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Beginning in 2010, several different IRS offices – including those in Cincinnati, Ohio; El Monte, California; Laguna Niguel, California; and Washington D.C. systematically discriminated against conservative groups. The targeting was not the work of a few “rogue” agents, as IRS commissioner Steven Miller initially claimed.
The IRS targeted organizations who “criticize how the country is being run” - singling out those with “tea party”, “9/12” and “patriot” in their names.
The agency harassed right-leaning 501(c)(3) applicants with intrusive questions, including “please detail the content of your members’ prayers."
160 such applications were delayed for over 200 days – some for more than three years and two election cycles.
During this period, the IRS approved applications from several dozen groups who used words like “progressive”, “liberal” and “equality.” Media Trackers, a conservative applicant that had been delayed for 16 months, was approved in three weeks after it reapplied under the name “Greenhouse Solutions.”
The White House account of these events has changed several times. While the White House initially maintained that it had learned about the scandal through the media, it has since been revealed that both Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew were aware of the scandal a month prior.
Under the Obama Administration, IRS higher-ups have treated themselves to extravagant entertainment and lavish conferences on the taxpayers’ dime. The agency spent over $60,000 producing two short films for fun. In one instance, the IRS “paid for the construction of an elaborate mock-up of the bridge of the starship Enterprise.” The IRS also spent millions on luxurious accommodations for its managers – in violation of its own policies - and paid $135,000 fees to at least 15 outside speakers. One speaker was paid $17,000 to discuss “leadership through art.”
Democrats have attempted to shield themselves from blame by pointing out that IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman was a Bush appointee. Shulman’s wife, however, is a senior employee at liberal group Public Campaign, an organization “dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.”
Sarah Hall Ingram, who ran the IRS’ tax-exempt division during the targeting, is now the director of the IRS’ ObamaCare office. Since graduating from Georgetown Law, Ingram has never worked anywhere except the IRS. Interestingly, Ingram has visited the White House 165 times.
The IRS has been put in charge of enforcing ObamaCare. Federal agencies are currently assembling a “Federal Data Services Hub” in what has been called “the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic” by USA Today. Under ObamaCare, government-approved health insurance providers will submit reports about their customers to this database - where they will be monitored and cross-checked by the IRS. Although only 10% of Americans now say they have confidence in the IRS, we are apparently expected to trust the agency to oversee our healthcare.
The IRS has for several years been targeting fiscally conservative and freedom-oriented grassroots organizations with highly detailed and burdensome demands. The effect has been to delay approval of tax exempt status, causing some organizations to abandon the effort, harming their ability to participate in the public debate.FreedomWorks has obtained the IRS letter listing questions to TheTeaparty.Net.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe Debates Tea Party vs. Establishment on Fox News
Matt Kibbe appeared on Fox News Sunday on March 17 to debate Steve LaTourette, a former Republican Congressman who now leads the Republican Mainstreet Partnership. The debate centered around how the GOP can win elections in the future, and was a classic case of the Tea Party vs. the Establishment. As host and moderator Chris Wallace stated, "CPAC highlighted the disagreement for the [GOP] to broaden its base."
Key Vote: See Whether Your Senators Voted to Confirm Jack Lew Here
Tonight the Senate voted to confirm Jack Lew as the new Secretary of the Treasury. FreedomWorks has a multitude of issues with Lew being in charge of the Treasury, from his incompetence at the OMB to his risky investments at Citigroup, and strongly opposed his confirmation.
Jack Lew, Head of Citigroup's Alternative Investments Arm, Is Obama's Choice To Lead Treasury
Several of us have blogged about this previously at FreedomWorks, but I simply can't get over how absurd it is that President Obama has nominated Jack Lew for Secretary of the Treasury. (Click here for a list of all Jack Lew articles on the blog.) If you thought Timothy Geithner was bad, you should check out Jack Lew's record.
Key Vote NO on Jack Lew's Treasury Secretary Nomination
Dear FreedomWorks member,
As one of our millions of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators and tell them to vote NO on the nomination of Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary. If Jack Lew is confirmed by the Senate, it would be bad news for the U.S. economy. Lew is just another tax-hiking, big-spending beltway insider who is not qualified to be Treasury Secretary.
Come On Down! You're The Next Contestant On Tax TV!
Imagine, for a moment, a game show set. Wink Martindale is the host, because you need a pro to keep this thing on the rails. Contestants are picked at random from the studio audience to answer questions about the IRS, prepared by auditors and CPAs. Winners are awarded a tax rebate. Losers get the last 10 years of their income tax returns audited.
Oregon RNC Member Proposes Working With Tea Party To Ensure November Victories
Much was made of the New York Times article earlier this month that detailed how Karl Rove has created an offshoot of American Crossroads to fund candidates in Republican primaries that are, in the estimation of well heeled GOP donors, "more electable". At Breitbart.com, Ben Shapiro described it as Rove having declared war on the Tea Party.
Call Your Senators: Jack Lew’s Confirmation Hearing Today
Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew had his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee today. As Obama’s Chief of Staff, Jack Lew did not say anything surprising—he confirmed that he is just another big government Washington insider.
Treasury Nominee Jack Lew Accused of Breaking Medicare Law
Prominent Senate Republicans are accusing Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew of violating Medicare law. Under federal law, presidential administrations are required to submit a plan to Congress on how to fix Medicare’s financial issues if the program’s funding is imbalanced. Medicare funding has been imbalanced for many consecutive years but Congress has not received one legally mandated legislative Medicare proposal from the Obama administration.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Obamacare Individual Mandate
On Wednesday, The Hill reported that the Obama administration had begun to implement the individual mandate at the heart of Obamacare. Noting its unpopularity, rules have been written by the IRS and Department of Health and Human Services that "downplay the scope" of the mandate and emphasize the exemptions. As a curious blogger, I wanted to see for myself the fact sheet that was disseminated.