Paul L. Caron

Friday, July 20, 2012

WSJ: IRS Audit of Romney Donor Raises Questions About Presidential Enemies List

EnemiesWall Street Journal:  Obama's Enemies List—Part II, by Kimberley A. Strassel:

This column has already told the story of Frank VanderSloot, an Idaho businessman who last year contributed to a group supporting Mitt Romney. An Obama campaign website in April sent a message to those who'd donate to the president's opponent. It called out Mr. VanderSloot and seven other private donors by name and occupation and slurred them as having "less-than-reputable" records.

Mr. VanderSloot has since been learning what it means to be on a presidential enemies list. Just 12 days after the attack, the Idahoan found an investigator digging to unearth his divorce records. This bloodhound—a recent employee of Senate Democrats—worked for a for-hire opposition research firm.

Now Mr. VanderSloot has been targeted by the federal government. In a letter dated June 21, he was informed that his tax records had been "selected for examination" by the IRS. The audit also encompasses Mr. VanderSloot's wife, and not one, but two years of past filings (2008 and 2009).

Mr. VanderSloot, who is 63 and has been working since his teens, says neither he nor his accountants recall his being subject to a federal tax audit before. He was once required to send documents on a line item inquiry into his charitable donations, which resulted in no changes to his taxes. But nothing more—that is until now, shortly after he wrote a big check to a Romney-supporting Super PAC.

Two weeks after receiving the IRS letter, Mr. VanderSloot received another—this one from the Department of Labor. He was informed it would be doing an audit of workers he employs on his Idaho-based cattle ranch under the federal visa program for temporary agriculture workers. ...

Perhaps all this is coincidence. Perhaps something in Mr. VanderSloot's finances or on his ranch raised a flag. Americans want to believe the federal government performs its duties without fear or favor.

Only in this case, Americans can have no such confidence. Did Mr. Obama pick up the phone and order the screws put to Mr. VanderSloot? Or—more likely—did a pro-Obama appointee or political hire or career staffer see that the boss had an issue with this donor, and decide to do the president an unasked-for election favor? Or did he or she simply think this was a duty, given that the president had declared Mr. VanderSloot and fellow donors "less than reputable"?

Mr. VanderSloot says he "expected the public beatings" from the left after the naming, but he "also wondered whether government agencies, anxious to please their boss, would take notice of the target he had apparently placed on me. Now that I'm being singled out for audits, I can't help but wonder whether there is a connection." ... Every thinking American must henceforth wonder if Mr. VanderSloot has been targeted for inquiry because of his political leanings.

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Worth reading this article, Thank you for sharing this information. Not the same theme, a good platform and so much of the wire.

Posted by: Hermes Outlet | Aug 9, 2012 12:44:23 AM

So let's see if I understand this. If you write a check to Mr. Obama's political opponents, that gives you a get-out-of-jail-free card with the IRS? You can't be audited, because the fact of the audit, combined with your financial support of Romney, would indicate illegal examination by the IRS? Methinks the lady doth protest too much. This is stupid.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jul 23, 2012 11:03:20 AM

This dirt that Obama found on him is nothing. Any good ABC reporter would know that Mr. VanderSloot killed Natalee Holloway and Stephany Flores.

Posted by: Will | Jul 21, 2012 11:24:38 PM

You can take the thugs out of Chicago, but not Chicago out of the thugs.

Posted by: PacRim Jim | Jul 21, 2012 7:30:02 PM

I dunno BignJames,

when Nixon tried to get his enemies audited the IRS told Nixon to pound sand, the IRS is auditing people on Obama's Enemies List. Seems to me Obama has something Nixon didn't have.

Posted by: max | Jul 21, 2012 7:13:13 PM

Obama is going to jail. Him and his entire coterie are going to jail after he loses the election.

Let him community organize cell block D.

Posted by: Paul A'Barge | Jul 21, 2012 7:00:43 PM

There are three problems with this story:
1. It is a bit unusual to open an audit with 2 years under consideration,
2. The Service would normally be opening audits of 2010 returns right now,
3. The normal, extended due date of 2008 returns is 09-15-2009 so the Statute would blow on 09-15-2012. The Service would never normally start an audit with 3 months left on the Statute.

Posted by: Bill West | Jul 21, 2012 6:58:23 PM

It could be a civil servant who figures auditing an enemy of Obama's will get him a promotion or a bonus or something.

If so, its not prosecutable, just icky, really, really, icky

Posted by: lord garth | Jul 21, 2012 6:57:53 PM

"Is there no one who will rid me of this troublesome rancher?"

Posted by: MunDane | Jul 21, 2012 6:52:38 PM

No wonder Mark Levin calls him Barack Milhous Obama.

Posted by: David R. Block | Jul 21, 2012 6:44:01 PM

It's the Chicago way!

Posted by: Bob | Jul 21, 2012 6:37:18 PM

This episode gives us a peak under the tent at the vast powers the federal government has accumulated. When abused they are a nightmare to the subject of the abuse. Given the proclivities of the media to overlook outrages against conservatives, can we be sure that more of us will not be "selected" for various investigations?

Posted by: SongDog | Jul 21, 2012 6:31:49 PM

Yes, Skandia Recluse, it's "swatting" at the level of the General Government.

Posted by: Duane Hershberger | Jul 21, 2012 6:26:08 PM

Obama also lacks Nixon's charm.

Posted by: BignJames | Jul 21, 2012 5:50:41 PM

Gangsta government at its finest.

Posted by: Jeffersonian | Jul 21, 2012 5:35:57 PM

A.K.A "Swatting", now at the Federal level.

Posted by: Skandia Recluse | Jul 21, 2012 5:22:16 PM

Obama has morphed in to a Nixon minus Nixon's intelligence, competence, class or ethics.
An amazing achievement on Obama's part.

Posted by: cubanbob | Jul 21, 2012 10:19:47 AM