IRS Official Cancels Commencement Address

When you become the face of a scandal, it's probably not the best idea to deliver a commencement address to graduating students.  Lois Lerner, who became infamous for her "I'm not good a math" comment, was supposed to receive an honorary awards at Western New England University, but has since rescinded her invitation.  Ms. Lerner seems to be thinking of the students, and for this – I commend her decision.  If she had attended, the whole event would have been about her, which isn't right.  Scott Greer at Campus Reform wrote today that:

Lerner withdrew to keep the focus on the graduates rather than on her controversial actions, a spokesman for the university told Campus Reform on Wednesday.

“She grew concerned that the focus would be on her and the development the IRS rather than on the law graduates,” said Dave Stawasz, spokesman for WNE.

In a press conference about the growing scandal last Friday, Lerner famously downplayed her own mathematical skills when she was asked by a reporter to clarify how many conservative groups had been inappropriately targeted by IRS agents.

What's ironic about this whole university situation is that:

the school praised in her [Lerner] in a press release for the commencement for designing forms for applying for tax exempt status from the IRS and for overseeing over 900 employees. 

Lerner is an alumnae of the school.

Then again, to add on to her tax-exempt foul up, Lerner excusing herself from the commencement could be due to the fact that she received over $42,000 in bonuses since 2009.  Also, the "rogue" employees CNN mentioned this afternoon, included her.

The director of the Internal Revenue Service division under fire for singling out conservative groups sent a 2012 letter under her name to one such group, POLITICO has learned. The March 2012 letter was sent to the Ohio-based American Patriots Against Government Excess (American PAGE) under the name of Lois Lerner, the director of the Exempt Organizations Division…

Oh, and there's that Barack H. Obama Foundation.  Bryan Preston reported that:

Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official at the center of the decision to target tea party groups for burdensome tax scrutiny, signed paperwork granting tax-exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed by the president’s half-brother that operated illegally for years.

In that latter case, Obama had collected money long before he was granted his tax-exempt status. Lerner helped him out by making his status retroactive all the way to 2008, shielding him from exposure to any tax evasion nastiness.

So, one could say she did it for the students, but knowing how the Potomac messes with people in this town – I'm guessing she'll be using the time to find a good lawyer.