Get PJ Media on your Apple

Durbin Asked IRS’ Shulman to Probe ‘Several’ Conservative 501(c)(4) Groups in 2010

Democrats' background on the issue underscores their interest in turning the current scandal into a campaign finance narrative.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

May 17, 2013 - 6:49 pm
<- Prev  Page 2 of 2   View as Single Page

“In addition to its tax-exempt status, an entity organized as a 501(c)(4) is not required to disclose to the public the sources of its funding. Given the millions of dollars these groups are pouring into Senate campaigns across the country, it is imperative that the organizations spending such sums on political advertising are appropriately disclosing relevant information about contributors,” Durbin continued. “The current spending patterns without disclosing the sources of the funding create a deeply troubling lack of transparency that threaten to undermine the ability of the electorate to make informed choices on Election Day.”

“I ask that the IRS quickly examine the tax status of Crossroads GPS and other (c)(4) organizations that are directing millions of dollars into political advertising, and respond with your findings as soon as possible.”

Less than a month later, the House changed hands in the midterm Tea Party rout.

Still, Durbin told reporters early this week “it is absolutely unacceptable to single out any political group — right, left or center — and say we’re going to target them.”

“That is unthinkable,” Durbin said. “That goes back to some of the worst days of the Richard Nixon administration. And I’m glad this administration stepped up and said we’ve made a mistake, we apologize and we’ll do things to correct it.”

Durbin’s request by far preceded a March 2012 letter to Shulman from 32 House Democrats asking the commissioner “to investigate whether any groups qualifying as social welfare organizations under section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code are improperly engaged in political campaign activity.”

“In light of recent reports about the political activities of certain social welfare organizations, we respectfully request that the IRS review these organizations and take appropriate actions to ensure that they are in full compliance with all federal tax laws,” stated the letter led by Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). “We urge you to investigate and stop any abuse of the federal tax laws by groups whose primary activity and true mission are to influence the outcome of federal elections.”

Seven Senate Democrats echoed the letter in the upper chamber, telling Shulman “if the IRS is unable to issue administrative guidance in this area then we plan to introduce legislation to accomplish these important changes.”

That letter was signed by Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) and Al Franken (Minn.). It followed a request to the IRS by the same group of Democrats urging better enforcement of rules pertaining to 501(c)4 organizations.

In July 2012, Lois Lerner, director of the IRS’ office for exempt organizations, responded to two requests by Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center, both groups opposed to the Citizens United ruling, urging the IRS to launch a rulemaking process to change the 501(c)(4) rules.

“The IRS is aware of the current public interest in this issue,” Lerner wrote. “These regulations have been in place since 1959. We will consider proposed changes in this area as we work with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel and the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy to identify tax issues that should be addressed through regulations and other published guidance.”

Shulman, who resigned three days after Obama won re-election, is expected to testify at a Wednesday House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. George and Lerner are also on the invited witness list.

<- Prev  Page 2 of 2   View as Single Page
Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Rush said it but most of us were thinking it. "This is what happens when liberals are in charge."

It harkens back to the scorpion and the frog story. "I'm a scorpion; It's what I do."

What's interesting here is the faux concern by the media. The lofty rhetoric and the verbal masturbation that's taking place. The uber-intellectuals are all beside themselves, not because of the wrongdoing, but because it was discovered. "Dammit, if only we had a gestapo-style government that could keep secrets better.", is what they're actually saying if you read the comments and editorials by such nits as Charlie Rose and like-minded groupthink artists.

Then, the obligatory, "How will this affect Obama?". Which, to the racist concubines of the left, means everything. It's one thing to support a black president for their ideas but quite another to support (and defend) him simply for his race and to show the world how tolerant we are and how accepting we are.

Again, the wheels have come off and the driver is having the mule drag the wagon around hoping no one will notice the scraping sound.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
THE IRS AND OBAMA'S BAD ELECTION YEAR KARMA

Ironically, one of the major false issues that the crooked, desperate, slash and burn Obama campaign brutally and incessantly used to slime and bludgeon Mitt Romney (to distract voters from Obama's miserable economic and jobs record) were his tax returns. Now the IRS (the tax collecting agency) is coming back to bite Obama on his no good rotten butt.

The corruption in the IRS has given Conservatives the gift of a deadly sharp edged political sword to nicely and gently and with all due respect drive through Obama's political heart-and ultimately kill the tax-us-to- death radical left and its destructive, bankrupting utopian dream.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How magnanimous of you to admit to all of us the electoral fraud thats been committed by progressives - in the name of progressives everywhere. You must be quite proud of them - and yourself. I watched as the progressives in my state of Washington stole an election - the governors race in 2004. They just kept counting until they finally got the count they 'needed' - then shut down the process. Inbetween counts they 'found' a few more ballots. After the second recount King County (the heavyweight county in Washington) 'found' some 250 ballots 'just sittin around' and forgotten by some 'worker' it miraculously put Queen Chrissy over the top. Well that was it! Time to stop The Count! With the bureaucracy counting the votes (Washington is HEAVILY democrat/progressive) there was little chance Rossi would win.

Funny thing - I haven't heard of any conservatives admitting to any such thing as electoral fraud.

Every time the sh^t hits the fan you lefties want to overhaul something. Anything at all but don't fix the why the sh*t hit the fan. Typical approach to violence that happens to have guns involved. Punish the innocent citizens for the crimes of the criminal element.

Sorry, but I've about run out of room to take one more step backwards from my freedoms.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Hopefully our side will be slick enough to make numerous tv commercials of what these bozos said when election time comes around.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's probably worth noting that congressmen of both parties ask for the IRS to probe the validity of organizations' tax-exempt status all the time.

Put "asks irs to probe" into Google. 1.6 million hits, and only a fraction of them are about the Obama-led harassment of conservatives.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rush said it but most of us were thinking it. "This is what happens when liberals are in charge."

It harkens back to the scorpion and the frog story. "I'm a scorpion; It's what I do."

What's interesting here is the faux concern by the media. The lofty rhetoric and the verbal masturbation that's taking place. The uber-intellectuals are all beside themselves, not because of the wrongdoing, but because it was discovered. "Dammit, if only we had a gestapo-style government that could keep secrets better.", is what they're actually saying if you read the comments and editorials by such nits as Charlie Rose and like-minded groupthink artists.

Then, the obligatory, "How will this affect Obama?". Which, to the racist concubines of the left, means everything. It's one thing to support a black president for their ideas but quite another to support (and defend) him simply for his race and to show the world how tolerant we are and how accepting we are.

Again, the wheels have come off and the driver is having the mule drag the wagon around hoping no one will notice the scraping sound.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
THE IRS AND OBAMA'S BAD ELECTION YEAR KARMA

Ironically, one of the major false issues that the crooked, desperate, slash and burn Obama campaign brutally and incessantly used to slime and bludgeon Mitt Romney (to distract voters from Obama's miserable economic and jobs record) were his tax returns. Now the IRS (the tax collecting agency) is coming back to bite Obama on his no good rotten butt.

The corruption in the IRS has given Conservatives the gift of a deadly sharp edged political sword to nicely and gently and with all due respect drive through Obama's political heart-and ultimately kill the tax-us-to- death radical left and its destructive, bankrupting utopian dream.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hot pitch....
Pillow....
Slug Durbin....

Some ass'y required....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The IRS broke the laws, and Congress will pass laws to clamp down on the law abiding victims? To legalize IRS's illegality?

How about some laws to criminalize anyone who questions the authorities?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If this wasn't political in nature there would be left wing groups complaining, and they would have been complaining loudly and longly, but there aren't any.

So what is the chance that a non political event only targets one side of the spectrum. Now let's not be so dense as to think this isn't a political situation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I submit that rather than turning the IRS scandal to their favor democrats will be wishing it would all just go away - certainly before the 2014 elections. They are liable to get their collective asses handed to them if this can stay front page news. I think it has exceptional legs. This smacks of orders from on high - lower echelon worker bees DO NOT take initiatives like this on as their personal cause - they take and carry out orders. Democrats are attempting to portray it as a rouge action by low level minions.

As for Durbin - isn't there a law against directing the IRS to attack your political opponents. Durbin should be censored by the senate - I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

Michelle Malkin has it right - we are witnessing a culture of corruption - Chicago style.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Democrats are attempting to portray it as a rouge action by low level minions. "
---------------------------------------
rogue

Dammit!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, "rouge" fits too.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am a member of many tea party groups and was personally audited for the first time in 40 years in 2012 for the year 2011 (with no taxable income) as were most of the tea party groups that I belong to (also with no taxable income). The US government is tyrannous.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They can audit me all they like. I have nothing to hide - I've always been honest in my dealings with the IRS. But I will not STFU!

I can't take one more step back from my personal freedoms or there will be none left. In my 65 years I've never seen a government run amok like this one - not even close.

After all these years (2007-2013) of absolutely wonderful treatment by the MSM why wouldn't these asshats decide they could pretty well do as they please and get away with it? Its the bane of progressives everywhere - that tendency to overreach. And in this case it was a very BIG overreach. Apparently even the MSM has its limits.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am with you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
View All