If you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous. It is contradictory to our traditions, and people have to be held accountable.President Obama • Commenting on an admission that the IRS targeted conservative groups, many associated with the tea party, during the 2012 election cycle, following an apology from an IRS official on Friday and this morning’s leak of the Inspector General’s report to ABC News. President Obama’s comments came during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, who’s currently visiting Washington D.C. to discuss the war in Syria. source
This timeline reveals at least two extremely unethical actions by the IRS. One, as early as 2010, they targeted groups for political purposes. Two, they willfully and knowingly lied to Congress for years despite being aware that Congress was investigating this practice. This is an outrageous abuse of power.Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) • Decrying actions within the Internal Revenue Service, which apologized yesterday for the targeting of Tea Party/conservative groups for special tax status scrutiny. An inspector general’s report is expected to be released later this week, and portions obtained by the AP suggests IRS officials knew of such targeting not just during the full throes of the 2012 election, but dating back to mid-2011. The report claims that Lori Lerner, head of the division of the IRS handling tax-exempt organizations, was told about the politically-motivated targeting (flagging of groups using the words “Tea Party,” “Patriot,” and Glenn Beck’s “9/12 Project”) back in June of 2011, and that she told agents to “immediately” change their criteria for applying that increased scrutiny. If so, her instruction seems not to have had much effect, as the undue flaggings continued into the following election year. source
The arrangement was simply FreedomWorks paid Glenn Beck money and Glenn Beck said nice things about FreedomWorks on the air. I saw that a million dollars went to Beck this past year, that was the annual expenditure.Former Freedomworks head Dick Armey • Discussing, in an interview with Media Matters for America, the financial relationship his group had with Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, two men the organization paid millions of dollars simply to say good things about Freedomworks and the Tea Party. Armey calls the spending “ineffective,” stating, “If Limbaugh and Beck, if we were using those resources to recruit activists and inform activists and to encourage and enthuse activists, that’s one thing. If we are using these things to raise money; one, it’s a damned expensive way to raise money; and two, it makes raising money an end on to itself not an instrumental activity to support the foundation work that our organization does.” So basically, Freedomworks pays a ton of money to the people that would be most likely to support the Tea Party anyway.
If 2010 was the year the Tea Party cost the GOP several winnable seats, then 2012 could be the year Republicans’ own candidates cost them control of the Senate.The Atlantic’s Josh Kraushaar • Commenting on the slew of weak GOP candidates running for the Senate this year. Kraushaar makes a subtle but important distinction between now and 2010, when Republicans lost several winnable Senate seats by nominating weak candidates (here are two examples). In 2010, many of the candidates in question were insurgent Tea Party types who—to the chagrin of party elites—ran against establishment Republicans in the primaries and only gathered reluctant, late support from the party. This year, however, it’s the establishment’s own hand-picked candidates who are underperforming in polls. The first candidate profiled in the piece, 31-year-old Josh Mandel, is a good case study of why being young and sharp doesn’t necessarily translate to political skill. A refreshing read for election buffs tired of presidential coverage. source (via • follow)