Paul L. Caron
Dean


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The IRS Scandal, Day 825

IRS Logo 2 Forbes:  Bristol Palin At Heart Of IRS Scandal - Who Knew?, by Peter J. Reilly:

What Does Bristol Plain Have To Do With The IRS Scandal?
The section of the report where this revelation is included is titled “Lois Lerner’s Management of the EO Examination Unit Reveal Her Political Bias Against Conservative Organization”. In the subsection “Lois Lerner Intervened in Audit Decisions Involving Political Organizations” we have

Teen Pregnancy Organization Affiliated With Bristol Palin
Another example of Lerner’s interest in conservative organizations occurred in 2011, when Lerner considered opening an audit of a group with ties to Bristol Palin.  There were reports that Palin received $332,500 in compensation from the Candie’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to prevent teen pregnancy. Upon receiving an article containing this information, Lerner took the initiative to ask her senior advisors if the IRS should open an audit of the organization:

“Thoughts on the Bristol Palin issue? I’m curious that a [private foundation] can pay any amount to someone who is not a [disqualified person]? It is a [private foundation] right? Even if it were a [public charity] – would that be private benefit – what are the consequences? I’m asking because I don’t know whether to send to Exam as a referral”.

Lerner’s willingness to act on this particular news article – among many that reached her inbox each day – shows that she was paying close attention to conservative politicians and organizations. In its review of nearly 1,500,000 pages of documents provided by the IRS, Majority staff did not find any instances where Lerner referred a progressive organization for audit based on a news article.

Whatever her faults might be Lois Lerner is up on the intersection of pop culture with tax law, although there is some indication that she is either not a careful reader or discerning in her choices of where to read, because she clearly did not grasp what was going on. It seems that her inference was that the Palin clan had started a teen pregnancy foundation, since they had some experience with it. That was not at all what had happened.  You actually don’t have to go beyond forbes.com to get the story behind the story. ...

What Does This Say About Lois Lerner?
I think the Republicans have busted her on this one.  That email really is evidence of reflexive anti-conservatism. Certain liberals have a Pavlovian response to the Palin clan. The only thing that gets them to jump up and bark better is mention of the Koch brothers, but there does not seem to be anything funny about them.  Conservatives seem to have more triggers – Jesse Jackson, Hillary Clinton, Benghazi, but the same principle is at work.

What Does This Say About The Scandal?
So what we have is a reflexive anit-conservative appointed to head the IRS Exempt Group during the Bush administration by an IRS Commissioner appointed by Bush.  Is it possible that the big money Republicans figured that they had the IRS exempt group outgunned, but that a reflexive anti-conservative in that position would be tough on the more conservative part of the party. The other thing that the report mentions is that during the whole period of the scandal no audits of exempts were initiated over the political spending issue.  So the established dark money organizations were let off scot-free.  All the grief went to the Tea Party insurgents who were least able to cope with it.

Remember Lois Lerner Is Not The IRS
The other thing that comes out in the report is that Lois Lerner did not like the line IRS people who were doing the mundane work of the agency and they did not feel supported by her.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/08/the-irs-scandal-day-825.html

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink

Comments

Lois Lerner may not be the IRS but she did have a large number of IRS staff at high levels of the organization that willingly colluded with her. IRS needs to be cleaned out, everyone fired, or disbanded entirely. Lerner, Obama, and other Democrat operatives should be in jail but we know they won't face even a smidgeon of punishment and ,likely already have Presidential pardons lined up.

Posted by: wodun | Aug 12, 2015 8:50:10 AM

wodun, I think your "solution" extreme and counter-productive. But certainly a big chunk of IRS management needs to be cleaned out; those that knew or should have known what was going on, and did nothing, or worse, conspired to help.

And if pardons really are "shovel ready", then the names and addresses of those pardoned need to be published, and updated regularly for the next 50 years, like a sex offender registry.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Aug 12, 2015 9:52:29 AM

See how many penalties the IRS abates when they off-handedly decide that a small business owner "should have known" what was going on with payroll tax and corporate filings. There's one standard for small company owners doing business with the IRS and another standard for IRS executives giving the business to them.

Posted by: Woody | Aug 12, 2015 1:30:56 PM