AP: Lois Lerner, IRS Official Who Persecuted Tea Party Members, Retiring
Lois Lerner will be spending more time with her family, according to AP:
Lerner headed the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status when she was placed on paid leave in May. While she was in charge, the agency acknowledged that agents improperly targeted tea party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status from 2010 to 2012.
Lerner first disclosed the targeting at a law conference in May, when she was asked a planted question about IRS treatment of political groups. Less than two weeks later, she refused to answer questions at a congressional hearing, citing her constitutional right not to incriminate herself.
Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times adds that Lerner "remains subject to congressional investigation:"
Her actions put her at the center of the controversy, and several congressional committees had been looking into her behavior and into emails that seemed to suggest she was looking for reasons to deny political groups approval for tax-exempt status.
Last week, acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel said he had asked both a review board and the agency’s inspector general to look at the emails.
Republicans said Ms. Lerner’s resignation, while a first step, isn’t the end of the scandal.
“Just because Lois Lerner is retiring from the IRS does not mean the investigation is over. Far from it,” said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. “In fact, there are many serious unanswered questions that must be addressed so we can get to the truth.”
Lerner had a history of playing leftwing politics with her authority long before she came to the IRS; George Will described her as "The Scowling Face of the State," making him one of the few writers at the Washington Post, whose sister publication bragged "We Are All Socialists Now" in early 2009, to use that phrase as a pejorative:
As soon as the Constitution permitted him to run for Congress, Al Salvi did. In 1986, just 26 and fresh from the University of Illinois law school, he sank $1,000 of his own money, which was most of his money, into his campaign to unseat an incumbent Democratic congressman. Salvi studied for the bar exam during meals at campaign dinners.
He lost his campaign. Today, however, he should be invited to Congress to testify about what happened 10 years later, when he was a prosperous lawyer and won the Republican Senate nomination to run against a Democratic congressman named Dick Durbin.
In the fall of 1996, at the campaign’s climax, Democrats filed with the Federal Election Commission charges against Salvi’s campaign alleging campaign finance violations. These charges dominated the campaign’s closing days. Salvi spoke by telephone with the head of the FEC’s Enforcement Division, who he remembers saying: “Promise me you will never run for office again, and we’ll drop this case.” He was speaking to Lois Lerner.
After losing to Durbin, Salvi spent four years and $100,000 fighting the FEC, on whose behalf FBI agents visited his elderly mother demanding to know, concerning her $2,000 contribution to her son’s campaign, where she got “that kind of money.” When the second of two federal courts held that the charges against Salvi were spurious, the lawyer arguing for the FEC was Lois Lerner.
More recently, she has been head of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division, which has used its powers of delay, harassment and extortion to suppress political participation. For example, it has told an Iowa right-to-life group that it would get tax-exempt status if it would promise not to picket Planned Parenthood clinics.
Last week, in a televised House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), Salvi’s former law partner, told the riveting story of the partisan enforcement of campaign laws to suppress political competition by distracting Salvi and entangling him in bureaucratic snares. The next day, the number of inches of newsprint in The Post and the New York Times devoted to Roskam’s revelation was the number of minutes that had been devoted to it on the three broadcast networks’ evening news programs the night before: Zero.
To this day, the MSM has maintained a near-blackout on covering the IRS scandal; it will be interesting to see how little time they'll devote to Lerner's retirement and its cause on the news tonight.
Every day brings revelations that the IRS conservative crackdown went way beyond the Tea Party. McClatchy Newspapers reports that a woman known only as “Ms. Richards” in the Cincinnati office of the IRS told Coalition for Life of Iowa that their application for nonprofit status could only be approved if they signed a letter promising not to picket in front of Planned Parenthood. Mark Drabik, a military veteran, became politically active and started giving to conservative groups only to have the IRS challenge his church donations. Catherine Engelbrecht founded True the Vote to protect ballot integrity, and within a few months her family’s business, farm, and personal taxes had all attracted IRS audits. Hundreds and hundreds of groups were consigned to the purgatory of “pending” — a term for IRS customers not as favored as Malik Obama can stretch leisurely from six months to ten to twenty to thirty, and beyond. When the most lavishly funded government on the planet comes after you, eventual guilt or innocence is irrelevant: The process is the punishment.
Once Obama flashed the Barack Signal near the start of his first time, the underlings knew how to take it from there, Mickey Kaus wrote in May.
No word yet from President Asterisk on this recent development.
Update: Well, whaddya know: "The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has offered election integrity group True The Vote its tax-exempt status in what appears to be a bid to keep the group from proceeding with discovery on its lawsuit against the agency, Breitbart News has learned exclusively."
Oh, and speaking of tax-related topics, Jim Geraghty asks, "Rmember Last Year, When a Candidate’s Tax Returns Mattered?"
Booker and McAuliffe are two wealthy guys, with lots of business ties to companies that have business before the Newark city government and Virginia state government. The possibility of conflict-of-interest or financial misdeeds is at least as great for these two as it was for Romney.
And yet neither Booker nor McAuliffe have received even one-hundreth of the grief Romney received from their local or state press.
And we know why this is. The mainstream press cares about the tax returns and financial disclosures of Republican candidates and doesn’t care about the tax returns and financial disclosures of Democrat candidates, because Republicans are the bad guys and Democrats are the good guys.
If I’m wrong, prove me wrong, mainstream media.
Over to you, NYTCNNCBSNBCABCWP.