As Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer gets more and more offended that the IRS abuse scandal is dragging his bystander messiah boss down, agency employees are pushing the scandal back up the line. We don’t act without directives, they say.
“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.”
This rings true with anyone who has ever spent much time within or around a government bureaucracy. The fact is, the targeting regime created more work for agents, not less. Hardly anyone in a government bureaucracy ever comes up with ways to increase their work load. Someone decided to target the president’s critics for abuse. Someone wrote up the questions. Someone ordered the street-level agents to “be on the lookout” for these groups and subject them to extra scrutiny. Someone told street-level agents to drag these groups’ application processes out for months and years.
The IRS’ street-level agents are unionized. Ever try to load up more work on union members, especially when they’re already busy and you’re not offering them raises? You have to get their union to cooperate, or you will get nowhere. You don’t start at the bottom with the employees who will carry out the work. You have to start at the top, to get the directive put in place and get the work to roll downhill.
At the American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord may have found a smoking gun in the hand of a very high-level IRS union official.
According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st.
The White House lists the IRS union leader’s visit this way:
Kelley, Colleen Potus 03/31/2010 12:30
In White House language, “POTUS” stands for “President of the United States.”
The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:
April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.
Colleen Kelley heads the National Treasury Employees Union. The NTEU represents 150,000 agents in 31 different agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service. If she was not present and meeting with Obama on March 31 to launch the abuse regime that began the very next day, then why was she there? What communications between Kelley and Obama led up to that March 31, 2010 meeting?
This major revelation was not uncovered by the IG report, because the inspector general did not examine White House visitor logs or communications with the White House at all. Like the State Department’s Benghazi Accountability Review Board, its focus was too narrow by design to get at the real root of the scandal.