Friday, September 5, 2014

Liberal Fantasies: No Targeting by IRS and Labor Unions Don’t Make Political Expenditures

According to this story:

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, is putting the finishing touches on his supposed “investigation” of the IRS scandal that will, in essence, be a press release for the IRS and the administration, a reliable source tells me.

The Michigan Democrat apparently dismisses all of the allegations made over the targeting of tea party and other conservative organizations and instead attacks the Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which revealed the scandal when it issued its May 2013 report about the “inappropriate criteria” used to “identify tax-exempt applications for review.”

Of course this story, if true, is made even more ironic by the fact another recent story proved that Lois Lerner (the center of the IRS Scandal so far) has a long history of political bias

In 2007, Lerner responded directly to a complaint that some major labor unions reported completely different amounts of political expenditures when filing with the IRS and the Department of Labor.

At the time of the email, Lerner was the Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS.
Lerner wrote, “We looked at the information you provided regarding organizations that report substantial amounts of political activity and lobbying expenditures on the DOL Form LM-2, but report little to no political expenditures on the Form 990 filed with the IRS.”

“We believe this difference in reporting does not necessarily indicate that the organization has incorrectly reported to either the DOL or the IRS,” Lerner concluded.

In 2006, the year leading up to Lerner’s email, the national headquarters for the AFL-CIO reported no direct or indirect political expenditures with the IRS on their 990 form, leaving the line 81a blank. That same year, the AFL-CIO reported $29,585,661 in political activities with the Department of Labor.

Lerner acknowledged in the 2007 email, “The definition of political campaign activity required to be reported on Form LM2 coincides with the definition of political campaign activity expenditures required to be reported on Form 990.”

I don’t even think the most liberal defender of Lerner and targeting can say with a straight face Labor Unions had “zero” political expenditures in 2006.  Of course, only a zombie defender of the administration would buy a whitewashed report like Levin is supposedly about to issue. 

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