through. The copycats did a poor job, and triggered the alarms. And things ground to a halt.

That's how the IRS works as standard operating procedure. There was no political targeting, despite all the tin foil hat claims of conspiracy.
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Rip » Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:22 pm

Zarathud wrote:Grassley wasn't investigated--because there was no money in it. Why can't you grasp that simple fact?

I have read several Tea Party tax exempt applications. They were put together by idiots who didn't understand the rules. They deserved to get audited, and made the situation worse at every step.

Now the application of Crossroads GPS is a masterpiece of obfuscation in answering the IRS questions without hinting at the issues. That's why it sailed through. The copycats did a poor job, and triggered the alarms. And things ground to a halt.

That's how the IRS works as standard operating procedure. There was no political targeting, despite all the tin foil hat claims of conspiracy.
Amazing that so many people can on one hand think the Republicans are rich elites that brilliantly use money and power to control and oppress the poor while on the other hand are to ignorant to use the same simple obfuscations that liberal use on a recurring basis.

They are either evil geniuses or idiots. They can't be both.

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Exodor » Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:45 pm

Rip wrote:They are either evil geniuses or idiots. They can't be both.
"Republicans" is a pretty vague term which includes a lot of variation:

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by gbasden » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:25 pm

Karl Rove can be an evil genius while Skippy the tricorn hat wearing Tea Party dude can be an idiot. That's not contradictory. This is not to imply the same is not true of Democrats or Libertarians. One can find examples everywhere.

Just because Crossroads was able to carefully craft an application doesn't mean that the mouth breather down the street can do the same.
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Zarathud » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:00 pm

Other cases where the IRS dealt with politics without getting tarred and feathered:

1989 American Campaign Academy - Republican operative vocational education programs found improper to be tax-exempt
Big Mama Rag - feminist magazine defeated the IRS standards
2008 - Republican voter guides found to be political, not educational
2008 - Clinton's Democratic Leadership Council found to be improper in training political operatives
2008 - Conservative church's actions pushing political activity found improper
2012 - Status of 3 confidential organizations promoting party's female leadership denied due to political benefits

The difference is that the Tea Party WANTED this fight with the IRS for political purposes. The bureaucrats gave it to them since BOTH parties were complaining about the other side's post-PAC activity in social welfare organizations after Citizens United.

All of these groups could have received tax-exempt status as political organizations. But instead they wanted to give supporters tax deductions (and increase the deficit). To get that benefit, you're supposed to make your best case to the IRS. Those with quality legal advice might get delayed by the bureaucracy, but eventually approved. The idiots get 50+ questions because they've dug themselves a deep hole. That's not persecution, that's called getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar.
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Zarathud » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:35 am

Now the Republicans are bellyaching about how the Treasury Department isn't bending over backwards to find ex-employee Mr. Strelka, who they claim conspired with Lerner.

It's called Google. looking up his bar association info or a paid people search, you idiots.
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Zarathud » Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:46 pm

I am now 2 for 2 on my political advocacy organization applications -- both my liberal AND conservative organizations have now received exempt status approval.

After reading selections from Rep. Issa's last report (issued on December 23 to be buried by the holiday), he is a partisan hack looking to escalate even innocuous comments. The worst is that he's made the same complaints about liberal groups (most recently the Natural Resources Defense Council's proposal to the EPA) that he claims were impermissible by Democratic legislators about the Tea Party groups. Good riddance to him.
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by GreenGoo » Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:52 pm

I have enjoyed your commentary on this subject Zarathud. It's always interesting and often eye-opening to hear from people directly involved in the subject matter.

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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:54 pm

Is he going somewhere? :?
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Pyperkub » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:35 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Is he going somewhere? :?
Termed out of the chairmanship of House Oversight Committee.
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:36 pm

Well, that's something, I suppose. We'll get to learn what new damage he can do when committee assignments are handed out next month.
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Pyperkub » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:02 pm

It's a conspiracy! Now with even more hyperbolic fear-mongering:
Judicial Watch today released new Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents that include an official “DOJ Recap” report detailing an October 2010 meeting between Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and the FBI to plan for the possible criminal prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations for alleged illegal political activity.
Because we definitely shouldn't enforce the laws on the books regarding campaign finance and 501(c)4's.
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Rip » Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:33 pm

http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room ... et-audits/
In 2010, after receiving Baucus’s letter, the IRS considered the issue of auditing donors to 501(c)(4) organizations, alleging that a 35 percent gift tax would be due on donations in excess of $13,000. The documents show that the IRS wanted to cross-check donor lists from 501(c)(4) organizations against gift tax filings and commence audits against taxpayers based on this information.

A gift tax on contributions to 501(c)(4)’s was considered by most to be a dead letter since the IRS had never enforced the rule after the Supreme Court ruled that such taxes violated the First Amendment. The documents show that the IRS had not enforced the gift tax since 1982.

But then, in February 2011, at least five donors of an unnamed organization were audited.

The documents show that Crossroads GPS, associated with Republican Karl Rove, was specifically referenced by IRS officials in the context of applying the gift tax. Seemingly in response to the Crossroads focus, on April 20, IRS attorney Lorraine Gardner emails a 501(c)(4) donor list to former Branch Chief in the IRS’ Office of the Chief Counsel James Hogan. Later, this information is apparently shared with IRS Estate Gift and Policy Manager Lisa Piehl while Gardner seeks “information about any of the donors.”

Emails to and from Lorraine Gardner also suggested bias against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. An IRS official (whose name is redacted) emails Gardner on May 13, 2011, a blog post responding to the IRS targeting of political and other activities of 501(c)(4), (5) and (6) organizations:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) organization and may find itself under high scrutiny. One can only hope.
Later that day, then-Director of the Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner weighs in with an email that confirms that she supported the gift tax audits. Lerner acknowledges that “the courts have said specifically that contributions to 527 political organizations are not subject to the gift tax–nothing that I’m aware of that about contributions to organizations that are not political organizations.” Section 501(c)(4) organizations are not “political organizations.” [Emphasis in original]

Lerner’s involvement and support for the new gift tax contradicts the IRS statement to the media at the time that audits were not part of a “broader effort looking at donations 501(c)(4)’s.” In July 2011, the IRS retreated and soon-to-be Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller directed that “examination resources should not be expended on this issue” and that all audits of taxpayers “relating to the application of gift taxes” to 501(c)(4) organizations “should be closed.”

“These documents that we had to force out of the IRS prove that the agency used donor lists to audit supporters of organizations engaged in First Amendment-protected lawful political speech,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And the snarky comments about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the obsession with Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS show that the IRS was targeting critics of the Obama administration. President Obama may want to continue to lie about his IRS scandal. These documents tell the truth – his IRS hated conservatives and was willing to illegally tax and audit citizens to shut down opposition to Barack Obama’s policies and reelection.”
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IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by Zarathud » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:02 pm

The gift tax issue isn't that clear at all. Gifts are not speech, and a strict construction of the Internal Revenue Code would suggest a gift tax SHOULD be imposed by implication. But no administration wanted to try to distinguish between 501(c)(3) tax preferences and explaining how 501(c)(4) and (6) should be treated differently. The push back on the consideration of the gift issue had broad support in the tax community, but review was appropriate after Citizens United.

I have read the Crossroads GPS application for tax-exempt status and it's a masterpiece of responding without saying anything substantive or specific. I am not surprised they were under investigation -- and I fully expect their responses were similarly evasive.

And the hypocrisy is quite stunning, but not surprising. How many weeks has it been since the Republicans and Rip were calling for the IRS to investigate the Bill and Hillary Clinton Foundation? At least Grassley consistently agitated for the IRS to make changes for charities for over a decade. To paint his actions as political is uninformed propaganda.
Last edited by Zarathud on Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IRS admits targeting conservative groups

Post by hepcat » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:07 pm

I love it when sites like that try to make themselves appear unbiased by giving themselves names like "Judicial Watch". :lol:
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