It’s evident that it’s going to be the defense of the White House and Democrats that the IRS targeting of conservative groups is going to be blamed on a few “rogue” agents in the Cincinnati office. First, we now know that everything began when George Soros funded groups began putting pressure on the IRS to check out conservative 501(c)(3) groups in the wake of the Supreme Court Citizens United ruling.
“The IRS scandal can be traced back to a series of letters that the liberal groups Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Democracy 21 sent to the IRS back in 2010 and 2011. Both groups were funded by George’s Soros’s Open Society Foundations. The CLC received $677,000 and Democracy 21 got $365,000 from the Soros-backed foundation, according to the Foundation’s 990 tax forms.
The letters specifically targeted conservative Super PACs like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, asking the IRS to scrutinize them more thoroughly to determine whether or not they should retain their tax-exempt status.
On Oct. 5, 2010, when the first letter was sent to the IRS, calling specifically for the agency to “investigate” Crossroads GPS. The letter claimed Crossroads was “impermissibly using its tax status to spend tens of millions of dollars in the 2010 congressional races while hiding the donors funding these expenditures from the American people.” Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer wrote a blog post for the liberal Huffington Post to promote it, and the effort to get the media to notice the anti-conservative campaign began.
On June 27, 2011, a second letter by the CLC and Democracy 21 complained about enforcement of 501(c)(4) tax regulations, asking “that the IRS issue new regulations that better enforce the law.” Two days later, an IRS senior agency official was briefed on a new policy targeting groups which “criticize how the country is being run,” according to a Washington Post story. According to the Post, this policy was later revised.
A third letter by the CLC and Democracy 21, on Sept 28, 2011, got media traction. The letter showed the escalation of the left’s complaint about 501(c)(4) groups. It challenged “the eligibility of four organizations engaged in campaign activity to be treated as 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations.” The four organizations included Crossroads GPS, Priorities USA, American Action Network and Americans Elect.”
Today I had a conversation with with a senior IRS official who wishes to remain anonymous, but told me that there is no way that a handful of people in the Cincinnati office.
“There is no way this would have originated from just a few “rogue” agents, the guildence had to come from someone up the chain”. Just how high?
We’ll have to see. Kim Strassell at the WSJ has a theory on it.
“Mr. VanderSloot is the Obama target who in 2011 made a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a “wealthy individual” with a “less-than-reputable record.” Other donors were described as having been “on the wrong side of the law.”
This was the Obama version of the phone call—put out to every government investigator (and liberal activist) in the land.
Twelve days later, a man working for a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr. VanderSloot’s divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. VanderSloot and his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes. In July, the Department of Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch. In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny.
The last of these audits was only concluded in recent weeks. Not one resulted in a fine or penalty. But Mr. VanderSloot has been waiting more than 20 months for a sizable refund and estimates his legal bills are $80,000. That figure doesn’t account for what the president’s vilification has done to his business and reputation.
The Obama call for scrutiny wasn’t a mistake; it was the president’s strategy—one pursued throughout 2012. The way to limit Romney money was to intimidate donors from giving. Donate, and the president would at best tie you to Big Oil or Wall Street, at worst put your name in bold, and flag you as “less than reputable” to everyone who worked for him: the IRS, the SEC, the Justice Department. The president didn’t need a telephone; he had a megaphone.
The same threat was made to conservative groups that might dare play in the election. As early as January 2010, Mr. Obama would, in his state of the union address, cast aspersions on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, claiming that it “reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests” (read conservative groups).
The president derided “tea baggers.” Vice President Joe Biden compared them to “terrorists.” In more than a dozen speeches Mr. Obama raised the specter that these groups represented nefarious interests that were perverting elections. “Nobody knows who’s paying for these ads,” he warned. “We don’t know where this money is coming from,” he intoned.
In case the IRS missed his point, he raised the threat of illegality: “All around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates . . . And they don’t have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don’t know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation.”
One more thing. I’m hearing rumors of rumblings among IRS employees involved in the scandal. It looks like from what we’re seeing in the congressional hearings is that people may go to jail. That means trials which means discovery which means plea bargans which means more possible whistle blowers.
Posted by MacRanger as News
Posted by MacRanger as News
After all the talks of makeovers and other handwringing at CPAC, Rush had some advise for the GOP.
“I’ve got a story in the stack today, and it’s a fascinating headline. I’ll paraphrase the headline, but it illustrates the problem, illustrates the point. People are given a list of issues and solutions, and they love the conservative solution to every problem until they find out that they are Republican ideas. Then they reject them. And not because of the ideas. So why are they hating Republicans? It’s not because of who the Republicans are. It’s because of what’s being said about Republicans to them. The Republicans have an image problem and what they’re gonna have to do is change the way they are talked about. They don’t have to change who they are. This is the biggest point I was trying to make yesterday.
Now, there’s an assumption I’m making here. I’m assuming something just for the sake of this discussion. I know that it’s not actually totally true, but I’m assuming in the political spectrum that the Republican Party’s conservative. I know the establishment isn’t. But the Democrat Party’s liberal, far-left extremist. The Republican Party is, by comparison, conservative — without getting into the bowels of the arguments within the Republican Party. It’s not conservatism that’s being rejected by people, is point.
The Republicans think it is.
The Republicans in the establishment think that conservatism is what makes people nervous. If you give people, in a focus group or a poll, a conservative solution to a list of problems, they go for it, they love it; then they find out that they’re “Republican ideas,” quote/unquote, and they reject them. So they’re not rejecting ideas. Voters are not rejecting ideas. They are rejecting who they think Republicans are. That’s the problem the Republican Party has. I started yesterday, as an illustration, something.”
He’s right of course. The country – in spite of what some say to the contrary – is still center right. Since losing the election with a weak candidate they sucked into the media mantra that they must change and accept all the tenants of liberals or be doomed to failure.
It’s not true of course. Mitt Romney wasn’t a conservative and did a terrible job of selling himself as one and of touting conservative principles. But Mitt Romney was right about the 47% percent of Americans that want government to be the solution to their problems and they are just going to have to be shown how wrong they are. That will require another 3 years of Obama and according to the polls, they’re beginning to get it.
So the ‘anonymous’ taper of the Romney fundraiser, Scott Prouty has come forward and it just might land him in jail.
Writing in Forbes last year, noted attorney Marc Weber Tobias, wrote:
“In 1999, Linda Tripp, friend to Monica Lewinsky, secretly recorded phone conversations relating to the Clinton Affair. She was subsequently prosecuted in Maryland for violating their recording statute 10-401, which requires both parties to a conversation to consent.
It’s illegal in twelve states to record covertly at least the audio portion of a conversation where all parties have not consented. One of those states is Florida. In all fifty states under the Federal Wiretapping statute, at least one party must consent to a recording being made covertly. In Florida, it is either a felony or a high grade misdemeanor under 934.03 for the individual who made the secret recordings of Romney to have done so. The penalty in this case for first offense under the Florida statute pursuant to section 775.082 (4)(a) is up to one year in prison, unless the offense is committed for commercial gain.”
Which is evident at this point as Mr. Prouty is getting the tour of all the usual suspects like Ed Schultz’s “Ed Show”.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi would be opening an investigation as it’s not likely the charge would come from democratically controlled Boca Raton (Palm Beach).
But the simple fact that he did break the law and therefore he should somehow be held to account by the law or by benefiting monetarily.
“President Barack Obama says he’s ready to do whatever it takes to help Democrats win the House next year — a feat that could make the difference between limping to the end of his presidency and going out with a bang.
But some Democratic candidates and operatives in the districts on which control of the House will hinge said in interviews with POLITICO that the message and issues Obama has emphasized since the election are creating a difficult political headwind for them.
Obama’s political choices, they say, reflect a tone-deafness to the challenges they face competing for moderate and conservative-leaning seats.
To net 17 seats and flip the chamber, Democrats have to win predominantly on GOP turf, in districts that Mitt Romney won and where Obama and his agenda are unpopular. A number of Democrats made clear in interviews that the more partisan posture Obama has adopted over the past few months — particularly on cultural issues like gun control, and to a lesser extent on immigration and gay marriage — is making an uphill slog that much steeper.
“I think the tone coming out of the White House … could probably be more conciliatory,” said Jim Graves, a Minnesota Democrat who nearly knocked off Rep. Michele Bachmann last year in a suburban Twin Cities district where Obama barely eclipsed 40 percent.
I wonder what a presidential election poll would show now, Obama vs. Romney? How bad is the polling on Obama?
“But this approach manifestly hasn’t worked. Obama’s approval number has tumbled. Even in New York State, it dropped by 10 points (from 66 percent to 56 percent) in the past month. And 60 percent of New York voters now believe the country is on the wrong track.”
When you compare blue state number with the rest of the nation add +5, and you have someone who is in a lot of trouble.
The Commander in Chief at Work!
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