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Thread: IRS Targeted Conservatives and groups that “criticize how the country is being run.”

  1. #1 IRS Targeted Conservatives and groups that “criticize how the country is being run.” 
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    The IRS has been targeting conservative groups, Tea Party groups, and "those critical of how the government is being run"

    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.”

    IRS IG Report: Targeting Conservatives Began In 2010 - ABC News
    So Senior IRS officials were aware of this situation since at least August of 2011 yet allowed it to continue. For perspective, let's recall Article 2.1 of the articles of impeachment against president Nixon:

    He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be intitiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.

    Using the IRS to target those critical of the government is reprehensible. If Obama can be connected to this, he should be impeached.


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    But didn't George W. Bush's 2001 Patriot Act make all of this possible?, It's seems that due to this act alone the Federal Government can pretty much get away with doing whatever it wants under the guise of national security. Surely the mere idea that tax auditting is being carried out more rigorously for members or people affiliated to particular right wing political organisations is not fundementally any different than people being racially and religiously profiled for there potential terrorist threat risk, and as such many people of a 'particular' background are being subjected to searches through which law enforcement officers may search a home or business without the owner’s or the occupant’s permission or knowledge and searches of telephone, e-mail, and financial records without a court order. So it seems that here the precedent has already been set for particular groups of people to targetted by Government Agencies by the afore mentioned Patriot Act. So I can't see the idea of what will most likely prove to be people who are right wing and rich now crying foul that they are receiving more than their fair share of tax audits gaining much traction with the public at large.


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    Is it an impeachable offense for any office?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    But didn't George W. Bush's 2001 Patriot Act make all of this possible?, It's seems that due to this act alone the Federal Government can pretty much get away with doing whatever it wants under the guise of national security. Surely the mere idea that tax auditting is being carried out more rigorously for members or people affiliated to particular right wing political organisations is not fundementally any different than people being racially and religiously profiled for there potential terrorist threat risk, and as such many people of a 'particular' background are being subjected to searches through which law enforcement officers may search a home or business without the owner’s or the occupant’s permission or knowledge and searches of telephone, e-mail, and financial records without a court order. So it seems that here the precedent has already been set for particular groups of people to targetted by Government Agencies by the afore mentioned Patriot Act. So I can't see the idea of what will most likely prove to be people who are right wing and rich now crying foul that they are receiving more than their fair share of tax audits gaining much traction with the public at large.
    Come on now. Don't defend this crap. It is anti-democratic.

    Looks like ABC is actually doing some investigative journalism. That's the real news here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    Is it an impeachable offense for any office?
    Yes it is. The treasury department, the IRS (an agency of the treasury department), Obama and Obama's adminstration (which also includes the treasury department and IRS) will be investigated, and some will pay, for these crimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    But didn't George W. Bush's 2001 Patriot Act make all of this possible?, It's seems that due to this act alone the Federal Government can pretty much get away with doing whatever it wants under the guise of national security. Surely the mere idea that tax auditting is being carried out more rigorously for members or people affiliated to particular right wing political organisations is not fundementally any different than people being racially and religiously profiled for there potential terrorist threat risk, and as such many people of a 'particular' background are being subjected to searches through which law enforcement officers may search a home or business without the owner’s or the occupant’s permission or knowledge and searches of telephone, e-mail, and financial records without a court order. So it seems that here the precedent has already been set for particular groups of people to targetted by Government Agencies by the afore mentioned Patriot Act. So I can't see the idea of what will most likely prove to be people who are right wing and rich now crying foul that they are receiving more than their fair share of tax audits gaining much traction with the public at large.
    Come on now. Don't defend this crap. It is anti-democratic.Looks like ABC is actually doing some investigative journalism. That's the real news here.
    It is surely anti-democratic. It is an act, an action, a policy, of tyranny.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Come on now. Don't defend this crap. It is anti-democratic.
    Well yeah both Wayne and yourself are indeed correct, it is wrong and a form of discrimination. But this being said firstly I can't ever see the President being directly connected to it nevermind actually being impeached over it. But the thing is, are ordinary Americans really going to care about a few more tax audits for certain people when they've had already to put up with having so many of their freedoms taken away already? See this is where I find it difficult to see your average Joe now having much sympathy for this cause when, because of a law passed by the Republicans, he can have his phone tapped or financial records examined at will anyway, how is this worse than an increased chance of a tax audit? is many will indeed be thinking. It just doesn't seem like most people are going to really pay much attention to this or see it as any kind of big deal, given the context of the state of affairs that has already existed for the last 12 years. I can also see people asking the same question that has so often been used to justify unwarranted invasions into people's private lives "Well if they've nothing to hide then they've nothing to worry about".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Come on now. Don't defend this crap. It is anti-democratic.
    Well yeah both Wayne and yourself are indeed correct, it is wrong and a form of discrimination. But this being said firstly I can't ever see the President being directly connected to it nevermind actually being impeached over it.
    I don't share your faith in Obama. He is at least as sleazy as Nixon, if not more so.
    But the thing is, are ordinary Americans really going to care about a few more tax audits for certain people when they've had already to put up with having so many of their freedoms taken away already? See this is where I find it difficult to see your average Joe now having much sympathy for this cause when, because of a law passed by the Republicans, he can have his phone tapped or financial records examined at will anyway, how is this worse than an increased chance of a tax audit? is many will indeed be thinking. It just doesn't seem like most people are going to really pay much attention to this or see it as any kind of big deal, given the context of the state of affairs that has already existed for the last 12 years. I can also see people asking the same question that has so often been used to justify unwarranted invasions into people's private lives "Well if they've nothing to hide then they've nothing to worry about".
    Here's the difference. The Patriot act is a law. The actions of the IRS were against the law. The Patriot Act is not a Republican law. It was passed with bipartisan support and does not single out members of any political party or organization. Obama has not attempted to repeal it.
    The average Joe may not care about the IRS abuse, but the people being singled out surely do. This is the kind of thing that erodes ones faith in government. Everybody needs to have respect for government, whether they agree with the laws or not. When that trust is lost, we're screwed.
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    But, Arent the people armed? With guns?

    I thought having guns in your closet could prevent the government
    (backed by big corporations that control the media and giant agencies with secret budgets, wire tap, satelites, ICBMs, secret weapon programs, secret bioweapon labs, a standing army with bases in over 100 countries)
    from making TSA nazi checkpoints and shredding the constitution, rubber stamping torture, etc, etc, all because you have inert objects in closets called guns to prevent all that?

    It appears the central Government does what ever it wants and doesnt give a crap about Joe Shmoe, the disorganized individualistic survivalist, having guns.

    How come the NRA is touted being so influential for "Gun" rights, but appears impotent to advocate for basic Citizens rights and respect for the Constitution as a whole?

    Cant all the various atomized specialty pressure groups form a united front on SOME of the things they mostly DO agree about (like the constitution, no TSA groping)


    It appears, for a non initiated like me (so excuse me ) , that the divide to conquer has never been in better shape, and individualism is the best division you can get
    ... so dont join your neighbors, they are the enemy, arm yourself, install your own prison bars on you own window and fall back to your bunker in the basement!
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzales56 View Post
    It is surely anti-democratic. It is an act, an action, a policy, of tyranny.
    +1000
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    Anyway I don't just how much of this connected but I did read a similar story about the IRS and church auditing. In this case the issues were about tax codes and the level of political involvement of the churches in question, it seems to have been the case the churches were being treated differently for tax purposes if indeed they were actively endorsing political candidates, but there wasn't any suggestion of any descrimination based upon which political affiliations were actually being supported. Last I read from this story the IRS were reviewing this policy and holding any church audits in abeyance whilst the review was taking place. Which leads me to think this particular notion of discimination cited in the OP does seem a little odd in context to the previous IRS policy decisions regarding the churches.
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    Well in the IRS defense, the lady spokewoman quoted on the Daily Show claimed she wasn't good at math.

    -Politics, if you don't laugh at sometimes you'd go crazy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    But, Arent the people armed? With guns?

    I thought having guns in your closet could prevent the government
    (backed by big corporations that control the media and giant agencies with secret budgets, wire tap, satelites, ICBMs, secret weapon programs, secret bioweapon labs, a standing army with bases in over 100 countries)
    from making TSA nazi checkpoints and shredding the constitution, rubber stamping torture, etc, etc, all because you have inert objects in closets called guns to prevent all that?
    No.
    You can say the same thing about the constitution- that it's an inert object in a box somewhere.
    The right to be armed was instituted to enable citizens to protect home and country from people with other firearms. The right to bear arms has no bearing on protecting people from lizards, political opinions, etc., etc.

    There shear idiocy of where you tried taking this was mind-boggling. Talk about a desperate attempt to stir up absurd debate...
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  15. #14  
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    overseeing the applications for tax exempt status starting using the phrases “Tea Party,” “patriots” and “9/12″ to search for applications warranting greater scrutiny.
    Have I missed the part of the discussion where the reasons for checking these applications was raised?

    The reason is quite simple. Tax. Exempt. Status.

    US law is much the same as most other countries I know of in this one aspect. Organisations are only entitled to tax exempt status, regardless of whether their objective is child welfare or maintenance of heritage buildings or any other apparently worthy cause, if they engage in no political activities - of any kind - ever.

    Me? If I were managing a regional IRS office, I'd see these organisations as prime targets for review of exemption status. Set a couple of people in front of a couple of computers for a couple of weeks and just search online for the newsletters from these groups. Spend a couple of months assembling their tax documents, their constitutions and the rest - and go after the ones that are clearly and only political organisations.

    For the others. Any newsletter proudly announcing a successful rally or protest action ..... first class evidence that their tax exempt status is doubtful. When all newsletters report only on this kind of stuff and not about anything else. No longer doubtful. Get the officers in for an extended please explain interview at the least. If other evidence points to real money from various sources being funnelled through this "tax exempt" body, go in hard.
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  16. #15 The Scandal Spreads....... 
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    So it turns out that the targeting of conservatives by the IRS was not the act of some low level employees in Ohio but reach all the way to Washington DC:

    Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved in the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
    IRS officials at the agency’s Washington headquarters sent queries to conservative groups asking about their donors and other aspects of their operations, while officials in the El Monte and Laguna Niguel offices in California sent similar questionnaires to tea party-affiliated groups.
    IRS employees in Cincinnati also told conservatives seeking the status of “social welfare” groups that a task force in Washington was overseeing their applications, according to interviews with the activists. …
    In one instance, … Ron Bell, an IRS employee, informed an attorney representing a conservative group focused on voter fraud that the application was under review in Washington. On several other occasions, IRS officials in D.C. and California sent detailed questionaires to conservative groups asking more than a dozen questions about their voter outreach and other activities, according to the documents.
    “For the IRS to say it was some low-level group in Cincinnati is simply false,” said Cleta Mitchell, a partner in the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP who sought to communicate with IRS headquarters about the delay in granting tax-exempt status to True the Vote.
    Moreover, details of the IRS’s efforts to target conservative groups reached the highest levels of the agency in May 2012, far earlier than has been disclosed, according to Republican congressional aides briefed by the IRS and the Treasury Inspector for Tax Administration on the details of their reviews.

    IRS officials in Washington were involved in targeting of conservative groups - The Washington Post
    If that's not bad enough, the IRS then took the information it had obtained via this illegal targeting of conservative groups and released it to a liberal group:

    The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office that targeted and harassed conservative tax-exempt groups during the 2012 election cycle gave the progressive group nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending.

    The commendable admission lends further evidence to the lengths the IRS went during an election cycle to silence tea party and limited government voices.
    ProPublica says the documents the IRS gave them were “not supposed to be made public”:

    Progressive Group: IRS Gave Us Conservative Groups' Confidential Docs
    At the same time that conservative groups were enduring special scrutiny and waiting years for their tax exempt status to be processed, Obama's brother was granted a unique retro-active exemption within the unheard of time span of one month:

    Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official at the center of the decision to target tea party groups for burdensome tax scrutiny, signed paperwork granting tax-exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed by the president’s half-brother that operated illegally for years.
    According to the organization’s filings, Lerner approved the foundation’s tax status within a month of filing, an unprecedented timeline that stands in stark contrast to conservative organizations that have been waiting for more than three years, in some cases, for approval.
    Lerner also appears to have broken with the norms of tax-exemption approval by granting retroactive tax-exempt status to Malik Obama’s organization.


    Read more: Lois Lerner approved exemption for Obama brother's 'charity' | The Daily Caller
    So, clearly the IRS under the Obama administration is being operated in a fair and impartial manner.................

    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post

    Have I missed the part of the discussion where the reasons for checking these applications was raised?

    The reason is quite simple. Tax. Exempt. Status.
    What you are ignoring is the fact that the IRS was not simply looking into organizations with any political affiliation in an impartial manner, but rather going after groups that expressed political opinions unfavorable to the Obama administration. That is illegal. If Obama knew about it, it's an impeachable offense.
    Last edited by madanthonywayne; May 14th, 2013 at 10:17 PM.
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    Not quite. They were going after organisations that had claimed tax exempt status which looked dubious because of overt political activities.

    How many such non-conservative groups are there? Do we know whether they've been checked - or whether they claimed tax exemptions in the first place? Groups that haven't placed themselves in this ambiguous position won't have this problem. If you can show that non-conservative groups are gaining tax exemptions/ advantages that are denied to conservative groups - that might be worth looking at.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Not quite. They were going after organisations that had claimed tax exempt status which looked dubious because of overt political activities.
    Wrong. They were going after conservative organizations that claimed tax exempt status.
    How many such non-conservative groups are there?
    Are you serious? There are plenty of such organizations on both sides. John Stewart had some nice commentary on this issue:



    And here's an article highlighting the different treatment of liberal versus conservative tax exempt organizations:

    IRS approved liberal groups while Tea Party in limbo
    Last edited by madanthonywayne; May 15th, 2013 at 12:30 AM.
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    These type of attacks on political groups takes organized and coordinated effort. These attacks are not, and were not, the actions of a rouge low level government worker within Obama's admin. I keep telling democrats that republicans, when they take power again, are going to use Obama's tricks and tactics of getting away with these abuses to attack democrats in a way democrats cannot fully understand or appreciate at this point in time.

    Republicans can now tap, record and follow all liberal news outlets, their families, their friends, all their personal transactions and communications. Dragnet them and then mop them up.

    They will use the IRS to deny and weaken democrat groups and companies that advocate for or contribute to democrats and/or democrat ideas.

    They will use the governments power and money, across the board, to attack democrats and democrat ideas, and they will do so in a manner and way set forth by Obama and a manner and way allowed by Obama supporters.
    Last edited by gonzales56; May 15th, 2013 at 12:43 AM.
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    Lawks. The USA needs to tighten up its tax code. Groups agitating for supporting various issues get an immediate brush off here.

    It's not enough in Australia to lobby or otherwise try to get more support for families with disabled kids, for example. The organisation has to be directly involved in delivering services to those families - respite care, equipment, toy libraries, therapy and the like. As for voter registration and the like. No chance. That's a job done by schools and the Electoral Office with some back up by political parties signing people up in the, very brief, interlude between calling an election and closing the rolls. The parties really only pick up the few who've moved house recently or turned eighteen recently and haven't yet responded to the official registration offer, they're not a major part of the process.

    As for "voter education". What a joke. Tax exempt? Maybe the US tax laws allow such activities as tax exempt but here they'd be regarded as political and, for that reason alone, right out of the running for any tax advantages of any kind. Me? If I were a US citizen I might not want tax exemptions as restricted and rigid as they are in Australia, but I'd certainly want them a lot more restricted than they currently seem to be.
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    Adelady, the law is the law though. These groups are allowed by law to be political and to run political ads. The government, Obama's admin, has no legal authority, nor right, to violate the law and use the power of the government to discriminate against political parties. they cannot legally put government policies in place to attack their political counterparts.

    By all means though, let Obama and his admin get away with this tyranny, and that tyranny will be used against americans whom share your political beliefs and leaning soon enough.
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    These groups are allowed by law to be political and to run political ads.
    Only when they're treading a very fine line where that activity is legitimately within their written constitution and consistent with their original application for exemption status and their reporting to the IRS. A bit like juggling glass Christmas ornaments, one slip and your feet get glass splinters.

    (I actually knew a reasonable amount about this stuff a year or so ago, all the way down to the sub-sections of the Act involved, but the details now escape me. I think it started with something about the Heritage Foundation[?] or some similar or related group like that. All very clear to me at the time, but I've not bookmarked it and I've not been following such stories recently.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Lawks. The USA needs to tighten up its tax code. Groups agitating for supporting various issues get an immediate brush off here.
    Irrelevant. This happened in the US, not Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    These groups are allowed by law to be political and to run political ads.
    Only when they're treading a very fine line where that activity is legitimately within their written constitution and consistent with their original application for exemption status and their reporting to the IRS. A bit like juggling glass Christmas ornaments, one slip and your feet get glass splinters.
    Whether or not such organizations are treading a fine line is not at issue. The issue is using the IRS as a weapon to shut down your political opponents. The " fine line" you speak of is inherent in the law. It is incumbent upon those enforcing the law to do so in a fair and impartial manner. Instead, the IRS has been selectively enforcing the law to harm the political opponents of the Obama administration and to punish any such group that dares criticize the Obama administration. That is tyranny, and Obama is either incompetent if he didn't know about this, or guilty of an impeachable offense if he did.
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  24. #23  
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    "No.
    You can say the same thing about the constitution- that it's an inert object in a box somewhere.
    The right to be armed was instituted to enable citizens to protect home and country from people with other firearms. The right to bear arms has no bearing on protecting people from lizards, political opinions, etc., etc.

    There shear idiocy of where you tried taking this was mind-boggling. Talk about a desperate attempt to stir up absurd debate..."
    shear idiocy? thanks.


    The poking-fun-of point you may have missed, is that imo guns are being seen by some of the anti-IRS-pro-gun crowd (apparently) as a safeguard against tyranny, but its not effective imo, and the people with this (first degree/limited surface analysis/reactionary) inclination are oblivious to (or utterly ineffective regarding) other very important factors that are turning a pseudo-democracy into an increasingly fascist/totalitarian/government-not-of-the-people/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. Like the Coyote in Road Runner, taking his Umbrella to protect himself from the 60 tons of rocks instead of stepping aside. If you think this is mind-boggling absurd, good for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    is that imo guns are being seen by some of the anti-IRS-pro-gun crowd (apparently) as a safeguard against tyranny
    How large is this crowd? An armed public is a safeguard against certain kinds of tyranny. It is not a safeguard against any and all tyranny.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    is that imo guns are being seen by some of the anti-IRS-pro-gun crowd (apparently) as a safeguard against tyranny
    How large is this crowd? An armed public is a safeguard against certain kinds of tyranny. It is not a safeguard against any and all tyranny.
    Exactly. If the Gestapo comes to round you up and ship you off to the "work camp", it's nice to have a gun so that you can at least go down fighting. But a gun doesn't provide much protection from the IRS.
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  27. #26  
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    If adelady's understanding of the situation is correct, and these political organizations claimed exemptions to which they were not entitled under the law.
    Then, these people broke the law.
    lemme repeat that:
    These people broke the law.

    When you chose to become an outlaw, that is your choice, and you must assume the consequences of your actions. Childishly claiming that you are being targeted because of your politics, cheapens the political freedoms we all appreciate. And, I do not like nor will I coddle that action.

    If, indeed, it turns out that they are charged, tried and found to be guilty:
    Then won't you feel betrayed for defending/supporting them?
    ..............
    If, on the other hand, these people/organizations are found by a court to be legitimately exercising their rights to free speech, and not in direct violation of TAX CASE LAW: Then, bravo for them.

    Forget the i.r.s. codes, they are just guidelines. The real tax law is case law. (Which makes a good read if you wish to legally lower your tax burden.)
    ........................
    So much for the "news media". Do you think they'll bother to inform us after the trials?
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  28. #27  
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    "How large is this crowd? An armed public is a safeguard against certain kinds of tyranny. It is not a safeguard against any and all tyranny."
    I'll make another thread to avoid going on a tangent

    but before I do...
    "If the Gestapo comes to round you up and ship you off to the "work camp", it's nice to have a gun so that you can at least go down fighting"
    Sure, its nice to go down fighting, hey I'd kick them in the balls too , but the point is, If you allow Tyranny to go that far, the gun will be moot, as moot as hiding beneath an umbrella as tons of rocks are falling.
    (If its allowed to get that Gestapo & Work Camp bad, they can simply throw a paralysis/anesthesia gas grenade while you sleep at 3:45 or arrest you at your work place, and run a story about your ties to a terrorists group, pedophile ring, cocaine bag found on the scene, etc, and call the "work camp" a "prison". Then the US would be number one in prison population stats, huh, well, even more so. )
    Last edited by icewendigo; May 15th, 2013 at 01:28 PM.
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  29. #28  
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    The summary of the IRS IG is revealing:
    "The IG found that of 96 so-called Tea Party, Patriot or 9/12 groups that were given extra screening by the agency's Cincinnati office, 79 of showed evidence of “significant political campaign intervention.” In all, 298 applications were held up for additional scrutiny, and the IG noted the fact that 202 were not from Tea Party groups as evidence the agency's actions were "not politically biased.[/COLOR]]IRS Tea Party Scandal: White House Did Not Drive Investigation, Inspector General Says"

    The fact that most of the Tea Party application that got extra screening was justified by the IRS because they were in large part political (are supposed to be primarily to promote social welfare organizations. How to define "primarily" isn't covered under the laws and isn't solid definition by IRS policy. More than 2/3 of applications that got extra scrutiny were not Tea Party.

    My personal preference is all 501s go through regular backside exams to validate their status.

    It will be a beautiful irony if the Supreme court keeps getting bothered over and over about resolving cases in the aftermath of Citizens United. It's quite doubtful this time around will become anymore than firing a few people, there seems to be no direct law violations.

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    Lynn, that link results in 404 error. Could you update it when you have a moment.


    Update: I found it here
    Last edited by MrMojo1; May 15th, 2013 at 03:41 PM.
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  31. #30  
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    Found the Inspector General's report on this one. It seems that there was an increase in the number of applications for tax exempt status between 2009 and 2012 - one of the reasons for delay in administration was simply that offices had not been given suitable funds and resources to cope with the workload.

    Personally,I'm much more concerned by a public servant releasing details to outsiders than anything else in this story. I haven't read the whole of the document and some people might find the High Bureaucratese harder to follow than a scientific paper in an unfamiliar area. This is hard-core stuff. Less Admin 101 and more like Admin 437 subpara (f)(26)D /Part III. But it's here if you want to wrestle with it. Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review

    This extract from page 8 at least gives the details of which provision covers which kinds of activities.

    Note the column saying what is and isn't allowed in the way of political activities and spending. Basically most of these organisations can do and can spend as much as they like on political activities - provided the political activity is in furtherance of tax-exempt purposes. In any event, political activity must not be the primary activity of the organisation. So the US legislation isn't quite as far removed from the Australian as it might have been.



    EDIT: Well phooey. I can't make the nifty table copy into here at all, the table was there but the contents vanished. When I tried to re-copy the whole of the page it insisted on changing to million point font. So you need to look at the link and page 8 for yourself. It's not important enough to devote/divert time to (tradesmen arriving shortly to finish off kitchen.)



    Last edited by adelady; May 15th, 2013 at 06:38 PM.
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  32. #31  
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    OK, I've read a few more pages while I have my coffee.

    One thing's for certain, the age old rules apply. When you think it might be a conspiracy, first look for a SNAFU. This is a snafu par excellence.

    Far from nefarious high level political operatives secretly diverting public resources to political ends, this is all about no one being in charge of the hen house, not even a fox. The so-called criteria were simply a rule of thumb used by people at the lowest possible level of scrutinising applications gradually making their way into their checklists and documents as the way to do the work. And I quote - "Determinations Unit employees stated that they considered the Tea Party criterion as a shorthand term for all potential political cases." (Back in my public service days we used to refer to this as office lore replacing written law.)

    And absolutely no one at any responsible management level knew anything about it - let alone Treasury or the White House. See the first complete paragraph on p 13 with the wonderful understatement "... insufficient oversight provided by management...".

    Groan. I'm only up to page 13. Thank goodness there are other things I absolutely must do. My coffee mug's empty.
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  33. #32 it gets worse........... 
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    Now there's evidence that the IRS leaked information to president Obama's campaign co-chairman that was then used to attack Romney.

    One of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign co-chairmen used a leaked document from the IRS to attack GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the 2012 election, according to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).
    Initially the claim was that the information was leaked by "a whistleblower", but.............

    In early April 2012, NOM published documents which it said showed this leaked confidential information did not come from a “whistleblower” but “came directly from the Internal Revenue Service and was provided to NOM's political opponents, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).”
    NOM discovered that when HRC published its confidential financial documents, it failed to conceal the source of the documents. “After software removed the layers obscuring the document, it is shown that the document came from the Internal Revenue Service,” NOM asserted in its April 2012 release.
    “The top of each page says, ‘THIS IS A COPY OF A LIVE RETURN FROM SMIPS. OFFICIAL USE ONLY,’" the statement continues. "On each page of the return is stamped a document ID of ‘100560209.’ Only the IRS would have the Form 990 with ‘Official Use’ information."
    NOM president Brian Brown argued in that April 2012 release that the leak was made to benefit President Obama’s re-election campaign against Romney, his GOP challenger. “The American people are entitled to know how a confidential tax return containing private donor information filed exclusively with the Internal Revenue Service has been given to our political opponents whose leader also happens to be co-chairing President Obama's reelection committee,” Brown said.
    “It is shocking that a political ally of President Obama's would come to possess and then publicly release a confidential tax return that came directly from the Internal Revenue Service,"

    Claim: Obama Campaign Co-Chair Attacked Romney with Leaked IRS Docs
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  34. #33 Is this still America? 
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    Highlights from today's congressional hearing:


    The "is this still America" quote comes from a congressman describing a businesswomen who endured multiple audits, raids by the FBI, Homeland security, OSHA, and the EPA after applying for tax exempt status for her tea party group. If that is true (he didn't give her name), heads should roll.
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    Brady is hallarious...an unnamed women supposedly from his district is brought forth as an example. I suppose the FBI was investigating her for no reason as well...LOL

    Targeting list? Hey that sounds like a non-partisan characterization of events already discussed in great length in the IG report.

    Shame shame the IRS investigating groups that are trying to get rid of the IRS--and we wonder why some of the underlings took it upon themselves to do so? Really?

    I'm just wonder when the House of Representatives is going to start doing some important stuff--such as repealing Obama care for a dozen or more times.
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    Got to love the fact that one of the IRS workers in charge of political targeting was promoted to head the IRS' department on Obamacare.
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    What's more interesting is that this was known about last summer, before the Presidential elections were held but no one told anyone about it so they kept it hidden from the public until now, after the election. Interesting isn't it?
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post

    Shame shame the IRS investigating groups that are trying to get rid of the IRS--and we wonder why some of the underlings took it upon themselves to do so? Really?
    Unbelievable. Do you realize what you're saying?

    That it's perfectly acceptable for the government to use it's power to oppress any person or group who dares to suggest that its powers should be limited in some way.

    If some citizen should oppose a tax increase that would fund an expansion of the police force, well, he might find himself subject to "more stringent enforcement of the law".

    Speak out against the EPA? Well, you might suddenly find that your property has been declared a wetland and be fined $100,000 a day until you stop farming it.

    Don't support the Patriot act? Maybe you'll enjoy a trip to Guantanamo bay.

    And it certainly goes without saying that anyone who dares to offer support for an alternative system for funding the government that might eliminate the need for or decrease the power of the IRS (flat tax, fair tax, national sales tax, etc) deserves to feel the full force of the IRS to shut them up.

    What you are in favor of is the very definition of tyranny.
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    What's more interesting is that this was known about last summer, before the Presidential elections were held but no one told anyone about it so they kept it hidden from the public until now, after the election. Interesting isn't it?
    I'm sure that was just a coincidence. This was all non-partisan activity with no political motivation whatsoever.
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    It seems like a non-partisan activity, since there is no evidence of it being otherwise.
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    This was all non-partisan activity with no political motivation whatsoever.
    On another site someone stated, no reference, that they'd seen a report that the only person/organisation to have their tax exempt status revoked so far in this project was one where a woman ran an organisation training people as Democrat candidates. The brief description made it sound like a clumsy attempt to turn a fairly ordinary business, training, into a tax exempt activity.

    Anyone know any more?
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    It seems like a non-partisan activity, since there is no evidence of it being otherwise.
    I mean who would have guessed that groups that named themselves after a political party....might actually get some extra scrutiny by IRS agents who's job it was to sort out primary political organizations from Social welfare groups......
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; May 18th, 2013 at 10:47 PM.
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  42. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    It seems like a non-partisan activity, since there is no evidence of it being otherwise.
    I mean who would have guessed that groups that named themselves after a political party....might actually get some extra scrutiny by IRS agents who's job it was to sort out primary political organizations from Social welfare groups......
    Let me say it one more time. The problem was not that the IRS was seeking out groups with political sounding names for extra scrutiny, the problem was that they were specifically seeking out groups with conservative viewpoints for extra scrutiny. Groups opposed to the president. That is indefensible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by madanthonywayne View Post
    Let me say it one more time. The problem was not that the IRS was seeking out groups with political sounding names for extra scrutiny, the problem was that they were specifically seeking out groups with conservative viewpoints for extra scrutiny. Groups opposed to the president. That is indefensible.
    You have not responded to post number 31.
    30, as well.
    Could you address those points and show reasonable evidence that a direct and structured targeting of conservative groups was ordered top down?
    Bear in mind- you've seen the Political Test thread- I'm a conservative.
    Sometimes, a person must be willing to let go of partisan beliefs and suspicions and examine a bit of reality.

    I doubt that what you're saying occurred is what actually occurred.

    Did Obama call people into his office and say, "Take these right wing bastuds down"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by madanthonywayne View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    It seems like a non-partisan activity, since there is no evidence of it being otherwise.
    I mean who would have guessed that groups that named themselves after a political party....might actually get some extra scrutiny by IRS agents who's job it was to sort out primary political organizations from Social welfare groups......
    Let me say it one more time. The problem was not that the IRS was seeking out groups with political sounding names for extra scrutiny, the problem was that they were specifically seeking out groups with conservative viewpoints for extra scrutiny. Groups opposed to the president. That is indefensible.
    Thus are there is zero evidence for that, either from the IG report or what's come from the hearings. It also conflicts with the investigations of groups with tea part in their name accounting for less than a third of the new 501s applications. What happens here is a team devoid of law about how to select new 501s for extra scrutiny developing their own based on more and and larger groups applying for tax exemption while also receiving numerous public complaints about 501 political activity from other tax payers. The criteria probably was not a good one, but there's no evidence, it was politically motivated. In fact, while many groups withdraw their applications for 501, only one was ultimately denied by the IRS...a Maine Chapter of Emerge America, a democratic group that trains female democratic candidates that was also caught in the word criteria web.
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  45. #44  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post

    Thus are there is zero evidence for that, either from the IG report or what's come from the hearings. It also conflicts with the investigations of groups with tea part in their name accounting for less than a third of the new 501s applications.
    Really? Zero evidence? Tell that to the FBI and the attorney general:

    Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation of whether Internal Revenue Service employees broke the law when they targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status — the latest setback for an agency that is the subject of withering bipartisan criticism and multiple congressional inquiries.
    Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Tuesday that the Justice Department and the FBI began the probe after the IRS acknowledged that it selected conservative groups with the words “tea party” and “patriot” in their names for special reviews.
    “We are examining the facts to see if there were criminal violations,” Holder said at a news conference.

    IG report: ?Inappropriate criteria? stalled IRS approvals of conservative groups - Washington Post
    And you might also consider this statement from DEMOCRATIC Senator and former state auditor, Claire McCaskill:

    Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is going further. A former state auditor, she has had years of experience with dissembling bureaucrats and errant officials. Last Friday, she issued a video statement calling for a full house-cleaning of everyone involved in the scandal: “We should not only fire the head of the IRS, which has occurred, but we’ve got to go down the line and find every single person who had anything to do with this and make sure that they are removed from the IRS and the word goes out that this unacceptable.
    All of this with zero evidence of wrongdoing? How strange.
    Last edited by madanthonywayne; May 20th, 2013 at 06:43 PM.
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    All of this with zero evidence of wrongdoing? How strange.
    There is evidence - of zero routine or commonsense management involvement or oversight of what should be pretty routine stuff.

    Why. on. earth. is there no policy or document telling people the basics of naming projects or documents? It really isn't obvious to people whose job is to focus on narrowly defined, particular aspects of administration that you should always and everywhere consider "what would people think?" when they stick a 'clever' or 'in-joke' or just plain silly title on a document, whether it's a 200 page policy proposal or a 3 page checklist.

    It's management's job to set standards. For everything. To ensure that work is not just done but done in a way that will pass public scrutiny. Think about how much we now laugh at silly stuff from decades ago about dress standards and the like. Sometimes it was even part of the law, all those "bringing the organisation into disrepute" rules and regulations in both public and private employment. And those things were acceptable in their day.

    This is a failure of management. Managers need to trust their staff to do a good job - and give them the guidelines so they always know what does and doesn't count as a good job. They didn't do that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by madanthonywayne View Post
    ........
    Investigations doesn't mean there's evidence of any sort--particularly in a political charged environment. Investigations are used to obtain evidence...lol.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; May 20th, 2013 at 08:39 PM.
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  48. #47  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Brady is hallarious...an unnamed women supposedly from his district is brought forth as an example. I suppose the FBI was investigating her for no reason as well...LOL
    Yes. LOL. Tyranny is so funny. Here's Catherine Engelbrecht’s story:True Scandal | National Review Online
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  49. #48  
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    Quote Originally Posted by madanthonywayne View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Brady is hallarious...an unnamed women supposedly from his district is brought forth as an example. I suppose the FBI was investigating her for no reason as well...LOL
    Yes. LOL. Tyranny is so funny. Here's Catherine Engelbrecht’s story:True Scandal | National Review Online
    There's no link between the OP and Englebretcht other than a poor nameless example being tossed around in a hearing. Though she likes to play the victim, it's mostly of her own doing. Heavily active in an organization that attracts some shady characters that brought in the FBI. And IRS scrutiny of that same organization--Just to get a view of her activities that have brought attention on herself. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/us...anted=all&_r=0

    The safety inspection, could be just that, a safety inspection.
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    Let republicans use the IRS to create and circulate a list of names and groups to go after with terms/names like "liberal", "progressive", "unions", "teachers", "pro", "choice", "control", etc., and when dems and americans call foul, republicans can say the list proves nothing but bad management and that the list is not, and is in no way, targeting opposition groups. Lol
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    Seeing as the only cancellation of exempt status so far is for an openly Dem organisation, that job's already been done.
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    Lady, a democrat group violating the rules or laws, and losing or not gaining exempt status for doing so, is irrelivant. it has nothing to do with what the IRS is currently being investigated for.
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    It's a direct outcome of the project in question so I think it has some relevance.
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    One of the real problems when it comes to the American Government seems to be that is everything is far to politicized, everything that is done or happens is always viewed through partisan eyes. Everyone seems ever vigilant for some supposed political advantage or disadvantage given to or recieved by one group or another. If you ask me ok have the political debates during election times or campaigns and then forget about it afterwoods and just start seeing how they can all just look at how things affect ordinary members of public, small and large business's or America's place & standing in the world, but not keep dwelling minor political advantages. Really I'm sure the President is far more interested in American Jobs, the Housing Market, the Korean Situation and the Middle East than whether or not a few groups who arn't that fond of him are or are not having to pay a bit more in tax, it also seems such a shame the media are so obsessed with such trivialities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by madanthonywayne View Post
    ........
    Investigations doesn't mean there's evidence of any sort--particularly in a political charged environment. Investigations are used to obtain evidence...lol.
    And now Lois Lerner, who heads the I.R.S.’s division on tax-exempt organizations, is taking the fifth. She's refusing to testify on the grounds that she might incriminate herself. How could she incriminate herself if no crimes were committed?
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    Quote Originally Posted by madanthonywayne View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by madanthonywayne View Post
    ........
    Investigations doesn't mean there's evidence of any sort--particularly in a political charged environment. Investigations are used to obtain evidence...lol.
    And now Lois Lerner, who heads the I.R.S.’s division on tax-exempt organizations, is taking the fifth. She's refusing to testify on the grounds that she might incriminate herself. How could she incriminate herself if no crimes were committed?
    You show poor darn poor understanding of the US Constitution and rule of law...just wow. Though you might want to review the Magna Carter for the original ideas, you might be better to read up on what our founding fathers had to say about rights to protect the innocent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by madanthonywayne View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by madanthonywayne View Post
    ........
    Investigations doesn't mean there's evidence of any sort--particularly in a political charged environment. Investigations are used to obtain evidence...lol.
    And now Lois Lerner, who heads the I.R.S.’s division on tax-exempt organizations, is taking the fifth. She's refusing to testify on the grounds that she might incriminate herself. How could she incriminate herself if no crimes were committed?
    You show poor darn poor understanding of the US Constitution and rule of law...just wow. Though you might want to review the Magna Carter for the original ideas, you might be better to read up on what our founding fathers had to say about rights to protect the innocent.
    Give me a break. Is this a court of law? Did I say that she did not have a right to take the fifth? Of course not. In a court of law it is the burden of the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty, as it should be. The defendant is presumed innocent and is under no obligation to testify.

    But this is a discussion board, not a court of law. There's no presumption of innocence here.

    Last edited by madanthonywayne; May 22nd, 2013 at 12:46 AM.
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    Since it is a Science forum, which does have guidelines, evidence and reason take priority here. You've run out or evidence, and are now posting cartoons.
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  59. #58  
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    It's not about the presumption of innocence It's about your failure to recognize that taking the 5th as a right, was done specifically (among other reasons) to avoid innocent people being taken for a ride and vilified and presumed guilty in a court (or hearing with legal implications as this one) before there finding of guilt. It's somewhat irrational to think otherwise. And look at the logic of "How could she incriminate herself if no crimes were committed?" and apply to other rights: Why not let cops install camera's in your your home just to make sure your not breaking the law--if your not breaking the law you having nothing to worry about...right! How about we allow police to open all your mail--after all if your not breaking the law you have nothing to worry about right! We could go on. In addition self-incrimination isn't always about guilt and innocence--it is sometimes about providing new information that will be used against you or your organization, even if unfairly (as likely in this partisan case) and by administrative actions.
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    If the IRS is going to refuse to fully cooperate or testify before congress concerning what the IRS has done, is doing and how they do those things, then Congress should simply cut off their funding or a percentage of that funding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzales56 View Post
    If the IRS is going to refuse to fully cooperate or testify before congress concerning what the IRS has done, is doing and how they do those things, then Congress should simply cut off their funding or a percentage of that funding.
    Ya that would improve things...lol. The search for efficiency because of under funding and under manning is what caused this to begin with--it's also the very ground her lawyers will use if pressed about right to use the 5th before a criminal charge is brought--one upheld by the Supreme court.
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    Did you really just try to blame funding for the IRS targeting conservative groups? If the IRS is not going to fully cooperate, and be completely open and transparent concerning this matter, then they should not be fully funded.

    Congress can easily remove all funding for these type of departments within the IRS.
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    Congress can easily remove all funding for these type of departments within the IRS.
    Easy. Just remove the exemption provisions that the IRS is responsible for administering. Job done.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Congress can easily remove all funding for these type of departments within the IRS.
    Easy. Just remove the exemption provisions that the IRS is responsible for administering. Job done.
    You could do that, or the IRS can trust the applications and forms the American people submit, and only act when there is actual proof or evidence of wrong doing. If these type of fishing expeditions were stopped, politicians and employees could not use the IRS to discriminate or target anyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzales56 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Congress can easily remove all funding for these type of departments within the IRS.
    Easy. Just remove the exemption provisions that the IRS is responsible for administering. Job done.
    You could do that, or the IRS can trust the applications and forms the American people submit, and only act when there is actual proof or evidence of wrong doing. If these type of fishing expeditions were stopped, politicians and employees could not use the IRS to discriminate or target anyone.
    Why do you call it a fishing expedition. If an organization is expected to receive tax exemption, they should expect to be investigated in some form by the IRS to validate their claims as primarily a social welfare groups--that's the IRSs job--that's what we expect from them. The shame is there arent' enough people to do all the footwork, so criteria are developed to sort them out--the only mistake here is not recognizing the political spin that could be applied years later.

    And it's not as if this was done in secret. The policy that spelled out the criteria was published and available to congress, the public and every group considering application as a 501. The organization that did this was led by a GS Bush appointee IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who's eventually going to testify--I hope he forcefully reminds them of the published policy and reminds them of their responsibilities to track such things if they have concerns as well has their poorly written laws about 501s that resulted in the IRS having to come up with their own schemes.
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    and only act when there is actual proof or evidence of wrong doing.
    How do you find such "proof"? I've worked in a large government organisation, and I can assure you that action is not taken on a mere accusation. Once you look at the issue of collecting, evaluating and analysing evidence, suddenly you've got a whole system that needs managing.
    What counts as evidence?
    What counts as a report worth pursuing?
    Do we treat internal reports differently from external reports? How? Why?
    What statistics do we keep to show that the activity needs more or less staff or resources or funding?
    How do we evaluate this program against the other organisation priorities?
    When and how do you justify a decision to abandon or to further pursue a particular case or a whole class of cases?

    With policies and directives and budgets and the whole famdamily of issues that they're now facing.

    The system already works on self-disclosure and examining/investigating anomalies. You're merely proposing that identifying an anomaly or a 'case' has a different process attached to it. It does nothing to solve the real problem, which is a failure of management - regardless of the particulars of the laws and the administrative procedures being managed (or ignored).
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzales56 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Congress can easily remove all funding for these type of departments within the IRS.
    Easy. Just remove the exemption provisions that the IRS is responsible for administering. Job done.
    You could do that, or the IRS can trust the applications and forms the American people submit, and only act when there is actual proof or evidence of wrong doing. If these type of fishing expeditions were stopped, politicians and employees could not use the IRS to discriminate or target anyone.
    Why do you call it a fishing expedition. If an organization is expected to receive tax exemption, they should expect to be investigated in some form by the IRS to validate their claims as primarily a social welfare groups--that's the IRSs job--that's what we expect from them. The shame is there arent' enough people to do all the footwork, so criteria are developed to sort them out--the only mistake here is not recognizing the political spin that could be applied years later.

    And it's not as if this was done in secret. The policy that spelled out the criteria was published and available to congress, the public and every group considering application as a 501. The organization that did this was led by a GS Bush appointee IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. Too bad he didn't forcefully remind them of the published policy and of their responsibilities to track such things if they have concerns as well has their poorly written laws about 501s that resulted in the IRS having to come up with their own schemes.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; May 22nd, 2013 at 04:43 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    And it's not as if this was done in secret. The policy that spelled out the criteria was published and available to congress, the public and every group considering application as a 501. The organization that did this was led by a GS Bush appointee IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who's eventually going to testify--I hope he forcefully reminds them of the published policy and reminds them of their responsibilities to track such things if they have concerns as well has their poorly written laws about 501s that resulted in the IRS having to come up with their own schemes.
    Wait a minute. They had a published policy to give extra scrutiny to tea party organizations?
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    They had a published policy to give extra scrutiny to tea party organizations?
    Nup. They had a checklist type document for identifying organisations which needed scrutiny to check that their tax exempt status wasn't invalidated by too much political activity. And some clueless lackwit actually used Tea Party in its title because the casual banter in the office used those terms.

    And that's what management is for. To foresee that dopey specialists with no management skills of any kind beyond supervising other dopey specialists might put stupid office jokes into writing in a more-or-less official document.
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    Its also mucked up massively by the 501c4 law as written by congress and the 501c4 interpretation given by the IRS in the 1950's are significantly different, with the Law saying "no political activity may happen" but the IRS guild line saying "not more then 50% political activity".

    By the letter of the law, all politic 501c4 organizations are illegal.
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    Be fair, Paleoichneum. If the IRS has changed its interpretation, it was probably in response to a court decision. Outsiders might think that courts "clarify" the law. From the point of view of administrators, they just as often turn decision-making from simple to nightmare.
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    Actually it wasn't, it was a very specific wording change. The law as written states

    "501(c)(4) organizations must be operated "exclusively" for the purpose of social welfare"

    However, the IRS when the law was passed, used the word "primarily" and not "exclusively". This was a scope change to the law that the IRS does not have legal authority to make. It changed what could become a 501(c)(4) to include political action groups, something the written law prohibits.
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    This was a scope change to the law that the IRS does not have legal authority to make.
    Good grief. Normally it's politicians and judges who create those kinds of muck ups. Administrators are much fonder of clear, simple, unambiguous, even though it's unattainable.

    Though, come to think of it, I remember a bloke who did a lot of government consulting giving a talk. He was really giving the accountancy/law professions a bit of a subtle serve without openly saying so. The professional bodies were forever blatting on about how public servants, Tax Office in this particular case, didn't understand the "real world".

    He described a meeting where this crowd were forever advancing simple (read childishly simplistic) ideas about changing the tax system, getting rid of red tape, name your cliche. The not-in-the-real-world public servants were the ones pointing out that one proposal would disadvantage farmers because .... , the next witless idea would likely require metals processing or clothing retailers or drug manufacturers to take on more staff, yet another would impose unacceptable compliance requirements on sole traders/tradesmen like plumbers and electricians. It was the public servants who had the full grasp of the circumstances and activities of all the industries and occupations that reported income and statistics to government. No surprise really unless you've already made up your mind that public servants never know anything.

    Which brings up another 30+ year old memory. A phone conversation with a member of the public complaining about something. Somehow the discussion calmed down and got around to pharmacy expenses and I conversationally mentioned something about our local pharmacy. This person was amazed, absolutely gobsmacked. It had never occurred to him that public servants lived ordinary lives in ordinary houses in ordinary suburbs. I never asked what he thought happened at night when the office lights went off. Did we all file into regimented dormitories isolated from all normal life? Or what?
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    They had a published policy to give extra scrutiny to tea party organizations?
    Nup. They had a checklist type document for identifying organisations which needed scrutiny to check that their tax exempt status wasn't invalidated by too much political activity. And some clueless lackwit actually used Tea Party in its title because the casual banter in the office used those terms.

    And that's what management is for. To foresee that dopey specialists with no management skills of any kind beyond supervising other dopey specialists might put stupid office jokes into writing in a more-or-less official document.
    This "low level flunky" argument may not hold water...

    “We’re not political,’’ said one determinations staffer in khakis as he left work late Tuesday afternoon. “We people on the local level are doing what we are supposed to do. . . . That’s why there are so many people here who are flustered. Everything comes from the top. We don’t have any authority to make those decisions without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive.”
    The staff member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job, said that the determinations unit is competent and without bias, that it grouped together conservative applications “for consistency’s sake” — so one application did not sail through while a similar one was held up in review. This consistency is paramount in the review of all applications, according to Ronald Ran, an estate-tax lawyer who worked for 37 years in the IRS’s Cincinnati office.
    Anonymous Cincinnati IRS official:
    They grouped together conservative applications for consistency's sake, never questioned the idea that the political ideology of an applicant should not even be a consideration for the IRS. Furthermore:

    First, only conservative groups were targeted in this scandal by the IRS. Liberal or progressive groups were not targeted. The IRS leaked conservative groups' confidential applications and donor lists to liberal groups, never the other way around.
    This was a political operation. If it had not been, then the statistics tell us left-wing groups would have been harassed and abused, and seen their applications leaked to the press. There would be a left-wing equivalent to Catherine Engelbrecht.
    And all of this apparently took place in the years leading up to the 2012 election. Meaning that before that election, groups that were anti-Obamacare, or pro-life, or pro-Second Amendment or constitutionalist, or had words like "tea party" or "patriot" in their name—groups that is that would support Republicans, not Democrats—were suppressed, thwarted, kept from raising money and therefore kept from fully operating.
    That is some kind of coincidence. That is some kind of strangely political, strangely partisan, and strangely ideological "poor customer service."

    A Battering Ram Becomes a Stonewall - WSJ.com
    The motivation for this activity is obvious. It was a successful attempt to suppress the activities of the very tea party organizations that had handed the Democrats a humiliating defeat in 2010.

    The IRS took the Tea Party out of play for the 2012 election to avoid a repeat of 2010 and another Tea Party landslide.
    Some say Tea Party applications for tax-exempt status averaged 27 months for approval, while those from liberal groups averaged nine. In one extreme case, according to the Washington Post, the IRS granted the Barack H. Obama Foundation tax-exempt status in a speedy one-month timeframe.
    Yet some conservative groups waited up to three years, and some still haven't received approval. There can be only one reason for this. The IRS was trying to put them out of business.

    RealClearMarkets - IRS Tried To Keep the Tea Party From Winning
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    They grouped together conservative applications for consistency's sake, never questioned the idea that the political ideology of an applicant should not even be a consideration for the IRS. Furthermore:


    And so far there's no evidence that they did that--especially in the light that using a naming convention could also be used as a screen of political activity, which is their job, and their ultimate decisions to grant 501 status to all of those same applicants.

    The sad part is the real story here should be their near 100% granting of tax free status to dozens of politically active groups from both parties--something that will get buried because too many representatives benefit from those activities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    and their ultimate decisions to grant 501 status to all of those same applicants.
    I will admit this part here is actually not in their favor... If they ended up granting the status to all of those same applicants- why were they selectively singled out based on the name of the party? Do you see the disconnect there?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    and their ultimate decisions to grant 501 status to all of those same applicants.
    I will admit this part here is actually not in their favor... If they ended up granting the status to all of those same applicants- why were they selectively singled out based on the name of the party? Do you see the disconnect there?
    Not really a disconnect. Their screening was apparently more robust than their actual determinations. It really appears they rubber stamped the vast majority of applications.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Not really a disconnect. Their screening was apparently more robust than their actual determinations. It really appears they rubber stamped the vast majority of applications.
    If anything it caused a delay in their approval. Which can be a problem in itself.

    But here is my point: Tea Party or Conservative groups were singled out- from what I understand, that has been established.
    Yet, they were approved for the 501 status- Why were they singled out then if they apparently should not have been considering all of them were approved?
    I can certainly see the faults of bureaucracy and mix-ups, right hand doesn't know what they left was doing (pardon the pun) and so on. Yet, that they were all approved in the end in spite of being singled out- that stands out like a sore thumb.
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    "Yet, that they were all approved in the end in spite of being singled out- that stands out like a sore thumb."

    Why. If they approved almost all applicants than there is no indication of a trend here or something wrong. The ones singled out for conservative sounding names were only a 3rd of those singled out. From what I can tell only one of hundreds was ultimately turned down of the total set of those reviewed--and it was a democratic political group.
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    Yeah, I'd need to go back over the data. Again, from what I understood, it was already established that conservative groups were singled out. Your post above makes it sound like that is not the case.

    The answer to your question of "why" is clear: If they were all approved and were singled out for extra scrutiny for having conservative interests, then there was no justifiable cause for singling them out for auditing; there was a political bias in singling them out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    The answer to your question of "why" is clear: If they were all approved and were singled out for extra scrutiny for having conservative interests, then there was no justifiable cause for singling them out for auditing; there was a political bias in singling them out.
    Or just really ineffective screening combined with bad management--which is what it appears to be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Or just really ineffective screening combined with bad management--which is what it appears to be.
    Perhaps...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XKBqcIEOXM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Not really a disconnect. Their screening was apparently more robust than their actual determinations. It really appears they rubber stamped the vast majority of applications.
    They rubber stamps applications from liberal groups and friends of Obama. Conservative groups were put thru the wringer and no applications were approved for years.
    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.

    USA TODAY
    In 2010 the Democrats suffered a major defeat. That same year the IRS started holding up Tea Party and conservative group applications just long enough to prevent them from participating in the 2012 election. Coincidence? Meanwhile, conservative donors were seeing their tax information leaked and undergoing harassment from the federal government such as the raid on the Gibson Guitar company.

    2012 was a very close election. An election that Obama really shouldn't have won. Now we're beginning to see how he pulled it off.
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    They have admitted that they focused on and singled out groups based upon political ideology. The question is, "Why?"
    Since they all ended up getting approved, after lengthy delays, it raises doubts as to whether or not the activities of those groups really required auditing, as has been suggested.

    A simple SNAFU just doesn't seem to fit. Was Obama involved? I doubt it.
    Was it a grand conspiracy?
    I doubt that, too.
    Was it incompetence and politically motivated bias within the ranks?
    Probably.
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    Quote Originally Posted by madanthonywayne View Post
    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.

    A badly mistaken story.
    Here's the flow of approved applications by such groups:

    You can count the hash marks--obviously there's no 27 month gap.

    USA TODAY

    That same year the IRS started holding up Tea Party and conservative group applications just long enough to prevent them from participating in the 2012 election. Coincidence? Meanwhile, conservative donors were seeing their tax information leaked and undergoing harassment from the federal government such as the raid on the Gibson Guitar company.
    That's just strange--an IRS delays causing organizations that arn't supposed to be big political players to not be big players.



    2012 was a very close election. An election that Obama really shouldn't have won. Now we're beginning to see how he pulled it off.
    Actually is wasn't close at all...but that's another matter.
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    IRS delays causing organizations that arn't supposed to be big political players to not be big players.
    That's the crux of the issue, really.

    If the central criteria for approval for tax exempt status is that political activity must not be a major part of the organisation's activities, then there should be no problem related to election dates for such organisations.

    If they're tax exempt, then election dates are not a big concern for them.
    If they're political, then tax exemption is not an issue for them at all.

    The more they fuss and fume about this, the more likely it is that they're political and not entitled to the tax exemption. Or am I missing something?
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