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El IRS reconoce haber incurrido en persecucion de conservadores

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El IRS reconoce haber incurrido en persecucion de conservadores

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Vie Mayo 10, 2013 4:18 pm

La administracion de Obama, a traves del IRS reconoce haber discriminado contra grupos Hay que ver si le dieron la misma lata a "Organizing for Action", la organizacion de Obama. o si practicaron la ley del embudo?



I.R.S. Apologizes to Conservative Groups Over Application Audits


By JONATHAN WEISMAN



WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service apologized to Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations on Friday for what it now says were overzealous audits of their applications for tax-exempt status.

Lois Lerner, the director of the I.R.S. division that oversees tax-exempt groups, acknowledged that the agency had singled out nonprofit applicants with the terms “Tea Party” or “patriots” in their titles in an effort to respond to a surge in applications for tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012.

She insisted that the move was not driven by politics, but she added, “We made some mistakes; some people didn’t use good judgment.”

“For that we’re apologetic,” she told reporters on a conference call.

Republicans seized on the acknowledgement, demanding more information and adding it to a growing list of missteps by the Obama administration that they say prove political interference, from hiding the terrorist origins of the attack in Benghazi, Libya, to the demand for disclosure of donors to conservative “super PACs.”

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, called for “a transparent, governmentwide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not under way at the I.R.S. or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views.”

The apology and the ensuing reaction could be a turning point for the I.R.S., which has been caught between Congressional Democrats pressing the agency to more aggressively protect tax-exempt status from overtly political groups and conservative groups claiming harassment.

Campaign finance watchdogs have said for years that 501(c)(4) tax exemptions are widely abused by conservative and liberal groups whose primary purpose is to influence elections, not to promote “social welfare,” as tax-exempt status mandates.

But Ms. Lerner said the examinations of the Tea Party groups were not a response to such pressure. She portrayed it more as a bureaucratic mix-up. Between 2010 and 2012, applications for 501(c)(4) tax exemptions nearly doubled, to more than 2,400. As the agency has done in the past, it centralized the processing of that surge at its Cincinnati office, where about 300 were flagged for further examination.

Staff members at that office singled out the terms “Tea Party” and “patriot,” she said, but not out of political bias; it was “just their shortcut.” Only about a quarter of the 300 cases flagged for scrutiny were Tea Party-related, she said, but she called the singling out of those groups “absolutely inappropriate and not the way we should do things.”

Ms. Lerner said that no disciplinary action had been taken against the low-level employees she said were responsible. But, she said, policy changes had been made to ensure that similar episodes would not happen again. For instance, high-level I.R.S. officials must now approve efforts to lump similar applications or audits into one centralized location for processing.

To the conservative groups and their defenders, the acknowledgment confirmed their worst accusations. In early 2012, numerous Tea Party-affiliated groups came forward to charge the I.R.S. with harassment for demanding that they fill out extensive – and intrusive – questionnaires before their tax-exempt applications could be approved. The questionnaires demanded detailed membership lists, donors, contact information, logs of activities and other information about the groups’ intentions.

Many of those groups found representation with the conservative American Center for Law and Justice and its outspoken lead lawyer, Jay Sekulow, who accused the I.R.S. of “McCarthyism” intended to stifle conservative speech.

The center called the apology “a significant victory for free speech.”

But the leader of one of the groups that cried foul, the Kentucky 9/12 Project, said he had received no such admission from the agency. Eric Wilson, the group’s director, said he never complied with the I.R.S. questionnaire.

Nonetheless, the I.R.S. sent the group a one-paragraph letter on April 1 granting nonprofit status, with no explanation for the protracted process and no regrets, he said.

Organizations that had been pressing for more aggressive enforcement of tax-exemption laws reacted with alarm. Lisa Gilbert, the director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, said the I.R.S. should not be targeting any particular political ideology. But, she said, questioning applicants for tax exemption to determine whether they were primarily political was entirely proper and should be more widely pursued.

“We don’t think it’s inappropriate to ask questions,” she said. “Tax-exempt groups are abusing their tax status to pursue political agendas.”

Under current law, tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organizations are supposed to be “primarily” engaged in social welfare work. In practice, groups like the conservative Crossroads GPS and the liberal Priorities USA appear to spend virtually all their efforts trying to sway elections.

Last year, Senate Democrats began pressing the I.R.S. to more aggressively target such groups. As the Tea Party questionnaires surfaced, the agency released a statement saying, “To be tax-exempt as a social welfare organization described in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(4), an organization must be primarily engaged in the promotion of social welfare. The promotion of social welfare does not include any unrelated business activities or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.”

But pressure will now come from the other direction. Representative Charles Boustany Jr., the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, demanded more information, a possible prelude to hearings.

Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, rejected the apology as insufficient, demanding “ironclad guarantees from the I.R.S. that it will adopt significant protocols to ensure this kind of harassment of groups that have a constitutional right to express their own views never happens again.
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Re: El IRS reconoce haber incurrido en persecucion de conservadores

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Dom Mayo 12, 2013 1:08 pm

El escandalo continua... Por lo visto la administracion ha usado a Hacienda Federal (IRS) para perseguir y oprimir a miembros de la derecha en el camino a la reeleccion de Herr Obama... Sera tan dificil descubrir quien echo a andar esta operacion???

CBS/AP/ May 11, 2013, 4:49 PM




AP: IRS targeted tea party groups earlier than 2012

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET


WASHINGTON Senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011, according to a draft of an inspector general's report obtained by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner.

The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.


But on June 29, 2011, Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, learned at a meeting that groups were being targeted, according to the watchdog's report. At the meeting, she was told that groups with "Tea Party," "Patriot" or "9/12 Project" in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny, the report says.


The 9-12 Project is a group started by conservative TV personality Glenn Beck.


Lerner instructed agents to change the criteria for flagging groups "immediately," the report says.


The Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration is expected to release the results of a nearly yearlong investigation in the coming week. The AP obtained part of the draft report, which has been shared with congressional aides.


Among the other revelations, on Aug. 4, 2011, staffers in the IRS' Rulings and Agreements office "held a meeting with chief counsel so that everyone would have the latest information on the issue."


On Jan, 25, 2012, the criteria for flagging suspect groups was changed to, "political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement," the report says.


While this was happening, several committees in Congress were writing numerous letters to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman to express concern because tea party groups were complaining of IRS harassment.


In Shulman's responses, he did not acknowledge targeting of tea party groups. At a congressional hearing March 22, 2012, Shulman was adamant in his denials.


"There's absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people" who apply for tax-exempt status, Shulman said at the House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing.


The portion of the draft report reviewed by the AP does not say whether Shulman or anyone else in the Obama administration outside the IRS was informed of the targeting. It is standard procedure for agency heads to consult with staff before responding to congressional inquiries, but it is unclear how much information Shulman sought.


The IRS has not said when Shulman found out that Tea Party groups were targeted.


Shulman was appointed by President George W. Bush, a Republican. His 6-year term ended in November. President Obama has yet to nominate a successor. The agency is now run by an acting commissioner, Steven Miller.


The IRS said in a statement Saturday to CBS News and other news outlets that the agency believes the timeline in the IG's report is correct, and supports what officials said Friday.


"IRS senior leadership was not aware of this level of specific details at the time of the March 2012 hearing," the statement said. "The timeline does not contradict the commissioner's testimony. While exempt organizations officials knew of the situation earlier, the timeline reflects that IRS senior leadership did not have this level of detail."


Lerner's position is three levels below the commissioner.


"The timeline supports what the IRS acknowledged on Friday that mistakes were made," the statement continued. "There were not partisan reasons behind this."


Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's oversight subcommittee, said the report "raises serious questions as to who at IRS, Treasury and in the administration knew about this, why this practice was allowed to continue for as long as it did, and how widespread it was."


"This timeline reveals at least two extremely unethical actions by the IRS. One, as early as 2010, they targeted groups for political purposes. Two, they willfully and knowingly lied to Congress for years despite being aware that Congress was investigating this practice," Boustany said.


"This is an outrageous abuse of power. Going after organizations for referencing the Bill of Rights or expressing the intent to make this country a better place is repugnant," Boustany added. "There is no excuse for this behavior."


Several congressional committees have promised investigations, including the Ways and Means Committee, which plans to hold a hearing.

On Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the administration expected the inspector general to conduct a thorough investigation, but he brushed aside calls for the White House itself to investigate.


Many conservative groups complained during the 2012 election that they were being harassed by the IRS. They accused the agency of frustrating their attempts to become tax exempt by sending them lengthy, intrusive questionnaires.


The forms, which the groups have made available, sought information about group members' political activities, including details of their postings on social networking websites and about family members.


In some cases, the IRS acknowledged, agents inappropriately asked for lists of donors.


There has been a surge of politically active groups claiming tax-exempt status in recent elections — conservative and liberal. Among the highest profile are Republican Karl Rove's group Crossroads GPS and the liberal Moveon.org.


These groups claim tax-exempt status under section 501 (c) (4) of the federal tax code, which is for social welfare groups. Unlike other charitable groups, these organizations are allowed to participate in political activities, but their primary activity must be social welfare.


That determination is up to the IRS.


The number of groups filing for this tax-exempt status more than doubled from 2010 to 2012, to more than 3,400. To handle the influx, the IRS centralized its review of these applications in an office in Cincinnati.


Lerner said on Friday this was done to develop expertise among staffers and consistency in their reviews. As part of the review, staffers look for signs that groups are participating in political activity. If so, IRS agents take a closer look to make sure that politics isn't the group's primary activity.


As part of this process, agents in Cincinnati came up with a list of things to look for in an application. As part of the list, they included the words "tea party" and "patriot," Lerner said.


"It's the line people that did it without talking to managers," Lerner told the AP on Friday. "They're IRS workers, they're revenue agents."


In all, about 300 groups were singled out for additional review, Lerner said. Of those, about a quarter were singled out because they had "tea party" or "patriot" somewhere in their applications.


Lerner said 150 of the cases have been closed and no group had its tax-exempt status revoked, though some withdrew their applications.



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Re: El IRS reconoce haber incurrido en persecucion de conservadores

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Mar Mayo 14, 2013 6:43 pm





Que se puede decir de un ejecutivo que en el transcurso de una semana se le ha acusado creiblemente de usar el poder de Hacienda contra la oposicion tras su derrota en las elecciones de mitad de termino del 2010... Que se le ha acusado de secretamente interceptar todas las comunicaciones telefonicas de AP diz-que buscando el origen de una fuga de informacion... Que ha quedado retratado como un mentiroso en el asunto de Benghazzi donde segun dijeron habian presentado los datos como se los entrego la CIA cuando en realidad sabian que el ataque fue de terrorismo, que fueron islamistas ligados a Al-Quaeda, pero que borraron esa informacion para proteger al gobierno y al titular del Dpto de Estado...



Hacia donde va esta presidencia bananera y tercermundista?
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Re: El IRS reconoce haber incurrido en persecucion de conservadores

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Miér Mayo 15, 2013 8:35 am

Cuando el rio suena, es porque Piedras trae... Ahora resulta que este escandalo trae a la memoria otros supuestos abusos de poder del IRS en favor de la administracion y su gesta politica... Obviamente la noticia tiene mas que ver con la "coincidencia" de que un reporte del Inspector General los iba a poner en evidencias... No crean que de repente le dio un ataque de consciencia al IRS... Mas bien fue de "culillo"...


New IRS scandal revives past allegations against agency






By Barnini Chakraborty

Published May 14, 2013

FoxNews.com




WASHINGTON – The IRS’s admission it targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny has drawn political condemnation but it isn’t the first, second or third time the agency has been accused of playing fast and loose with the law.

The latest scandal has revived past allegations of partisan behavior at the IRS, with some lawmakers as well as the alleged victims calling for those complaints to now get a second look. The unresolved cases include claims of media leaks on private donor information during last year’s presidential race and other instances of political profiling.

"This whole episode reinforces and confirms the American people’s worst fears about big government run amok,” Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., told Fox News.

"The startling revelations give real credibility to numerous reports over the last year that the IRS 'inadvertently' released donor information from conservative groups -- and that information ended up in the hands of political opponents," Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., who is pressing the Treasury Department and IRS for more details on those past cases, said in a statement.

The newest allegations of the IRS overstepping its authority only feed into claims that those within the powerful agency routinely disregard the law and use their authority to intimidate and target at will.

The latest startling claim came Tuesday from an unexpected source -- ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning progressive journalism group -- which said the same Cincinnati IRS branch accused of targeting conservative groups released nine confidential applications of conservative groups to them last year.

Critics had long questioned how ProPublica got that information. ProPublica put the speculation to rest on Tuesday. The media outlet said it had requested 67 applications for nonprofits in 2012. They were given 31. Of those, nine had not been approved and therefore should not have been made public.

ProPublica ultimately published six of them, despite late-breaking objections from the IRS -- the agency apparently told the organization that it should not have received the confidential applications.

Considering this and other cases, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney took some heat Tuesday after he told reporters that nobody in the Obama administration had targeted conservative groups in the past.

Many questioned the statement and pointed to a 2010 incident involving Austan Goolsbee, Obama’s former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Goolsbee told reporters on Aug. 27, 2010 that Koch Industries, a billion-dollar energy company run by the politically influential Koch brothers, paid no income taxes.

The tax records of Koch Industries -- a private company – would not have been public information and therefore should not have been known to Goolsbee. At the time, the Obama team backpedaled and said the information was made public in two places – which turned out to be untrue. Then the Obama administration said Goolsbee had misspoken and that he had guessed the company’s confidential tax information.

At the time, the IRS had promised to look into the Goolsbee gaffe but a report was never publicly released.

A source familiar with the situation suggested to FoxNews.com Tuesday that Goolsbee’s comments were a “calculated” attempt by the administration to insert Koch’s name into his discussion about companies that don’t pay taxes.

Accusations of improper IRS behavior surfaced again in 2012 when a prominent anti-gay marriage group accused the agency of leaking private tax files that listed then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney's group as a contributor. The National Organization for Marriage documents were later published by a group whose president was tied to the Obama re-election campaign.

NOM claimed that someone from the IRS fed the liberal Human Rights Campaign documents listing its 2008 contributors. On that list was a $10,000 donation from Romney’s political action committee. The Human Rights Campaign then published the documents online, saying it had uncovered one of the group’s “top secret donors,” and accused Romney of attacking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

The donation came as NOM and other conservative groups were fighting for the Proposition 8 measure banning gay marriage in California.

Group President Brian Brown this week renewed his call for the IRS to reveal any employee who might have leaked the material.

"There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law," Brown said in a statement. "The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign."

Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation said they, too, were targets of the IRS years ago.

“We endured politically-motivated audits under both the Carter and the Clinton administrations,” Heritage senior media associate Kim McIntyre told Fox News. “Back then, Washington’s ‘enemy lists’ were restricted to well-established groups. But targeting fledging Tea Party groups is different.”

McIntyre questioned whether smaller groups targeted by the IRS can even afford to fight back and says that “expensive audits could very well strangle them in a cradle. Bringing the weight and resources of the federal government to bear against small organizations threatens not just punishment, but extinction.”

Some say the allegations against the IRS are not a surprise given the agency’s storied past of mean-spirited power plays that stretch back to President Franklin Roosevelt -- accused of using his political sway to get the independent agency to lean on his critics.

President Kennedy’s administration authorized the “Ideological Organizations Project” that went after conservative organizations, while President Johnson was accused of promising tax favors in exchange for votes.

Claims of shady moves made by IRS saw a sharp rise in the 1960s and 1970s. Some say the agency has not been able to shake off the bad rap.

The IRS now says that its latest program of flagging conservative groups for additional scrutiny was inappropriate, but not partisan. An inspector general report unveiled Tuesday urged the IRS to clean up its operation, and Attorney General Eric Holder also announced he had “ordered an investigation” into the IRS controversy and that his office was “examining the facts to see if there were criminal violations.”



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/14/new-irs-scandal-echoes-agency-problems-past/#ixzz2TMbnIEWP

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Re: El IRS reconoce haber incurrido en persecucion de conservadores

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Sáb Mayo 18, 2013 8:01 pm

Esto no se lo cree nadie!!!! Del NY Times:



Republicans Expand I.R.S. Inquiry, With Eye on White House

By JONATHAN WEISMAN and JEREMY W. PETERS



WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans, not resting with the Internal Revenue Service scandal, are moving to broaden the matter to an array of tax malfeasances and “intimidation tactics” they hope will ensnare the White House.

Republican charges range from clearly questionable actions to seemingly specious allegations, and they grow by the day. On Friday, lawmakers sought to tie the I.R.S. matter to the carrying out of President Obama’s health care law, which will rely heavily on the agency. Whether they succeed holds significant ramifications for Mr. Obama, who will soon know if he is dealing with a late spring thunderstorm that may soon blow over or a consuming squall that will leave lasting damage.

Representative Dave Camp, Republican of Michigan, the usually mild-mannered chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, set the tone Friday at Congress’s first hearing on the targeting of conservative groups by the I.R.S., laying out details, from the alleged threatening of donors to conservative nonprofit groups to the leaking of confidential I.R.S. documents.

In that context, he said, the screening of Tea Party groups for special scrutiny was not the scandal itself but “just the latest example of a culture of cover-ups — and political intimidation — in this administration.”

“It seems like the truth is hidden from the American people just long enough to make it through an election,” Mr. Camp said.

Taken aback, the ranking Democrat on the committee, Representative Sander M. Levin of Michigan, modified his prepared remarks to warn, “If this hearing becomes essentially a bootstrap to continue the campaign of 2012 and to prepare for 2014, we will be making a very, very serious mistake.”

Republicans raised a long list of issues. Mr. Camp contended, for instance, that a White House official’s divulging of a private company’s tax status constituted “a clear intimidation tactic.” The 2010 incident involved an offhand comment by the White House economist Austan Goolsbee that Koch Industries had not paid corporate income taxes because it pays taxes through the personal income tax code. As it turned out, that was not true, but the assertion was made in a discussion of tax reform ideas, not politics.

The Republicans also criticized the publication of donors to the National Organization for Marriage, a group opposed to same-sex marriage. That donors list surfaced mysteriously in March 2012 from a whistle-blower whose identity is still unknown. The whistle-blower apparently obtained it by simply requesting it from the I.R.S.

Linkage to the health care law came through Sarah Hall Ingram, a longtime I.R.S. official who has headed the agency’s program to carry out the Affordable Care Act since December 2010. Before that, she led the I.R.S.’s tax-exempt and government-entities division, which contained the political targeting effort.

This is an audit, and it’s helpful,” Representative Tim Griffin, Republican of Arkansas, said of the investigation of I.R.S. targeting by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, “but it’s the tip of the iceberg.”

But the inspector general made clear that effort did not reach the attention of high-level I.R.S. officials until 2011 at the earliest.

The inspector general gave Republicans some fodder Friday when he divulged that he informed the Treasury’s general counsel he was auditing the I.R.S.’s screening of politically active groups seeking tax exemptions on June 4, 2012. He told Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin “shortly after,” he said. That meant Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year.

The disclosure last summer came as part of a routine briefing of the investigations that the inspector general would be conducting in the coming year, and he did not tell the officials of his conclusions that the targeting had been improper, he said.

Treasury officials stressed they did not know the results until March 2013, when the inspector presented a draft.

“Treasury strongly supports the independent oversight of its three inspectors general, and it does not interfere in ongoing I.G. audits,” the department said in a statement Friday evening.

Still, Inspector General J. Russell George’s testimony fueled efforts by Congressional Republicans to ensnare Mr. Obama in the scandals suddenly swirling over the White House. Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who joined the national ticket as the vice-presidential nominee last year, said of the revelation, “That raises a big question.”

Republicans hit hard on the divulging of confidential tax information, hinting of intimidation not only by the I.R.S. but also by the White House.

In March 2012, the Human Rights Campaign and The Huffington Post made public confidential tax documents from the National Organization for Marriage. The Human Rights Campaign said it obtained the documents from a “whistle-blower” who mailed them to the gay rights group’s Washington headquarters.

In a similar incident, ProPublica, an investigative journalism Web site, asked the I.R.S.’s Cincinnati office for the applications of 67 nonprofits, both liberal and conservative. When the I.R.S. responded, it inadvertently included applications for nine conservative groups that had not yet been granted tax-exempt status, a violation of confidentiality law.

When ProPublica realized what it had — including the application from Crossroads GPS, the conservative group founded by Karl Rove and other Republican strategists — it alerted the I.R.S., which warned the journalists that “publishing unauthorized returns or return information was a felony” punishable by up to five years in prison. ProPublica ProPublica redacted certain details and published the documents anyway.

Representative Peter Roskam, Republican of Illinois, hit on a different explanation. “On the one hand, you’re arguing today that the I.R.S. is not corrupt, but the subtext of that is you’re saying, ‘Look, we’re just incompetent,’ ” Mr. Roskam said. “It is a perilous pathway to go down.”

One release that turned out to be advertent was last Friday’s disclosure of the agency’s conservative targeting. Steven Miller, the ousted acting commissioner of the I.R.S., confessed that the agency’s apology was prompted by a question planted by the agency at an American Bar Association meeting. At that meeting, Lois Lerner, the head of the I.R.S.’s division overseeing tax-exempt organizations, was asked about an inquiry into the targeting issue, eliciting an apology that quickly leaked out of the closed-door session. The I.R.S. then scrambled to issue a formal release on the issue.

Mr. Miller divulged that the exchange was not an impromptu apology but a planned exchange between Ms. Lerner and Celia Roady, a tax lawyer at the Washington office of the Morgan Lewis law firm. That revelation only underscored the ham-handed way the scandal has burst into view.

Under fire, Mr. Miller called the agency’s targeting of conservative groups “obnoxious,” but he told the House Ways and Means Committee it was not motivated by partisanship. And in testy exchanges, he said he had not misled Congress, even though he did not divulge the targeting efforts of a Cincinnati unit examining 70,000 applications for tax exemption.

He called the group’s centralization of applications from groups with names that included the words “Tea Party” or “patriots” simply “foolish mistakes” that “were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection.”
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Re: El IRS reconoce haber incurrido en persecucion de conservadores

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Miér Mayo 22, 2013 10:21 am

Bueno fanaticos del boxeo politico... Esto se esta empezando a poner bueno. Ya empiezan a salir las figuras claves del escandalo con sus maniobras legales para preservar su pellejo... y el de Dios solo sabe quien mas.

Lois Lerner, IRS Scandal Figure, Will Invoke Fifth Amendment At Oversight Hearing






The Huffington Post | By Paul Blumenthal Posted: 05/21/2013 5:03 pm EDT | Updated: 05/21/2013 5:15 pm EDT

Lois Lerner, the director of the exempt organizations unit at the Internal Revenue Service, Lois Lerner, the director of the exempt organizations unit at the Internal Revenue Service, plans to invoke the Fifth Amendment during her expected testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lerner announced her plans to plead the Fifth during her testimony in a letter from her lawyer, William Taylor III, to the committee. "She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course," the letter addressed to Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) reads, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Since she will be pleading the Fifth, Taylor has asked the committee that she be excused from testifying. The letter from Taylor states that her testimony would "have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her."

The Wednesday hearing would have been Lerner's first public appearance, and first under oath, since she apologized for the IRS' inappropriate targeting of conservative groups at a May 10 American Bar Association meeting. That apology was planned ahead of time by the IRS, and came in response to a planted question.

Issa has issued a subpoena to compel Lerner to appear at the hearing.

Lerner is a key figure in the unfolding IRS scandal. As director of the IRS exempt organizations unit, she is in charge of the division overseeing nonprofit organizations, which includes the Cincinnati office that was the source of the inappropriate targeting criteria. The criteria directed the IRS to conduct a more intensive review of applications for tax-exempt status from groups with the name "tea party" or "patriot."

According to the report issued by the Department of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Lerner had to correct the criteria developed by the Cincinnati office twice because she and other top IRS officials found that they were using politically fraught terms as they sought to make sure groups were properly applying for tax exemption.

Lerner's decision to plead the Fifth comes as the Department of Justice has initiated an investigation into whether laws were broken at the IRS, according to Taylor's letter to the committee. It also follows a request to Lerner from the committee to provide information on why she gave "false or misleading information" to the committee on four previous occasions in 2012.

"The Committee has been contacted by Ms. Lerner's lawyer who stated that his client intended to invoke her 5th amendment right and refuse to answer questions," Oversight and Government Reform Committee spokesman Ali Ahmad said in a statement. "Ms. Lerner remains under subpoena from Chairman Issa to appear at tomorrow's hearing -- the Committee has a Constitutional obligation to conduct oversight. Chairman Issa remains hopeful that she will ultimately decide to testify tomorrow about her knowledge of outrageous IRS targeting of Americans for their political beliefs."


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Re: El IRS reconoce haber incurrido en persecucion de conservadores

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Miér Mayo 22, 2013 10:29 am

Para ver quien es Lois Lerner, hay que ver lo que ha hecho recientemente...



The Nine Lies of Lois Lerner
Notes toward a catalogue


By Kevin D. Williamson


Lie No. 1: Lois Lerner’s apology last Friday was a spontaneous reaction to an unexpected question from an unknown audience member. In fact, the question came from tax lawyer and lobbyist Celia Roady. Ms. Roady has some interesting career highlights: She was part of the 1997 ethics investigation of Newt Gingrich, but, more to the point, she was appointed to the IRS’s Advisory Council on Tax-Exempt and Government Entities by IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman. She is a longtime colleague of Lerner, who is director of tax-exempt organizations. Ms. Roady has declined to comment on whether her question was planted, but it obviously was. The IRS had contacted reporters and encouraged them beforehand to attend the otherwise un-newsworthy event, and it had an entire team of press handlers on hand. So what we have is the staged rollout of what turns out to be — given the rest of this list — a disinformation campaign.

Lie No. 2: Lerner said about 280 organizations were given extra scrutiny, about 75 of them tea-party groups or similar organizations. The actual number of organizations that were targeted is closer to 500.

Lie No. 3: This was the work of low-level grunts in Cincinnati. In truth, very senior people within the IRS, including its top lawyer, were aware of the situation, and had been since at least 2011. The home office in Washington was very much involved in the process.

Lie No. 4: Lerner says that the situation came to her attention through allegations from tea-party groups carried in media reports. In fact, the matter has been under both internal and external investigation for some time.

Lie No. 5: Lerner says she put an end to the practice as soon as she found out about it. In fact, the IRS continued to do precisely the same thing, only monkeying a little bit with the language: Instead of targeting “tea party” groups explicitly, it targeted those groups with an interest in such esoterica as limited government, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, etc.

Lie No. 6: She says that the commissioner of the IRS didn’t know about the targeting project. While the targeting was going on, Ms. Lerner’s boss was being asked some very pointed questions by Congress on the subject of targeting tea-party groups. He enthusiastically denied that any such thing was going on, in direct contravention of the facts. Ms. Lerner says he didn’t know about the situation, because it was confined to those aforementioned plebs in Cincinnati. But given that this was not the case, her explaining away the commissioner’s untrue statements to Congress is a lie based on another lie — a compound lie, if you will. And acting commissioner Steven Miller was briefed on the situation in May of 2012 — and then declined to share his knowledge of it with Congress when asked about it during a hearing in July.

Lie No. 7: Lerner says she came forward with her apology unprompted by any special consideration. In fact, an inspector general’s report was about to be released, making the matter public.

Lie No. 8: When Congress was investigating complaints from conservative groups, Lerner told them that she could not release information about organizations with pending applications. But her group was in fact releasing such information — to the left-leaning news organization ProPublica, rather than to congressional investigators.

Lie No. 9: Lerner says that there was no political pressure to investigate tea-party groups. In fact, Senator Carl Levin (D., Mich.) repeatedly pressed the agency to investigate conservative groups falling under Lerner’s jurisdiction. What we have, then, is this: Under a Democratic administration, the IRS was under pressure from Democratic elected officials to investigate political enemies of the Democratic party. The agency did so. Its commissioner lied to Congress about its doing so. When the inspector general’s report was about to make these abuses public, the agency staged a classic Washington Friday news rollout at a sleepy American Bar Association tax-law conference, hoping to minimize the bad publicity. Lerner lied to the public about the nature, scope, and extent of the IRS intimidation campaign.

That she has a job today is a scandal in itself. She’ll be receiving an award — for public service! — from the Western New England University School of Law on May 18. An orange jumpsuit would suit her better than academic robes.
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Re: El IRS reconoce haber incurrido en persecucion de conservadores

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Miér Mayo 22, 2013 10:55 am

Bueno, hasta ahora, este escandalo es algo repugnante... Pero como diria Billy Mays(QEPD) "But wait; There's more!!!! El pasado de la Lois Lerner tiene tambien lo suyo...

IRS's Lerner Had History of Harassment, Inappropriate Religious Inquiries at FEC



<H2 class=print-subtitle>Targeted Christian Coalition.



Mark Hemingway


May 20, 2013 4:45 PM






Perhaps no other IRS official is more intimately associated with the tax agency's growing scandal than Lois Lerner, director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Division. Since admitting the IRS harassed hundreds of conservative and Tea Party groups for over two years, Lerner has been criticized for a number of untruths—including the revelation that she apparently lied about planting a question at an American Bar Association conference where she first publicly acknowledged IRS misconduct.

Still, Lerner has her defenders in the government and the media. Shortly after the scandal broke, The Daily Beast published an article headlined "IRS Scandal’s Central Figure, Lois Lerner, Described as ‘Apolitical.’" Insisting Lerner, and the IRS more broadly, were not not politically motivated has been a central contention of those trying to minimize the impact of the scandal.

The trouble with this defense is that, prior to joining the IRS, Lerner's tenure as head of the Enforcement Office at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was marked by what appears to be politically motivated harassment of conservative groups.

Lerner was appointed head of the FEC's enforcement division in 1986 and stayed in that position until 2001. In the late 1990s, the FEC launched an onerous investigation of the Christian Coalition, ultimately costing the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours in lost work. The investigation was notable because the FEC alleged that the Christian Coalition was coordinating issue advocacy expenditures with a number of candidates for office. Aside from lacking proof this was happening, it was an open question whether the FEC had the authority to bring these charges.

James Bopp Jr., who was lead counsel for the Christian Coalition at the time, tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD the Christian Coalition investigation was egregious and uncalled for. "We felt we were being singled out, because when you handle a case with 81 depositions you have a pretty good argument you're getting special treatment. Eighty-one depositions! Eighty-one! From Ralph Reed's former part-time secretary to George H.W. Bush. It was mind blowing," he said.

All told the FEC deposed 48 different people—and that doesn't begin to account for all the FEC's requests for information. Bopp further detailed the extent of the inquiry in testimony delivered before the congressional Committee on House Administration in 2003:

<BLOCKQUOTE>
The FEC conducted a large amount of paper discovery during the administrative investigation and then served four massive discovery requests during the litigation stage that included 127 document requests, 32 interrogatories, and 1,813 requests for admission. Three of the interrogatories required the Coalition to explain each request for admission that it did not admit in full, for a total of 481 additional written answers that had to be provided. The Coalition was required to produce tens of thousands of pages of documents, many of them containing sensitive and proprietary information about finances and donor information. Each of the 49 state affiliates were asked to provide documents and many states were individually subpoenaed. In all, the Coalition searched both its offices and warehouse, where millions of pages of documents are stored, in order to produce over 100,000 pages of documents.

Furthermore, nearly every aspect of the Coalition’s activities has been examined by FEC attorneys from seeking information regarding its donors to information about its legislative lobbying. The Commission, in its never-ending quest to find the non-existent “smoking gun,” even served subpoenas upon the Coalition’s accountants, its fundraising and direct mail vendors, and The Christian Broadcasting Network.
</BLOCKQUOTE>
One of the most shocking things about the current IRS scandal is the revelation that the agency asked one religious pro-life group to detail the content of their prayers and asked clearly inappropriate questions about private religious activity. But under Lerner's watch, inappropriate religious inquiries were a hallmark of the FEC's interrogation of the Christian Coalition. According to Bopp's testimony:

<BLOCKQUOTE>
FEC attorneys continued their intrusion into religious activities by prying into what occurs at Coalition staff prayer meetings, and even who attends the prayer meetings held at the Coalition. This line of questioning was pursued several times. Deponents were also asked to explain what the positions of “intercessory prayer” and “prayer warrior” entailed, what churches specific people belonged, and the church and its location at which a deponent met Dr. Reed.

One of the most shocking and startling examples of this irrelevant and intrusive questioning by F EC attorneys into private political associations of citizens occurred during the administrative depositions of three pastors from South Carolina. Each pastor, only one of whom had only the slightest connection with the Coalition, was asked not only about their federal, state and local political activities, including party affiliations, but about political activities that, as one FEC attorney described as “personal,” and outside of the jurisdiction of the FECA [Federal Election Campaign Act]. They were also continually asked about the associations and activities of the members of their congregations, and even other pastors.
</BLOCKQUOTE>
If that all sounds like it could simply be Bopp's jaundiced characterization of the FEC's inquiries, Bopp's testimony includes this transcript of the FEC's deposition of Lt. Col. Oliver North. An attorney for the FEC asks North about prayers between him and the Christian Coalition's Pat Robertson. Bopp and other attorneys are present for the questions, which leads to this testy exchange. The letter Q denotes the FEC's lawyer, the letter A denotes North's responses, and the letter O is used to represent attorneys representing North and the Christian Coalition:

<BLOCKQUOTE>
Q: (reading from a letter from Oliver North to Pat Robertson) “‘Betsy and I thank you for your kind regards and prayers.’ The next paragraph is, ‘Please give our love to Dede and I hope to see you in the near future.’ Who is Dede?”

A: “That is Mrs. Robertson.”

Q: “What did you mean in paragraph 2, about thanking -you and your wife thanking Pat Robertson for kind regards?”

A: “Last time I checked in America, prayers were still legal. I am sure that Pat had said he was praying for my family and me in some correspondence or phone call.”

Q: “Would that be something that Pat Robertson was doing for you?”

A: “I hope a lot of people were praying for me, Holly.”

Q: “But you knew that Pat Robertson was?”

A: “Well, apparently at that time I was reflecting something that Pat had either, as I said, had told me or conveyed to me in some fashion, and it is my habit to thank people for things like that.”

Q: “During the time that you knew Pat Robertson, was it your impression that he had - he was praying for you?”

O: “I object. There is no allegation that praying creates a violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act and there is no such allegation in the complaint. This is completely irrelevant and intrusive on the religious beliefs of this witness.”

O: “It is a very strange line of questioning. You have got to be kidding, really. What are you thinking of, to ask questions like that? I mean, really. I have been to some strange depositions, but I don't think I have ever had anybody inquire into somebody’s prayers. I think that is really just outrageous. And if you want to ask some questions regarding political activities, please do and then we can get over this very quickly. But if you want to ask abou somebody’s religious activities, that is outrageous.”

Q: “I am allowed to make-’’

O: “We are allowed not to answer and if you think the Commission is going to permit you to go forward with a question about somebody’s prayers, I just don't believe that. I just don't for a moment believe that. I find that the most outrageous line of questioning. I am going to instruct my witness not to answer.”

Q: “On what grounds?”

O: “We are not going to let you inquire about people’s religious beliefs or activities, period. If you want to ask about someone’s prayers-Jeez, I don't know what we are thinking of. But the answer is, no, people are not going to respond to questions about people’s prayers, no.”

Q: “Will you take that, at the first break, take it up- we will do whatever we have to do.”

O: “You do whatever you think you have to do to get them to answer questions about what people are praying about.”

Q: “I did not ask Mr. North what people were praying about I am allowed to inquire about the relationship between-’’

O: “Absolutely, but you have asked the question repeatedly. If you move on to a question other than about prayer, be my guest."

Q: “I have been asking you a series of questions about your relationship with Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition. . . . It is relevant to this inquiry what relationship you had with Pat Robertson andI have asked you whether Pat Robertson had indicated to you that he was praying for you.”

O: “If that is a question, I will further object. It is an intrusion upon the religious beliefs and activities of Dr. Robertson. And how that could - how the Federal Government can be asking about an individual’s personal religious practices in the context of an alleged investigation under the Federal Election Campaign Act, I am just at a complete loss to see the
relevance or potential relevance, and I consider that to be also intrusive.”

Q: “Was Pat Robertson praying for you in 1991?”

O: “Same objection.”

A: “I hope so. I hope he still is.”
</BLOCKQUOTE>
Asked what he remembers about this exchange, Bopp tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD he was "white hot," and notes that the transcription isn't entirely accurate becuase it actually excludes many of his objections.

The Christian Coalition was ultimately absolved of any FEC wrongdoing in 1999, and Lerner was promoted to acting General Counsel at the FEC in 2001 before eventually moving on to the IRS. Bopp, who's all too familiar with the aggressive and inappropriate tenor she set leading the FEC's Enforcement Division, says he became concerned about what would happen as soon as Lerner joined the IRS. "When she left the FEC, I thought, 'Wow, this means the not for profit division is gearing up politically,'" he said. "It didn't bode well, because of the way [the FEC] approached cases."
</H2>
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Re: El IRS reconoce haber incurrido en persecucion de conservadores

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Lun Jun 17, 2013 8:50 am



Se le cae otro mocho a la administracion...  Habra algo que diga esta gente que no sean mentiras, embustes y falsedades????


IRS supervisor in DC scrutinized Tea Party groups' cases
Published June 17, 2013
FoxNews.com
 
 
 
WASHINGTON –  A Washington-based IRS supervisor acknowledged she was personally involved in reviewing Tea Party applications for tax-exempt status as far back as 2010, Fox News confirms -- a detail that further challenges the agency's initial claim that the practice of singling out those groups was limited to a handful of employees in Ohio.

Congressional sources confirmed to Fox News that Holly Paz, who until recently was a top deputy in the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, told congressional investigators she reviewed 20 to 30 applications. Some requests languished for more than a year without action. 
The account undercuts the narrative that senior officials only learned of the practice after it had already started in the Cincinnati office. 
Details of Paz's role were first reported by The Associated Press. Still, Paz provided no evidence that senior IRS officials ordered agents to target conservative groups or that anyone in the Obama administration outside the IRS was involved.
Instead, Paz described an agency in which IRS supervisors in Washington worked closely with agents in the field but didn't fully understand what those agents were doing. Paz said agents in Cincinnati openly talked about handling "tea party" cases, but she thought the term was merely shorthand for all applications from groups that were politically active -- conservative and liberal.
Paz said dozens of tea party applications sat untouched for more than a year while field agents waited for guidance from Washington on how to handle them. At the time, she said, Washington officials thought the agents in Cincinnati were processing the cases.
Paz was among the first IRS employees to be interviewed as part of a joint investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.
Congressional investigators have interviewed at least six IRS employees as part of their inquiry. The Associated Press has reviewed transcripts from three interviews -- with Paz and with two agents, Gary Muthert and Elizabeth Hofacre, from the Cincinnati office.
The IRS declined comment for this story.
A yearlong audit by the agency's inspector general found that IRS agents had improperly targeted conservative political groups for additional and sometimes onerous scrutiny when those groups applied for tax-exempt status.
The audit found no evidence that Washington officials ordered or authorized the targeting. But the IRS watchdog blamed ineffective management by senior IRS officials for allowing it to continue for nearly two years during the 2010 and 2012 elections.
Since the revelations became public last month, much of the agency's leadership has been replaced and the Justice Department has started a criminal investigation. Both Paz and her supervisor, Lois Lerner, who headed the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, have been replaced.
Agency officials told congressional aides that Lerner was placed on administrative leave. They did not disclose the status of Paz, other than to say she was replaced June 7.
Lerner is the IRS official who first disclosed the targeting at a legal conference May 10. That day, she told The AP: "It's the line people that did it without talking to managers. They're IRS workers, they're revenue agents."
On May 22 -- the day after Paz was interviewed by investigators -- Lerner refused to answer questions from lawmakers at a congressional hearing, citing her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself.
Paz told congressional investigators that an IRS agent in Cincinnati flagged the first tea party case in February 2010. The agent forwarded the application to a manager because it appeared to be politically sensitive, Paz said. The manager informed Paz, who said she had the application assigned to a legal expert in Washington.
At the time, Paz headed a technical unit in Washington that provided guidance to agents who screened applications for tax-exempt status. The agents worked primarily in Cincinnati. One of their tasks was to determine the applicant groups' level of political activity.
IRS regulations say tax-exempt social welfare organizations may engage in some political activity but their primary mission cannot be influencing the outcome of elections. It is up to the IRS to make that determination.
"It's very fact-and-circumstance intensive. So it's a difficult issue," Paz told investigators.
"Oftentimes what we will do, and what we did here, is we'll transfer it to (the technical unit), get someone who's well-versed on that area of the law working the case so they can see what the issues are," Paz said. "The goal with that is ultimately to develop some guidance or a tool that can be given to folks in (the Cincinnati office) to help them in working the cases themselves."
By the fall of 2010, the legal expert in Washington, Carter Hull, was working on about 40 applications, Paz said. A little more than half had "tea party" in the name, she said.
IRS agents in Cincinnati were singling out groups for extra scrutiny if their applications included the words "tea party," "patriots" or "9-12 project," according to the inspector general's report. Paz said she didn't learn that agents were targeting groups based on those terms until June 2011, about the time Lerner first ordered agents to change the criteria.
Paz said an IRS supervisor in Cincinnati had commonly referred to the applications as "tea party" cases. But, Paz said, she thought that was simply shorthand for any application that included political activity.
"Since the first case that came up to Washington happened to have that name, it appeared to me that's why they were calling it that as a shorthand," Paz told congressional investigators.
Paz said she didn't think the agents in Cincinnati were politically motivated.
"My impression, based on, you know, this instance and other instances in the office is that because they are so apolitical, they are not as sensitive as we would like them to be as to how things might appear," Paz said.
"Many of these employees have been with the IRS for decades and were used to a world where how they talked about things internally was not something that would be public or that anyone would be interested in," Paz added. "So I don't think they thought much about how it would appear to others. They knew what they meant and that was sort of good enough for them."
For several months in 2010, Hull worked closely with Hofacre, the agent in Cincinnati, to review the tea party cases, Paz said. In Hofacre's interview, she complained that Hull micromanaged her work.
Hofacre left for a different IRS job in October 2010 and was replaced by an agent whose name was blacked out in the transcript. Paz said the new agent sat on the tea party applications for more than a year because he was waiting on guidance from Washington on how to proceed. Officials in Washington, however, thought the agents in Cincinnati were still processing the cases, she said.
As a result, many applications languished for more than a year, which, the inspector general said, hurt the groups' ability to raise money.
"I knew they were waiting for guidance," Paz said. "I did not know that they were not working the cases because what had been done previously was, they were working the cases in consultation with Washington. And I was under the impression that that was continuing."
Hull was to be interviewed by congressional investigators on Friday. Efforts to reach Hull and Paz for comment were unsuccessful.
In all, agents singled out 298 applications for additional scrutiny because the groups appeared to be involved in political activity, the inspector general's report said. But IRS agents in Cincinnati weren't given adequate training on how to handle the cases until May 2012, the report said.
Before the training, only six applications had been approved. Afterward, an additional 102 applications were approved by December 2012, the report said.
Of those 102 applications, 29 involved tea party, patriots, or 9-12 organizations, the report said. Many applications are still awaiting action. None has been rejected, according to the IRS. 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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