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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Heart of Dixie

    The IRS admits to ‘targeting’ conservative groups, but were they also ‘leaking’? Rea

    The IRS admits to ‘targeting’ conservative groups, but were they also ‘leaking’?

    Matt K. Lewis

    A little over a year ago, I reported that, ”It is likely that someone at the Internal Revenue Service illegally leaked confidential donor information showing a contribution from Mitt Romney’s political action committee to the National Organization for Marriage, says the group.”

    Now — on the heels of news the IRS’s apology for having targeted conservative groups — NOM is renewing their demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the people responsible.

    “There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law,” said NOM’s president Brian Brow, in a prepared statement. “The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers.”

    Recent reports indicate the IRS may have begun targeting conservative groups as early as 2010.

    In a 2012 speech, Sen. Mitch McConnell noted, “The head of one national advocacy group has released documents which show that his group’s confidential IRS information found its way into the hands of a staunch critic on the Left who also happens to be a co-chairman of President Obama’s re-election committee. The only way this information could have been made public is if someone leaked it from inside the IRS.”

    And so, the next question may be this: If the IRS was targeting conservative groups — as they now admit to doing — were they also leaking information?

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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    FLASHBACK: Romney donor vilified by Obama campaign, then subjected to 2 audits

    Jamie Weinstein
    Senior Editor

    Just months after being slimed by President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, Mitt Romney supporter and businessman Frank VanderSloot was informed that he was going to be audited not only by the Internal Revenue Service, but by the Labor Department as well.

    VanderSloot’s saga was told by columnist Kimberley Strassel in the Wall Street Journal last July.

    In April 2012, VanderSloot, who served as the national co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential finance committee, was one of eight Romney backers to be defamed as ”wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records” in a post on the Obama campaign’s website.

    The post, entitled “Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney’s donors,” singled out VanderSloot for being a ”litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

    Two months later, the IRS informed VanderSloot he and his wife were going to be audited, Strassel reported. Two weeks after that, VanderSloot was notified by the Labor Department that it was going to “audit workers he employs on his Idaho-based cattle ranch under the federal visa program for temporary agriculture workers,” reported Strassel.

    “The H-2A program allows tens of thousands of temporary workers in the U.S.; Mr. VanderSloot employs precisely three,” Strassel wrote. “All are from Mexico and have worked on the VanderSloot ranch—which employs about 20 people—for five years. Two are brothers. Mr. VanderSloot has never been audited for this, though two years ago his workers’ ranch homes were inspected. (The ranch was fined $8,400, mainly for too many ‘flies’ and for ‘grease build-up’ on the stove. God forbid a cattle ranch home has flies.)”

    “This letter requests an array of documents to ascertain whether Mr. VanderSloot’s ‘foreign workers are provided the full scope of protections’ under the visa program: information on the hours they’ve worked each day and their rate of pay, an explanation of their deductions, copies of contracts,” she continued.

    In her column, Strassel raised the specter that the IRS targeted VanderSloot for his political activism.

    “Did Mr. Obama pick up the phone and order the screws put to Mr. VanderSloot?” she asked. “Or—more likely—did a pro-Obama appointee or political hire or career staffer see that the boss had an issue with this donor, and decide to do the president an unasked-for election favor? Or did he or she simply think this was a duty, given that the president had declared Mr. VanderSloot and fellow donors ‘less than reputable’?”

    VanderSloot’s tale is more relevant in light of the admission Friday by IRS official Lois Lerner that the agency gave extra scrutiny to non-profit tea party groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their name that applied for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. While Lerner said the agency’s actions were inappropriate, she claimed it was not the result of political bias.

    However, a forthcoming report by the IRS inspector general will say that the agency went beyond what Lerner admitted to on Friday by targeting groups which criticized “how the country is being run,” the Washington Post, which got an advanced copy of part of the internal audit, reported Sunday.

    Though that practice was soon halted, just months later, in January 2012, groups that applied for tax exempt status which described themselves as “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform movement” were again subjected to special scrutiny.

    On Friday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was among the congressional leaders who called for an investigation into what went on at the IRS.

    “The IRS cannot target or intimidate any individual or organization based on their political beliefs,” he said in a statement. “The House will investigate this matter.”

    The White House also voiced support for an investigation.

    “The president would expect that it would be investigated,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said at the Friday’s press briefing.

    While non-profit groups were targeted by the IRS, no hard evidence has yet emerged to show that individuals like VanderSloot were targeted for their political leanings.

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Heart of Dixie
    Frank VanderSloot: ‘I’m not the only’ major Mitt Romney donor audited

    Jamie Weinstein
    Senior Editor

    Billionaire businessman Frank VanderSloot, a major Mitt Romney super PAC donor who was subjected to three federal agency audits after being slimed by the Obama campaign, says he isn’t the only one of his peers who was audited after donating to Romney.

    VanderSloot, who was also national co-chair of the Romney campaign’s finance committee, was described in an April 2012 Obama campaign Web posting as one of eight “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.”

    Shortly after the post appeared, VanderSloot was subjected to two Internal Revenue Service audits — one focusing on his personal financies, the other related to his business interests — and a Labor Department audit of one of his businesses. When asked about whether any of the other seven donors who appeared on the list were audited as well, VanderSloot spoke cautiously, but did say he “wasn’t the only one.”

    “I talked to only a handful of them since,” VanderSloot said. ”I’ve reached out to all of them. But only got calls back from a handful and most of the responses were they’re just laying low, you know, they took their own beatings and they don’t want any more of it and they don’t want to even talk about this.”

    “How do I answer that?” he responded, when asked specifically if he knows if any of them were audited like he was after they were attacked by the Obama campaign.

    “Yes, we talked about that, and I’m not at liberty to disclose that.”

    “I don’t know that everybody [that] was on it [was] audited,” he went on. “I don’t know how many were. I know that I’m not the only one. I do know that.”

    “Everybody took a beating,” he added. “And for most of them, they’ve had enough. But there were a couple who will stand up and be counted on this issue, and the others just want the thing to go away.”

    VanderSloot says that he passed all the audits with flying colors.

    “Everything is done. No penalties. No fines,” he said.

    The only thing he was required to do was move one of his deductions to the next year, which will actually save him money because of the expiration of the Bush tax rates for high-income individuals in 2013.

    “Actually, I’ll pay less taxes because of the audits,” he said.

    But, he added, the audits themselves cost him over $80,000, after taking into account the attorneys, accountants and other professionals he needed to handle them.

    Last Friday, the IRS admitted that it targeted conservative and tea party groups for special scrutiny. VanderSloot says he initially found the news, which he learned about in an email from his son, “interesting.”

    “So [Wall Street Journal columnist] Kim Strassel is the one who broke the story on the president’s ‘enemies list’ and pointed out to the public what was really going on here,” VanderSloot said.

    “And so when I first got the story after one of my sons emailed to me a link to one of the articles — one of the stories that was running — and he said, ‘Dad, you might want to take a look at this.’ Because he knows the background of all this. I just forwarded it on to Kim Strassel with the word ‘interesting.’ So I guess that was my reaction, pretty interesting.”

    No evidence has yet surfaced that conservative donors were also targeted by the IRS for special scrutiny. And VanderSloot says “we need to be really careful” about trying to tie his audits directly to the White House or the president. But he does note that it was odd that he would be subjected to three audits after being attacked by the Obama campaign, when he had only faced one small audit in his entire life some three decades ago.

    “We had three federal agency audits in a matter of four months. Coincidence? I don’t know,” he said.

    “I think we need to be careful about what we know and what we don’t know. What we know is there is a string of coincidences here that look really suspicious. That’s what we know. Whether this is really connected — did somebody actually look at the president’s list that the president’s campaign put up there and say, ‘Well, here they are, let’s go after these guys’ — well, I don’t know.”
    But VanderSloot said he does know the audits have consequences.

    “We know this for sure: the president made the list,” he said. “In my case, he made the list of eight people. Why eight? Well, there were thousands of donors to Mitt Romney. Why choose eight? You can’t go after thousands. You have to make example of a few … and show people what happens and hopefully put a stop to these kind of donations. And from what I’ve observed I think it’s worked pretty well for President Obama. No one wants to talk. No one wants to say anything.”

    He also isn’t impressed with President Obama’s statement that he intends to go after any malfeasance that may have occurred at the IRS.

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  4. #4
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Heart of Dixie

    Family Talk founder says IRS targeted 'tea party,' 'Constitution' and 'Christian'

    May 15, 2013 BOB UNRUH A

    The Internal Revenue Service campaign that put a bull’s-eye on “tea party” groups and those with “Constitution” or “patriot” in their name also took a swipe at Christians.

    That was confirmed today when Dr. James Dobson, whose has served as an adviser to presidents and now runs Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk, said his organization’s status was threatened because it didn’t present “all views.”

    Dobson has been an outspoken lightning rod standing up for Christian values for decades as an author, broadcaster, speaker and adviser. He has written more than 30 books including, “The New Dare to Discipline,” “Love for a Lifetime,” “Life on the Edge,” “Love Must Be Tough,” “The New Strong-Willed Child,” Bringing Up Boys,” “Bringing Up Girls” and “Head Over Heels.”
    He was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years.

    He has advised three U.S. presidents on family matters, and holds 17 honorary doctoral degrees. In 2008 he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and recently he received the “Great American Award” from The Awakening.

    In a statement released through his FamilyTalk Action headquarters in Colorado Springs, it was confirmed the organization was set up two years ago “for the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, of providing Christ-oriented advice and education to parents and children; and of speaking to cultural issues that affect the family.”

    The group’s Form 1024 was filed with the IRS requesting 501(c)4 status, which is a nonprofit status but with permission to comment on political issues its contributions and donations are not tax deductible to donors. It is not the same status as the ministry itself, where donations are tax deductible, and the arrangement represents a common setup for ministries that want to engage in limited political activity on issues such as marriage, family, abortion, same-sex “marriage,” civil rights and freedom.

    FamilyTalk Action said, “The attorney completing this form had submitted scores of similar applications over his 26-year career with none being rejected. In January and February 2013, Family Talk Action’s counsel called the IRS reviewing
    agent, R. Medley (ID no. 52402), to inquire regarding when there would be a determination of the application. Her voice mail box was full on each of these calls so no message could be left. On March 6, he called Ms. Medley again and got routed to her voice mail again. This time, he was able to leave a voice mail message and requested a return call.

    “Ms. Medley did not call back until March 19. Family Talk Action’s attorney asked her when the IRS would issue its determination letter. Ms. Medley responded saying, I don’t think your Form 1024 (application for exemption) will be granted because Family Talk Action is ‘not educational’ because it does not present all views. She continued, saying that Family Talk Action sounded like a ‘partisan right-wing group’ because, according to Ms. Medley, it only presents conservative viewpoints. She then added, ‘you’re political’ because you ‘criticized President Obama, who was a candidate.’”

    The organization said it had submitted sample radio programs after the IRS had demanded them, although none was aired during an election year.

    “It was the opinion of Family Talk Action’s legal counsel that these samples were not only 501(c)(4) qualified but 501(c)(3) qualified,” the statement said.

    “Family Talk Action’s legal counsel had never heard an IRS agent express biased statements like those he heard during the March 19 call. He also felt that the this agent did not understand the difference between 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) entities,” the report said.

    “The American people deserve better treatment from its government than this. Christian ministries and others supporting the family must not be silenced or intimidated by the IRS or other branches of the government,” Dobson said.

    President Obama fired the acting commissioner of the IRS today over the war against conservatives and Christians, members of Congress demanded that all those responsible lose their jobs and it has been revealed that nearly 500 groups were targeted in the “don’t-disagree-with-Obama” effort.

    Documentation suggests the attacks started as early as 2010, shortly after Obamacare, which now is mandating that Christians in business violate their faith and pay for abortifacients, was adopted.


  5. #5
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Heart of Dixie
    National Organization for Marriage Renews Demand That IRS Come Clean On Stolen and Leaked Tax Return; Seeks Investigation Into Possible White House or Obama Campaign Role

    MAY 13, 2013 AT 10:00 AM


    Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Jen Campbell (703-683-5004)

    "There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

    Washington, D.C.
    — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today renewed its demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the employee or employees responsible for stealing the organization's confidential Form 990 tax return and leaking it to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). At the time of the theft, the HRC had long-sought to know the identity of NOM's major donors and its chief executive was a co-chair of President Obama's reelection campaign. The Form 990 that was leaked to the HRC contained the identity of numerous major donors to the organization.

    "There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers."

    In March 2012 the Human Rights Campaign and the Huffington Post published NOM's Form 990 Schedule B from 2008 containing the identity of dozens of donors. The HRC claimed the tax return was provided by a ‘whistleblower.' For months previous to the publication, the HRC had been demanding that NOM publicly release this confidential information even though federal law protects the identity of contributors to nonprofit groups. The publication of NOM's tax return occurred just a few months after Joseph Solmonese, then president of the HRC, was appointed a national co-chair of the Obama reelection campaign. An analysis of the published documents shows that they could only have originated with the IRS.

    "We've seen in recent days an admission that the IRS intentionally targeted conservative groups for harassment and scrutiny," Brown said, "but what NOM has experienced suggests that problems at the IRS are potentially far more serious than even these latest revelations reveal."

    Following publication of NOM's confidential tax return and a complaint to the IRS, investigators with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) interviewed NOM officials about the theft. Nothing has come of the investigation if there is indeed one, and the agency has refused to answer any questions about the status of its examination.

    Brown concluded, "No group should ever be subjected to the IRS leaking its confidential tax return to its political enemies. But when the recipient of the stolen information is a group headed by a co-chair of the President's reelection campaign, serious concerns arise. We have no way of knowing if people within the White House, the Obama reelection campaign or the HRC had any role in the crime, but we call on the Congress to investigate. So far, we've heard nothing from the federal government even though they've had all the facts for over a year."

    ###To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130),, or Jennifer Campbell, at 703-683-5004.Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

    Background: On March 30, 2012, the Huffington Post published NOM's confidential 2008 tax return filed with the IRS, which it said came from the Human Rights Campaign. The HRC has said on its own site the documents came from a "whistleblower." However, NOM has determined that the documents came directly from the Internal Revenue Service.

    The document above is as it appeared when published by the Huffington Post. However, that document was modified in a failed attempt to obscure its source. There is a label visibly obscuring a portion of each page, and it was determined that information on the top of each page was also obscured in the version posted on the Huffington Post.

    After software removed the layers obscuring the document, it is shown that the document came from the Internal Revenue Service. The top of each page says, ""THIS IS A COPY OF A LIVE RETURN FROM SMIPS. OFFICIAL USE ONLY." On each page of the return is stamped a document ID of "100560209." Only the IRS would have the Form 990 with "Official Use" information.

    To view Letters to the IRS, HRC and Huffington Post with attachments, click here.

    Sounds like Organizing for America may have some questions to answer. JMO

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Heart of Dixie
    Target Acquired

    IRS targeted Leadership Institute with ‘harassing’ audit

    BY: CJ Ciaramella

    May 16, 2013 3:30 pm

    The Internal Revenue Service targeted the Leadership Institute, a conservative nonprofit organization, the group said Thursday.

    The Leadership Institute, which works to train conservative organizers, said on its website that it produced more than 23,400 pages of documents in 2012 in response to a yearlong “harassing” IRS audit.

    The IRS admitted last week that agents at its Cincinnati office singled out tea party groups for inappropriate scrutiny between March 2010 and January 2012. An IRS Inspector General report released shortly thereafter found agents asked for such materials as donor lists and reading materials from targeted groups.

    The Obama Administration and the IRS Inspector General said the program was limited to low-level officials at the agency’s Cincinnati office.

    However, according to the Leadership Institute, the agent investigating the group was Virginia Puddister from the Baltimore office of IRS.

    “The IRS’ indefensible behavior is worse than we first thought, as it targeted both new and existing conservative groups in politically motivated attacks,” said Morton Blackwell, president of the Leadership Institute, in a statement. “Fortunately my Leadership Institute had the resources to stand up to the government’s bullying and intimidation. Other groups, including grassroots and tea party groups we’ve helped train, did not.”

    The IRS notified the Leadership Institute of an audit of its tax return and activities in 2008 on June 1, 2011.

    The IRS requested information including a list of 2008 interns and their future employers, how the organization advertises its training sessions, and sample emails between the institute and employers regarding job postings.

    The IRS ultimately accepted the Leadership Institute’s 2008 return, but not before the organization spent $50,000 in legal fees defending it, Blackwell said.

    Photo of paperwork LI had to submit to compply with IRS audit / Source: Leadership Institute

    Other tea party groups drew scrutiny from the IRS because of their affiliation with the Leadership Institute.

    Bloomberg reported that the IRS sought information from the Hawaii Tea Party on its relationship with the institute.

    Specifically, the IRS wanted to know if Dylan Nonaka, former executive of the Hawaii Republican Party, had trained the Hawaii Tea Party.

    The IRS also demanded information about the group’s board members, officers, and employees, as well as their family members.

    As previously reported by the Washington Free Beacon, tax information of other conservative groups, such as Crossroads GPS, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and the National Organization for Marriage, were leaked and fell into the hands of political opponents.

    Yahoo! News reported Wednesday that Media Trackers, another conservative organization, waited more than a year trying to obtain tax-exempt status from the IRS. After reapplying under the name “Greenhouse Solutions,” its application was approved in three weeks.

    Media Tracker’s “determination specialist” at the IRS was Stephen Seok in the Cincinnati office. Seok also demanded donor lists from the Richmond Tea Party.

    “The real questions that needs to be asked is how many other conservative organizations were targeted and how far did this reach?” said Bryan Bernys, vice president of Leadership Institute’s campus leadership program. “I don’t think we’ve got to the bottom of this.”

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