Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death


Patrick Henry speech: “Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

 

Although I don’t agree that President Trump is a bad guy (or at least not yet) in his Federal government decisions, I do agree absolutely the Federal government and many Dem-managed State and local governments are breaking the U.S. Constitution into pieces in the name of the ChiCom unleashed COVID-19, Globalism and ultimately Communism. Justin Smith takes the robbing of Liberty to task.

 

JRH 4/16/20

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Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death:

Free Born Americans Don’t Need Permission

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 4/15/2020 1:37 AM

 

Even the bad guys are admitting it, and that is they made these dire predictions so that they could go ahead and destroy peoples’ civil liberties and spend a lot of money and make up an excuse on why the stock market actually went down — all kinds of things by having this coronavirus event blown way out of proportion.”  ~ Ron Paul, former Congressman and Presidential Candidate

 

If a government wishes to alleviate, rather than aggravate, a depression, its only valid course is laissez-faire [Blog Editor: Laissez-faire is a central to American Liberty yet eradicated as an economic principle by Statists and Dem-Marxists in particular. Since I have doubts Laissez-faire principles are taught to Americans these days, you should acquaint yourself. Three brief self-education examinations: Merriam-Webster, Encyclopaedia Britannica and Investopedia] — to leave the economy alone. Only if there is no interference, direct or threatened, with prices, wage rates and business liquidation, will the necessary adjustment proceed with smooth dispatch.”  ~ Murray Rothbard, ‘America’s Great Depression’

 

The President who once stated “America will never be a socialist country”, President Donald J. Trump, is currently taking America down a path far and away from the free market and liberty, in general, in a manner that will only succeed in creating a situation for a greater economic collapse in the future, and perhaps the final collapse. He is answering the current economic collapse with big government, massive spending solutions, handouts and social projects, in the fashion of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose authoritarian policies ushered in a decade of economic misery and extended the disastrous effects of the Great Depression by years; and, this is certain to end badly for America, as the country is led further towards a deep depression and complete socialism, and, quite likely, greater control over all society, falling into a more extreme political environment and full blown Statism [Blog Editor: Statism defined – Your Dictionary and Ayn Rand Lexicon].

 

All Americans should be filled with some great degree of fear and anger as We recall President Trump at the White House, well-intentions or otherwise, recently stating, on April 13th: “When somebody is President of the United States, the authority is total. The governors know that.” This is such an egregiously outright erroneous, factually and historically inaccurate statement [Blog Editor: 10th Amendment and Implication] as to boggle one’s mind that any elected official, much less a sitting President, would so easily and assertively let such a remark pass their lips. This shows that Trump is neither the “stable genius” or the friend to the Constitution he portrays himself to be, and he isn’t anywhere close to understanding anything whatsoever regarding our U.S. Constitution and our nation’s founding; and it sends a flood of hot anger through me to hear such an anti-freedom and anti-liberty view held by a man who is sworn to defend freedom. [Blog Editor: President Trump can be infuriating when he makes 10th Amendment mistakes but on a personal level I’m not ready to toss him under the bus because he is used to corporate management despotism (remember, “You’re fired!”?), doesn’t mean Trump is averse to private correction. I suspect private correction has occurred because Trump has already walked back the I am totally in charge attitude toward the States. No matter how often President Trump screws up he drives Dem-Communists and their MSM propaganda tools nuts. As long that happens I’ll look for the best and pray the worst Trump decisions don’t activate the worst ends. But that is me – the Blog Editor.]

 

President Trump may as well have simply stated, “I am the State.”

 

This national shutdown of America by the Federal and State governments has crushed nearly every business in the country and put millions of Americans out of work, in the process, that also resulted in a crash in tax revenues at the federal, state and local levels. If the economy remains debilitated by government interference beyond May 1st, America is looking at an economic decline, a Greater Depression, that will not see its end for two decades, give or take a few years.

 

The best thing that could have been done was to allow the economy to continue to operate and function as normally as possible, rather than shut the nation’s entire economy down in a panic over a virus that represented so minimal a threat to the greatest majority of the people [Blog Editor: The Sweden and Brazil approach to COVID-19 you won’t hear about from MSM]. Somehow, the new Trump GOP was unable to use any semblance of cogent thought to arrive at this same conclusion; and so, they succumbed to the badgering of the Democratic Party Communists and passed the $8.3 billion vaccine bill, the $100 billion relief and paid leave package and the $2.2 trillion all-encompassing Dream Bailout — most of it is corporate socialism, as they currently propose several more $2 trillion packages that double-down on all the “Free Stuff” that was contained in the first Trump stimulus, that passed without any debate on a voice vote rather than an actual recorded vote.

 

Trump, RINO globalists and Trumpified “Republicans”, now Bernie Sanders socialists, have joined hands with the “progressive” Democratic Party Communists to open the U.S. Treasury to a massive theft that would create an indescribable envy in the hearts of the New Deal porkers, the Great Society big spenders and the Obama cartel cronies. And, as they also move towards a $2 trillion or more “stimulus/infrastructure” bill, and a deficit that will be $3 trillion this year and next, they are engaging in a fiscal drunken revelry that will leave America with outrageous and criminal debts, political dysfunction and economic debilitation and catastrophe for decades to come.

 

Look at what these criminals advocated and passed and then tell me they don’t need to be hung from the railings of the Capitol Building:

 

$25,000,000 for additional salary for the House of Representatives (Doesn’t that just blow your mind?)

 

$20,000,000 for UPS (for who knows what)

 

$300,000,000 for the Endowment for the Arts (as if they said, “Let’s do it. They’ll never know)

 

$300,000,000 for the Endowment for the Humanities

 

$435,000,000 for mental health support (that’s a lot of suicide hotlines)

 

$30,000,000,000 for the Department of Education stabilization fund (WOW, that’s massive. They need it to complete the indoctrination of children into the Communist ideology. I wonder how much goes to the socialists of the NEA?)

 

$200,000,000 to Safe Schools Emergency Response to Violence Program (because the virus causes students to be violent???)

 

$720,000,000 to the Social Security Administration (However, only $200,000,000 of this goes to benefit people. The rest goes to administration costs.)

 

$25,000,000 for Cleaning supplies for the Capitol Building (Yes it’s true. See page 136)

 

And these few examples don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the theft that is being perpetrated against the people through a massive bill that amounts to nothing less than a Grab Bag of Goodies for Congressmen, the lobbyists and their crony criminal CEOs and Wall Street.

 

The Democratic Party’s opposition to helping small businesses and their preference for handing out checks is sheer malevolence; in that they will hand a person a fish to feed them for a day and stand nearby as their policies destroy people’s ability to remain gainfully employed. Jobs and pensions alike are being destroyed as we speak. The Democratic Communists and Republican Statists and Communists have no consideration of the consequences of their actions [Blog Editor: Sadly, Justin is 100% correct], and they will eventually have to raise taxes as any future attempt to issue more debt will prove difficult in the midst of an economic collapse. One cannot help but see this as a deliberate move to force a Universal Basic Income in place of employment in order to create a larger welfare state. And the Paycheck Protection Act is simply one more big government program that facilitates this very thing.

 

The Communists within our government barely did achieve the 216 members’ presence for a quorum, of sorts, after Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) demanded it and went on to suggest they were trying to subvert the Constitution. Although President Trump and former Senator John Kerry (D-Mass) criticized Massie for the move as “grandstanding”, Massie pushed back stating that it wasn’t “grandstanding” when one defends the Constitution.

 

Massie further justified his dissent, stating, “I came here to make sure our Republic doesn’t die by unanimous consent in an empty chamber, and I request a recorded vote.”

 

Americans understand what it means when seventeen millions of their countrymen — a full 10 percent of the workforce are added to the unemployment rolls in the past month, with projections that suggest it could go as high as 47 million, if not ended soon. We are appalled to see modern day bread lines at local food banks stretch for miles in the heart of America’s once proud cities, such as Philadelphia, and we — at least the Conservative Americans — are angered at the knowledge our fiat Monopoly Money debt rises over $24 trillion and the Sovietization of Wall Street and our economy has been completed by the Federal Reserve Bank.

 

Americans also understand what it means when billionaires such as Bill Gates start explaining that only their new experimental mRNA vaccines will release us from this nightmare and provide us with the “certificates” that allow us to return to work. We — the Christians and true Conservative liberty-minded Americans — are truly angered to hear of threats to mark us with invisible ink tattoos, and we are infuriated to hear them say that we will not be able to buy or sell and participate in the economy until we can prove our “immunity”.

 

It means that the New World Order is upon us and charging at a furious rate of speed to finish the job of ending America’s republic.

 

Never did the simple, plain good and decent Americans suspect that someday their so-called “protectors” and “leaders” would lead them to the slaughter, but while some may say we were stupid, by and large, far too many Americans are naive and innocent [Blog Editor: It is this Editor’s current opinion that business mogul turned President Trump is among the naïve though probably not innocent] when it comes to seeing through their government’s Machiavellian machinations. They are trusting, peaceable and cooperative by nature, and that is nothing to be derided. If it weren’t for the predatory criminals in our midst who gain seats in all levels of government, their failings could be seen as virtues.

 

To date, an unimaginable number of our political, financial, corporate, religious “leaders” at every level, such as Jerome Powell, Steven Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow, have revealed their true nature and their willingness to violate moral and ethical codes to facilitate the current Trump agenda, that does not align with the Constitution or the views of liberty-minded Americans. They, like top federal bureaucrats and Congressional leaders, have confirmed they are one party, that is loyal to corporate and banking interests, and completely willing to destroy the livelihoods of nearly all Americans to keep the top one percent enriched and empowered. And, more than likely, they will continue to do so until every manjack among us picks up a rifle and puts an end to it all, in order that Americans may one day achieve real freedom and liberty.

 

So my mission is to awaken all my countrymen and say, “Fight like Hell to save Freedom and Liberty in America!”

 

Free born Americans do not need permission to buy and sell anything, to leave our homes to assemble and speak our minds, because the government doesn’t have the right to know where we are, who we meet or what we are buying and our every move each hour of the day. Each of us are free to leave our homes as we desire and wish, for any reason, including work, despite illegal “orders” from incompetent or criminal “leaders” on the advice of intelligentsia knaves and fools far too willing to serve an agenda that destroys liberty in America. [bold text by Editor and I concur.]

 

There are dark forces using this virus for ulterior motives and creating an economic collapse that will cost more lives than anything we will ever see from COVID-19, and, as the veil of civilization is pulled aside, everything past generations have fought to secure and achieve is now at risk. The economy expanded and life expectancy increased all due to the prosperity initially created in America’s earliest years of constitutional governance and unfettered capitalism. Now, that is all being undone.

 

Not one single red-blooded freedom and liberty loving American should ever be willing to sacrifice their liberty and freedom for the safety and security of a corporate fascist oligarchy that has bastardized our Constitution and now pretends to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Any liberty mistakenly abandoned may never return to us, or it may be a long time coming.

 

Our fragile constitutional Republic and civilization itself rests in our hands. It will take a people with great courage to defend our **Founding Principles, if we are to survive as a civilization, society and nation. So long as we remember the blood of our brave ancestors flowing through our veins and remain brave ourselves, in the face of great adversity and danger, our desire to live free will never be extinguished and it will burn brightly in the lamp of Liberty forever.

 

**[Blog Editor: Again, the concept of Founding Principles is a forgotten subject matter in most American school curriculum. So consider some self-education:

 

 

 

 

 

 

And at some point, in the not too distant future, Americans will have to recapture that spirit that was once inherent to us all — the one that said, “Give me Liberty or Give Me Death“. [Blog Editor: Some Patrick Henry historical perspective]

 

By Justin O. Smith

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[Blog Editor: For the most part, Justin’s post is awesome! If you believe the Federal government is usurping too much into your life (I certainly do!), this post excerpt that you should read in entirety:]

 

Confronting the Leviathan of the COVID-19 Crisis

 

By Anthony Rozmajzl

April 16, 2020

Foundation for Economic Education

 

The COVID-19 outbreak has made one thing clear: we are a nation that is quickly forgetting how to be free. How many people, in the face of economic panic, have knelt before our elected officials and financial authorities, yearning to be led out of this crisis and made secure in their livelihoods? How many people have taken comfort in the small amount of safety that comes from knowing that millions are not allowed to go to work and support their families, or leave their homes for anything other than what the government deems necessary?

 

Increasing Government Powers

 

How many have taken comfort in knowing that the police, in complete violation of the fourth amendment, are conducting unwarranted searches for civilians not following quarantine mandates? How many have gained a sense of peace in the idea of forced checkpoints and the government’s ability to dictate what companies ought to produce? How many people have taken comfort in their measly share of the $2 trillion stimulus package, which was financed from their own income and savings in the first place? And how many people have marveled at the government’s power to indefinitely shut down the economy and bring millions of lives to a halt?

 

It appears we live in a nation of people who have chosen to dismiss, or are blissfully ignorant of, the wealth of historical evidence—expertly documented in Robert Higgs’s Crisis and Leviathanwhich lays bare the state’s tradition of arrogating unwarranted powers during crises and emergencies, powers that never fully recede from its arsenal of economic and political manipulation once the crisis subsides. Higgs described this pattern as the “ratchet effect” and documented its unfolding throughout critical events of the 20th century—most notably the Great Depression and both World Wars.

 

In each crisis, the government assumed incredible powers to manipulate both the economy and the court of public opinion. For example, World War I alone saw the initiation of the War Industries Board, the War Labor Board, the Espionage Act, the Food Administration, the Fuel Administration, the Railroad Administration, and many others. The War Industries Board and War Labor Board, for example, represented one of the most invasive economic planning attempts by our government to date. And the Espionage Act, created to prohibit interference with military operations, military recruitment, and punish enemy support, was also used to silence opponents of the draft and those who exercised their right to speak out against American involvement in the war.

 

After the war ended, every bureaucratic creation mentioned above was formally scrapped, except for the Espionage Act, which remains on the government’s books to this very day. This is but one example of Higgs’s “ratchet effect” where not every power assumed by the government during an emergency is fully relinquished after the FINISHING READING

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Edited by John R. Houk

 

In Justin’s submission, text embraced by brackets and embedded links are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith

 

Dreams of Prosperity and an Inflated Currency


I actually comprehend little when it comes to economics and numbers. But history is easier to grasp. History informs us a Capitalist based Market System has enabled a Liberty-minded America to prosper more than the fail. While oppositely a Socialist based Government Managed System robs Liberty from citizens stifling individual prosperity and increasing government despotism and oppression.

 

Though I have difficulty grasping the actual effects of a repo (buyback) stocks market on the economy I grasp well that an unrestrained Federal Reserve with near zero checks and balances adds to government despotism and decreases Liberty and Freedom of America’s individual citizens. And so … here are Justin Smith’s thoughts on American Markets and the actions of the Federal Reserve.

 

JRH 10/10/19

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Blog Editor: Rather than capitulate to Facebook censorship by abandoning the platform, I choose to post and share until the Leftist censors ban me. Recently, the Facebook censorship tactic I’ve experienced is a couple of Group shares then jailed under the false accusation of posting too fast. So I ask those that read this, to combat censorship by sharing blog and Facebook posts with your friends or Groups you belong to.

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Dreams of Prosperity and an Inflated Currency

Congressional Warning Bells Are Silent

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent  10/8/2019 10:42 PM

 

Long before we wake up from our dream of prosperity through an inflated currency, our gold, which alone could have kept us from catastrophe, will have vanished and no rate of interest will tempt it to return.” U.S. Senator Elihu Root (R-NY) 1913

 

The Federal Reserve Bank has been a bone of contention, since our nation’s founding. This rogue agency has proven itself to be the evil entity that many early American leaders believed it to be, but not one word on the Fed was forthcoming, when Congresswoman Maxine Waters announced the schedule of the House Financial Services Committee on October 3rd, after the Federal Reserve Bank started transferring billions of dollars into the Repurchasing Market on September 17th. This activated its proposal to hand seventy-five billion dollars a day to unnamed banks on Wall Street, until November 4th, the first such intervention since the 2008 economic collapse and the bailout of financial organizations deemed “too big to fail”; and, it is just one more criminal act in a long line of abuses committed against all America.

 

In 2011, James Felkerson wrote in an academic piece, that from 2007 to 2010, the Fed had funneled an unbelievable $29 trillion in revolving loans to Wall Street and global banks. It did this without any apparent realization and authority from Congress, even though by law both the House Financial Services and the Senate Banking Committees are to be briefed on any such emergency loans, including the names of those banks taking the loans.

 

[Blog Editor: I am not an economist. In trying to make sense of the repo market and reverse-repo market the information muddied rather than bring clarity to my understanding. Since it is my mantra that Dems lie and deceive I become skeptical when the likes of Dem candidates for President (e.g. Elizabeth Warren & Bernie Sanders among others) begin to rail against the buyback repo markets. I’ll start with an explanation of repo markets then add some criticism titles for you to look noting who the critics are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like I said, I am no economist. BUT the tax issue seems less about taxpayers funds and more about banks and corporations taking advantage of tax breaks to expand money returns which may or may not blow up DEPENDING on the security controls of the money-printing Federal Reserve. Not being an economist means my take could be entirely off basis.]

 

These Big Banks and corporations are taking this “free” taxpayer dollars and buying back stocks in their own companies, rather than risk investment in productive investments, which creates an illusion of economic growth. The purchases give companies the appearance of being more profitable than they actually are, even though their earnings have remained stagnant. And it is the Fed’s perverse incentives that have given rise to this debt-dependent speculative system that allows companies to pocket their profits, while at the same time, they socialize their losses and pass them along to the taxpayer, ‘We the People’.

 

In 1832, President Andrew Jackson, extremely antagonistic towards the Bank of the United States, stated: “Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching You for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin [a] thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, I will rout you out.” [Bold-Italics Blog Editor’s]

 

We are currently witnessing a continuation of the malinvestments that led to the 2008 economic collapse and massive loans combined with another huge expansion of credit. When banking institutes issue huge credit lines, any future economic collapse is proportional to that amount of outstanding credit.

 

This isn’t a true “boom economy” and the current boom is the culmination of monetary inflation and an expanded credit cycle, in the wake of the residential property and stock market booms, between 2005 and 2007, and malinvestments that have not yet been fully corrected. To date, this is by far a larger credit elevation than that of 1922-1929, and the Great Depression on the 20th century.

 

It seems as though everyone in America has bought into the promise of applied macroeconomics, refusing to acknowledge the contrary signals through the prism of classic economics, while they accept macroeconomist premises that economic truths on a micro-level are not applicable to the whole at the macro-level. This level of ignorance will soon prove to be a huge mistake, since nobody can live forever beyond their means and ability to repay amounts owed.

 

One should note that the JP Morgan Bank, one of the largest in the United States, was hit with three felony counts under the RICO Act last month, concerning the precious metals market. This is particularly alarming in light of JP Morgan’s $158 billion cash reduction in the Federal Reserve, between January and June of 2019, a fifty-seven percent decline this year.

 

Why hasn’t the need of the United States’ largest bank to acquire such a large loan over a six month period raised any warning bells in Congress? Why does JP Morgan need such a large loan if it has $1.6 trillion in deposits and a “fortress balance sheet”, as asserted by JP’s CEO, Jamie Dimon?

 

By the end of June 2019, America’s four largest banks had a combined $5.45 trillion in deposits: JP Morgan claimed $1.6 trillion; Bank of America claims $1.44 trillion; Wells Fargo posts $1.35 trillion, and Citibank holds a bit over $1 trillion.

 

So why the current panic at the Fed? If the liquidity doesn’t exist to allow these banks to issue billions in loans, when they supposedly hold $5.45 trillion, something very serious has occurred in the financial industry and another economic crisis looms on the horizon.

 

Recently, CNBC reported that U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index was the lowest it’s been since June 2009, at 47.8 percent, and in recent days, many hundreds of Americans have been laid off from companies, such as Kroger and many others. Bayou Steel just laid off 376 workers, according to Market Realist; Daimler Trucks North America is laying off 450 people; WeWork is set to end five thousand jobs, one-third of its workforce; Hewlett Packard Inc is cutting approximately 8,000 positions, and lets not forget that Walmart was forced to close 63 locations last year.

 

This isn’t a “boom economy” anyway one looks at it, especially when we see Democrats and Republicans alike engaging in out-of-control deficit spending, as if the U.S. Treasury is their own personal piggy bank and there is no tomorrow. If this were truly such a golden period of economic recovery, our financiers wouldn’t be clamoring for interest rate cuts, when they are already at historically low levels.

 

America has seen this greed motivated reach for more and more before, as the borrowers seem not to have one care on how their loans will be repaid, and most of America cares not so long as they get their cut. It is this extreme callous character flaw and apathy and a complacency and the turning of a blind eye by corrupt Congressmen, a national immorality, that is allowing the Fed to once more bail out the worse white collar criminals on Wall Street, as they continue to take huge portions of bail out funds to reward themselves with tens of millions of dollars in bonuses and billions of dollars to lawyers to prevent them from being prosecuted for fraud.

 

It is an indication of America’s collective genius or its collective madness that permits Her people to hold so many contradictory assumptions, combined under the same economic system, and blindly and blithely proceed as if they were all joined by perfect cogent thought, logic and reason. And yet, many Americans cannot escape the nagging feeling that something is going extraordinarily wrong, as our best and brightest economic experts call madness “common sense”, denying that their deal with the devil doesn’t come at some terrible price eventually.

 

The impeccable and brilliant Senator Elihu Root strongly opposed the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, noting in a blistering and prescient manner that “the Federal Reserve … provides an expansive currency, not an elastic one”. He noted that the temptation to expand the currency would cause the Fed to create the very cycles it was supposed to prevent.

 

It is far past time to eradicate the Federal Reserve Bank and the economic sickness that accompanies centralized banking, wherever one finds it.

 

Whatever a man sows, so shall he reap. Need little, want less and love more.

 

By Justin O. Smith

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Blog Editor: Rather than capitulate to Facebook censorship by abandoning the platform, I choose to post and share until the Leftist censors ban me. Recently, the Facebook censorship tactic I’ve experienced is a couple of Group shares then jailed under the false accusation of posting too fast. So I ask those that read this, to combat censorship by sharing blog and Facebook posts with your friends or Groups you belong to.

___________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

 

Source links and text embraced by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith

 

Intro to 5/20/18 Sooner Tea Party Newsletter


John R. Houk, Editor

Posted May 24, 2018

 

I live in Oklahoma. Every so every I like to highlight the politics going on in my State. I get a newsletter from Oklahoma’s Sooner Tea Party. I like the Sooner Tea Party because they are committed to Conservative principles rather than a political party such as the GOP or the Leftist Dems.

 

This Newsletter looks at:

 

  • Oklahoma tax reform

 

  • The apparent cover-up of an audit revealing the last three State Attorney Generals (all GOP) – including the present Mike Hunter – not acting on criminality revealed in the audit.

 

  • Announcement of Konawa Tea Party speaker engagement (which I’m omitting because the announced date was May 22).

 

  • House and Senate Platform Indexes Now Online.

 

  • Soft on Crime Story of the Week

 

And now, the Newsletter

 

JRH 5/24/18

Please Support NCCR

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Newsletter Title – Some of the Faces of Corruption

Sent May 20, 2018, 9:22:54 PM CDT

Sooner Tea Party Newsletter

 

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Click on the link below to donate and tell us what you want your donation used for in the comment section:

 

Sooner Tea Party Donations

May 20th 2018 Newsletter

 

Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite logo

 

Simply the Most Important Thing You Can Do For Conservative Values

 

One of the more common excuses that people give for not getting involved in the fight is that they are powerless, that a single person can do nothing against the liberal/RINO machine that is grinding away our freedom and stealing our hard earned income. That is so wrong on so many levels but no one can argue this; your one voice coupled with 40,999 others damn sure can get something done.

 

Forty one thousand signatures is all that is needed to set the largest tax increase in Oklahoma history on a upcoming statewide ballot. If that can’t be accomplished then there is no hope of ever holding the line against the RINOs and liberals simply because our people wouldn’t deserve the line to be held. It is one thing to come to the front and lead, it is another thing to fight for others while they sit on their asses whining and crying that they are helpless.

 

The minute that the signatures are counted and approved the teacher taxes are stopped butt cold, frozen in place, until the outcome of the vote. Your signature and support for this effort will send a loud message to the union thugs that we call teachers, it sends a message to the union thugs in other states that are threatening to strike for higher pay, it sends a message to the legislature and every politician in the state. And that message is; Cut the waste before raising our taxes.

 

If you smoke, use gasoline or diesel, or purchase items that require the use of fuel to get them to the store or to your home, you are impacted by these massive taxes. If you are a middle class taxpayer your deductions have been slashed. If you are a working class or working poor taxpayer your deductions have been slashed. If you are wealthy your deductions have been slashed. If you are on social security or disability the economy that pays for your benefits is being impacted by these taxes and ultimately you will be impacted.

 

Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite has a website up with a list of locations that are hosting a petition. You as a business can ask to be added to the list or you as a private individual can ask to host a petition. Get involved, get a petition and ask others to sign it. Be one of 2050 people that manage to get 20 friends, family, or neighbors to sign the petition. Petition signers need to be registered voters in the State of Oklahoma and the person hosting the petition needs to have the petition page notarized once it is filled.

 

Their website: Click here

 

A list of signing places: Click here

 

Their email: Oklahomataxpayersunite@gmail.com

 

Their phone number: (405) 470-9990

 

Some of the Faces of Corruption in Oklahoma [Drew Edmondson, Scott Pruitt & Mike Hunter]

 

We have been following the Tar Creek Audit for years and with the release of the two audits thanks to pressure on the AG office by a lawsuit, everything that was alleged years ago has turned out to be completely true. David Van with Sooner Politics ran a story on the release of the audit last week and we read both audits and there is no doubt that this was corrupt.

 

Three Attorney Generals fought to hide this corruption. Drew Edmondson, Scott Pruitt, and the current weasel Mike Hunter. No doubt the corruption was protected thanks to campaign donations or political power from those that profited. What should have been a $600,000 project to clean up some old houses at Tar Creek turned into over $3,000,000 in taxpayer dollars wasted.

 

Current AG Mike Hunter made sure that the theft and corruption went unpunished by holding off the release of the audits till one day after the seven years statute of limitations had expired. Investigators in his office colluded by claiming that there were no prosecutable crimes committed despite the audits clear results and clear statements that the bids were rigged and favoritism was shown. Even the bidders on the project did their part by suing and halting the process, shining a bright light on the bidding process yet they were so brazen as to steal the taxpayer money anyway.

 

Imagine, a carpet cleaning company with zero experience beats out three other experienced demolition contractors, some of which had handled tens of millions of dollars in such demolition work. The carpet cleaning company is able to obtain a bond and magically comes up with a quality control document/plan that matches word for word what the original project engineer submitted despite state and federal law that prohibits the sharing of bid information. The experienced demolition contractors score 1’s on the scoring process set up by the project engineer and board members while the carpet cleaning company scores a 10.

 

An alternate contract that is put in place in case the local EPA landfill or the local state dumping site can’t be used suddenly is approved despite only 15% of the debris being hauled to the Kansas dump site. What should have been a $150,000 payment for the extra miles and dumping fees turns into over one million dollars windfall for the contractor/carpet cleaning company.

 

Thousands of dollars were billed for non existent structures on empty lots, allegedly paying for asbestos abatement and demolition of the homes and the hauling away of hundreds of yards of debris despite photo showing the empty lots before the work began.

 

Micky Mantle’s home was sold to a neighboring town and hauled away at their expense, yet the carpet cleaning contractor billed thousands of dollars for demolition and debris hauling and disposal. That same home still exists and is on display in the neighboring town.

 

Initial bids on the entire project were under one million dollars, with the lowest being just under $600,000. The state realized that the Davis Bacon law didn’t have to be followed so they rebid the contracts, expecting to save money for the taxpayers. Indeed, that lowest bid came back $41,000 cheaper than the original bid. But somehow the project was given to the highest bidder for ultimately $3.4 million dollars based upon the carpet cleaning company having a better quality control plan than the other three experienced demolition contractors.

 

Here is part of the summary of the 2nd audit:

 

“This report describes various problems with the LICRAT Property Improvement Clearance Project that was bid and awarded through the Department of Central Services(DCS) in December 2010. Although our investigation did not provide direct evidence fora conspiracy against the state, it did provide considerable circumstantial evidence that a conspiracy may have existed.

 

We observed that the DC$ bid process resulted in this contract being awarded to the same vendor implicated in our report for Objective I, CWF Enterprises, Inc., despite the fact that the March 2010 bid process contained significant violations of the Title 61, Public Competitive Bidding Act and was voided by an Ottawa County District Court on an Open Meeting Act violation.

 

Every change, modification, or re-interpretation of this second demolition contract served only to increase the eventual payout to the contractor and increased the appearance of favoritism directed to the benefit of CWF Enterprises (CWF). As a consequence of highly questionable change orders and extremely lax contract administration of the December 2010 contract, the payments to CWF, under this second bid award/contract, totaled $3,050,785.93.

 

This amount, along with a payment to CWf of $366,282.56 under the March 2010 contract, brought the total payments to CWF for the Property Improvement Clearance Project to $3,417,068.49. Contrast this total amount with the original bid received on the project in October 2009, of $599,988.00.

 

To attribute the following sequence of events surrounding the December 2010 contract to simple coincidence or merely poor management, it would have to be “reasonable” to believe:

 

  • That a restoration-cleaning company with no heavy equipment and little experience in actual demolition work would receive a perfect “10” across the board in the DCS pre-bid qualification process led by Jack Dalrymple, the LICRAT project manager.

 

  • That this same pre-bid qualification process would attempt to disqualify all three other demolition companies by rating them near across-the-board “l’s” on a scale of 1to 10, although two of the three initially disqualified companies provided examples of prior experience of major and more complex demolition contracts totaling tens of millions of dollars.

 

  • That all parties signed a contract omitting the Alternate bid as unnecessary, only to subsequently add the $1.3 million Alternate two months later using “clerical error” as the ostensible justification for increasing the contract award by nearly 78%.

 

  • That adding the $1.3 million Alternate bid as a “clerical error” change order was reasonable and appropriate, although state law prohibits cumulative “change orders or addenda” from exceeding 10% on contracts exceeding $1 million.

 

  • That it was acceptable to invoke the Alternate bid for additional costs to haul debris to a fee-based Kansas landfill when non-fee based facilities were still receiving debris.

 

  • Finally, after invoking the Alternate bid, that it could be presumed legitimate for the contractor to charge LICRAT on a “lump sum” basis for the entire $1.3 million Alternate, even though billing documentation reported only approximately 15% of project debris was hauled to the fee-based Kansas landfill, resulting in a “windfall” to the contractor of over $1 million. We do not believe that the above events can be explained away as poor management or “clerical error.” We believe the above provides sufficient circumstantial evidence for additional investigation into a potential conspiracy against the state.”

 

Five years after the initial audits were done this gets released, again a few days after the statute of limitations runs out. The two audits even disagree on a few points, as well as disagreeing with a 2013 EPA investigation, showing that political pressure was brought to bear on the auditor who is running for Governor.. Hunter claims he found “found prosecutable evidence of criminal activity.”, well if you wait till the statute of limitations expires that might be the case. Yet the original audit found evidence of violations of the cometitive [sic] bidding act, bidder choosing, collusion among bidders, unlawful disclosure of information prior to bidding, conspiracy against the state, open meetings act violations, violations of contractor and bidding bonds, and illegal federal award payments used to pay legal fees for violating the law. Yet somehow these same findings were changed and watered down in the second audit by Gary Jones.

 

Dalrymple was hired as the project engineer and managed to get the contract language changed allowing him to approve changes in the contract instead of the Trust Board. He stood to profit as he was to be paid 10% on top of the winning bids for the work, so the higher the bids the higher his paycheck. Ten percent of $600,000 is lower than ten percent of $3,400,000 and that was his motivation for rigging the bids according to the audits. The bid inspection and awarding was not done in an open meeting and the awarding of the bid to the highest bidder was never explained as required by law. Why a $599,000 bid was turned down for demolition work and a $2,100,000 bid was accepted has never been explained. Time lines were jumbled, bids were awarded weeks after emails from the principles showed that the bid had been decided upon. Emails proving collusion between parties involved were ignored by prosecutors.

 

The fraud and collusion is plain to see yet three Attorney Generals fought long and hard to prevent this audit from being done and once done they fought to prevent it being released. Drew Edmondson, Scott Pruitt, and Mike Hunter all protected this corruption and whether they did so because of personal gain or because they were paying off political debts is of no matter, it stunk, it still stinks, and all three men ought to be in front of a grand jury explaining their actions.

 

Chickens Roosting

 

House and Senate Platform Indexes Now Online

 

You can find and download the actual index spreadsheets for the House and Senate at these links:

 

Senate 2018 Platform Index

House 2018 Platform Index

 

Inmate Query – Roderick Scallion

 

Soft on Crime Story of the Week

 

Meet Roderick Scallion, career criminal that loves the current soft on crime legislature. Scallion started his adult criminal career in Hobart in 2003 just after his 20th birthday, CF-2003-00060 possession of drugs, paraphernalia, and having an open beer in his vehicle. He pleaded guilty and was released due to time served in the local jail of 120 days and ordered to pay his court and incarceration costs. Which never happened so a warrant was issued for his arrest on failure to pay. A few years later he had been caught, his suspended sentence revoked, and sent to local jail for sixty days. A year later Scallion is out and still refusing to pay so he is arrested again on a second motion to revoke the suspended sentence. This time they send him to Lexington for two years but of course he is released months later as three years means a few months in actual prison. By 2007 he is still refusing to pay fines and fees and his suspended sentence is revoked again. By 2010 the state still hasn’t managed to get a dime from Scallion and once again a warrant is issued for failing to appear to explain why he is not following his agreed payment plan each month. In 2011 he agrees to pay around $800 in arrears and then pay $100 per month but doesn’t and it is 2014 before they catch up with Scallion again. Scallion once again agrees to pay and disappears once again with a warrant out for his arrest. Repeat in 2015 and 2016 with zero payment made on the original fines and fees.

 

Of course this 2003 was just his first adult arrest. The next was in 2005, CF-2005-00063 , escape from detention or arrest. He is let out of jail for time served and the costs waived, agreeing to move to Kansas it seems. By 2006 the dance begins anew with a motion to revoke this suspended sentence and a warrant for Scallion’s arrest. 2007 ends with a new payment plan at $100 per month with no payments shown on the court record.

 

Third arrest in 2006, escaping detention and possession of drugs, CF-2006-00021 . Plead guilty to suspended sentence and probation, ordered to pay fines and fees but no record on the docket showing any was ever paid.

 

Next arrest was in 2010, petty larceny. Scallion pleads guilty, sentenced to time served and fees, doesn’t pay.

 

March of 2010, Tulsa County, CF-2010-822 , assault and battery on a police officer, possession of drugs with intention to distribute, driving without a license, and escaping detention. This case winds on for years, multiple bondsmen, multiple attorneys of public defender, multiple failure to appears, warrants, and re arrests. By May of 2014 Scallion pleads guilty and receives suspended sentences, some time served, some community service, and of course agrees to pay fines and fees that he will never pay. By September of 2014 he isn’t paying or appearing and another warrant is issued. By September the suspended sentences are revoked. Scallion once again cuts a deal and the suspension of the sentences stays in place but by early 2015 he is refusing to pay and appear once again and another warrant is issued and once again the suspended sentences are revoked. Around this same time Scallion has time and money to get married.

 

Next arrest in Kiowa County was late 2014, breaking and entering and escaping detention again. Plead guilty, sentenced to the 135 days of time served awaiting trial, and fines of course which were not paid.

By 2015 Scallion still isn’t paying but the notes on the file show he did call in to the court clerk…..

 

2015, obstructing an officer, CM-2014-00373. Plead guilty because he isn’t gonna pay anyway, doesn’t show up again. On this one case Scallion has around $5000 in incarceration costs alone plus another thousand or so of court costs and fees.

 

September 2016 and Scallion has moved this business to Oklahoma County, arrested on CF-2016-7405 for assault and battery on a police officer, no doubt in trying to escape capture for one of his warrants. By May of 2017 Scallion has been through several attorneys, most likely not paying their bill, The case is still pending and scheduled to be heard August 2018, three years after the crime was committed.

 

September 2016 and Scallion has committed another series of crimes, CF-2016-7407 another assault and battery on a police officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, and concealing stolen property. Set for Jury trial in March of 2018 but continued to August of 2018.

 

A few days after committing the crimes above Scallion committed another felony, CF-2016-7519 , using a stolen credit card it seems. By May 20176 he has jumped bail and is on the run again. Scallion posts bond a few weeks later after being caught but jumps bail again a few weeks later. He pleads guilty in September of 2017 and gets a three year suspended sentence with 120 days credit for time served while awaiting trial. But Scallion once again breaks his deal and the case is set for jury trial again in August of 2018.

 

September 2016 another set of charges have been filed, CF-2016-7542 , committing felonies in two or more counties and Burglary first degree, and five counts of having and using a stolen credit card. Set for trial in March of 2018 but continued till August of 2018, nearly two years after the crime was committed.

 

Thirteen years of crime after crime after crime. The legal system choked with hearings and trials for a man that always pleads guilty after exhausting the delays, promises to pay and then disappears or simply doesn’t pay any of the tens of thousands of dollars in court costs or incarceration fees. And time after time a judge gives Scallion another chance and kicks the can down the road.

 

People say we lock up too many people. The fact is you have to work really, really, hard to get sent to prison and you are there about one quarter to one third of the time sentenced if your victim is lucky.

___________________

Intro to 5/20/18 Sooner Tea Party Newsletter

John R. Houk, Editor

Posted May 24, 2018

__________________

Newsletter Title – Some of the Faces of Corruption

 

Sooner Tea Party Leader – Al Gerhart

 

We Americans NEED Tax Reform


John R. Houk

October 24, 2017

President Trump’s tax reform has a bit of everything beneficial from rich to poor. NOT JUST THE RICH as the Democrats deceptively tell their listeners. Sensibly, along with the give there is also some take. After all, tax revenue is what operates the government whether every Joe-American likes it or not.

 

The Democrats and Left-oriented media obfuscate the reality of Trump tax reform with claims it benefits only the Wealthy and harms the Middle Class. That claim simply is not true because deductions benefitting the rich are stream lined as much to wealthy as to all the other tax brackets. Since the Wealthy pay a majority of the tax revenue, even with a reduced tax rate the reduction in deduction choices still gives the Wealthy a punch to the gut.

 

Talking about tax brackets, President Trump wants three reduced from the present day seven brackets. Speaker Paul Ryan apparently wants to add a fourth bracket aimed at the uber-wealthy most likely to kowtow to the Democrats accusation of a tax plan only benefitting the rich.

 

The Original Tax Bracket Proposal (Source: TheBalance.com 10/23/17)

 

  • Lowest Rate: 12% (down from 15%)

 

  • Middle Rate: 25% (down from 28%)

 

  • Highest Rate: 35% (down from 39.6% – let’s just call it 40%)

 

If GOP Establishment Has its Way – The Fourth Bracket

 

 

TheBalance.com has an accurate of the plusses and minuses of Trump Tax Reform with no pun intended, balancing to the plus-side. SavingToInvest.com is apparently running a constant update on where the Trump Tax Reform seems to be at based on recent information.

 

The Heritage Foundation has a fantastic analysis of the proposed Trump Tax Reform looking through the eyeglass of Congress-talk with the term “Unified Framework”. The Heritage analysis begins by detailing how tax reform will benefit Corporations in the sense of benefiting the U.S. economy. The Corporation analysis is written terms that we every-day Americans can understand. Then Heritage looks at how tax reform affects us normal American individuals. I encourage you to read it: http://tinyurl.com/yalz2k35

 

Today, we have an anti-growth, complex and out-of-date tax code. President Donald Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear before the November 2016 election that pro-growth tax reform would be a major legislative priority for Republicans in 2017 if they were given the chance to govern.

Our tax code currently suppresses American business growth, is far too complex for the average citizen, and is full of cronyism. Accordingly, I encourage [you] to stick to the following principles on tax reform: lower and simplify individual tax rates, lower the corporate tax rate, permit “full expensing,” establish a territorial tax system, and end cronyism.

 

The American people gave Republicans control of the House, Senate and White House, and there is a real opportunity to achieve comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform. Congress can use this as an opportunity to pair tax reform with spending cuts in order to comply with the rules of budget reconciliation and maximize the economic benefits of tax reform. After all, the federal government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. (Hat Tip: HeritageAction.com)

 

JRH 10/24/17

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Jenny Beth Martin on IRS scandal: ‘We need to know what happened’


Remember how Obama’s IRS targeted Conservative groups – ESPECIALLY Tea Party groups – to prevent Conservatives from campaigning against Obama?

 

Remember Lois Lerner was involved in IRS targeting then took the 5th in Congressional hearings to save her buttocks? She is now retired with a healthy pension. Thanks to Sixth Circuit Appeals Court, Lerner is going to be forced to testify.

 

Remember how the IRS Commissioner John Koskinen did next to zero to bring IRS culprits to justice? Apparently, President Trump has forgot to drain the IRS portion of the swamp because Koskinen is still the IRS Commissioner.

 

VIDEO: Donald Trump Says He Is Will “Drain The Swamp in Washington DC”

JRH 5/21/17

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Jenny Beth Martin on IRS scandal: ‘We need to know what happened’

 

Sent by Tea Party Patriots

Sent 5/19/2017 4:36 PM

In a recent interview with Fox & Friends’ Steve Doocy, Tea Party Patriots Co-Founder Jenny Beth Martin demands that testimony from today’s hearings into the IRS targeting scandal be made public so we, the American people, are able to “get to the bottom” of why some groups applying for tax-exempt status were singled-out for added scrutiny during the Obama administration.

 

“…[W]e need to know what happened. They need to testify and the public needs to hear that testimony to be able to get to the bottom of what happened to us so we can finally have justice,” Jenny Beth said of the former top IRS officials, who requested their testimony be sealed out of concern for their well-being.

 

Numerous Americans were targeted under Lois Lerner’s scheme at the IRS, and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen stonewalled congressional investigation into the matter. Click here to join Jenny Beth Martin in demanding justice for those Americans targeted by the IRS and for IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s immediate dismissal.

 

Impeach Koskinen

 

The IRS scandal, and continued calls for our elected representatives to follow through on their promise to fully repeal Obamacare, keep us busy every day at Tea Party Patriots. As health-insurer Aetna announces it’s getting out of Obamacare, we’re reminded daily that a health-insurance infrastructure that places more power in the hands of government arbitrators than it does in the hands of the American people is fundamentally un-American. Click here to help Tea Party Patriots encourage our lawmakers to fully repeal Obamacare.

 

America’s future – as with the Obamacare repeal – can sometimes look bleak as lawmakers continue to go soft on their promises, but don’t lose heart. When our mainstream news media is more concerned with how many scoops of ice cream President Trump prefers eating compared to his guests (yes, this “story” actually garnered a headline), you know it’s time now, more than ever, to get America back on track and tackling the issues critical to our continued well-being and our children’s well-being – something former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich emphasizes in a recent column for Fox News.

 

“Republicans must decide if they are going to fight for what they believe in or retreat to the tenuous safety of the beltway bubble,” he says.

 

One promising development is the more than 120 seats on federal lower courts President Trump has the opportunity to try and fill – assuming Republicans and some Democrats can come together as they did during the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

 

As Jenny Beth says in a Washington Times opinion piece, “What’s better than another Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court? How about another Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court and another 10 Antonin Scalias on lower federal courts, ready to rule and move up when the time is right?” Click here to help Tea Party Patriots urge our senators to confirm to our courts judges who respect our Constitution!

 

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© 2017 Tea Party Patriots, Inc.

 

Tea Party Patriots Core Principles

 

Tea Party Patriots stands for every American, and is home to millions who have come together to pursue the American Dream and to keep that Dream alive for their children and grandchildren.

 

What unites the tea party movement is the same set of core principles that brought America together at its founding, that kindled the American Dream in the hearts of those who struggled to build our nation, and made the United States of America the greatest, most successful country in world history.

 

At its root the American Dream is about freedom. Freedom to work hard and the freedom to keep the fruits of your labor to use as you see fit without harming others and without hindering their freedom. Very simply, three guiding principles give rise to the freedom necessary to pursue and live the American Dream:

 

 

 

 

THE IRS SCANDAL: TIMELINE


Something that has nearly evaporated from media scrutiny is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Scandal in which America’s tax collecting organization singled out Conservative organizations and Tea Party Movement organizations in particular. Obama’s managed IRS intended to stall, prevent and investigate those organizations from attaining a tax-exempt status as 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4). The apparent goal was to hamper Conservatives from educating American voters about the suspicious anti-American transformation agenda of President Barack Hussein Obama.

Lois Lerner – AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

One of the most nefarious acts of the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) was to NOT prosecute IRS Conservative-hating and pro-Obama minion Lois Lerner. The Left-Stream Media has nearly ignored this fact of Obama favoritism to loyal minions.

Below is a Determine the Networks (DTN) timeline of this IRS scandal that stretches from August 2010 to December 23, 2014. I kind of wish had taken this timeline to the next level with a conclusion enumerating the failings of DOJ investigations and prosecution of Lois Lerner and other IRS involved employees that have been given the full Teflon treatment that American Leftists typically receive.

JRH 1/13/16

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THE IRS SCANDAL: TIMELINE

DTN Alert Sent: Jan 11 at 9:15 AM

Determine the Networks

In May 2013, it was learned that from April 2010 to April 2012, the Internal Revenue Service had placed on hold the processing of applications for tax-exempt status that it had received from hundreds of organizations with such presumably conservative indicators as “Tea Party,” “Patriots,” or “9/12” in their names. During that period, the IRS approved only four applications from conservative groups while green-lighting applications from several dozen organizations whose names included the likely left-leaning terms “Progressive,” “Progress,” “Liberal,” or “Equality.”

In February 2014, it was further learned that of the already-existing nonprofits that were flagged for IRS surveillance (including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites, and any other publicly available information), 83% were conservative. And, of the groups that the IRS selected for audit, 100% were conservative.

This section of Discover The Networks provides a timeline of this illegal, blatantly partisan practice by the IRS.

February to March 2010: An email string from February – March 2010 includes a message from a California Exempt Organizations Determinations manager discussing a Tea Party application “currently being held in the Screening group.” The manager urges, “Please let ‘Washington’ know about this potentially embarrassing political case involving a ‘Tea Party’ organization. Recent media attention to this type of organization indicates to me that this is a ‘high profile’ case.” A co-worker responds: “I think sending it up here [DC] is a good idea given the potential for media interest.” (Source)

March 31 to April 1, 2010: Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)—the 150,000-member union that represents employees of the IRS and 30 other government agencies—visits President Obama at the White House. NTEU’s Political Action Committee endorsed Obama in both 2008 and 2012, and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles to anti-Tea Party candidates. (Source)

The day after Colleen Kelley’s White House visit, IRS employees begin applying extra scrutiny to tax-exempt-status applications from conservative organizations whose names contain the words “Tea Party,” “Patriot,” “9-12,” “’Take Back the Country,” or “We the People.” (Source and Source)

July 6, 2010: IRS official Holly Paz writes an email to Washington-based IRS lawyer Steven Grodnitzky “to let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling Tea Party applications in the last few months.” Grodnitzky replies to the email, confirming that the Washington-based Exempt Organization Technical unit (EOT) is designing the targeting in the nation’s capital.

“EOT is working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases,” Grodnitzky writes.

“Chip Hull [another lawyer in IRS headquarters] is working these cases in EOT and working with the agent in Cincy, so any communication should include him as well. Because the Tea party applications are the subject of an SCR [Sensitive Case Report], we cannot resolve any of the cases without coordinating with Rob,” Grodnitzky writes. [“Rob” is believed to be then-IRS director of rulings and agreements Rob Choi, based at the agency’s Washington headquarters.]
(Source)

August 2010: The IRS issues its first “BOLO” (“Be On The Lookout”) alert for “various local organizations in the Tea Party movement” that are seeking tax-exempt status as 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) groups. The IRS is also flagging applications by organizations that: (a) address such issues as government spending, government debt, and taxes; (b) promote the use of education, advocacy, and lobbying to “make America a better place to live”; or (c) criticize how the country is being run by the Obama administration. (Source and Source)

October 2010: In a meeting arranged at the direction of Jack Smith, chief of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, the DOJ asks IRS official Lois Lerner to help the Department build criminal cases against conservative nonprofit groups that have been conducting political activity. (Source)

Winter 2010-2011: Judith Kindell, senior advisor to IRS Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner, tells IRS attorney Carter Hull, who oversaw the review of some tax-exemption applications by conservative Tea Party groups, that the IRS Chief Counsel’s office — headed by Obama appointee William Wilkins — will henceforth need to review all applications from conservative groups whose names contain the aforementioned trigger words. According to Hull, this is the first time in his 48-year career at the IRS that he has been instructed to forward any tax-exemption applications to another office. (Source and Source)

February 2011: In an email, IRS Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner advises her staff—including then Exempt Organizations Technical Manager Michael Seto and then Rulings and Agreements director Holly Paz—that a Tea Party matter is “very dangerous,” and that this is something “Counsel and [Lerner adviser] Judy Kindell need to be in on.” Lerner adds that Tea Party groups’ tax-exemption applications could end up being the “vehicle to go to court” to get more clarity on a 2010 Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance rules. Thus, at this point, Lerner—contrary to false statements she will subsequently make—is well aware of the fact that groups with “Tea Party,” “Patriot,” or “9/12 Project” in their names are being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny by the IRS. (Source and Source)

February 2011: In an email to Lois Lerner, a Federal Election Commission (FEC) investigator inquires about the status of the tax-exemption application of the American Future Fund, a conservative group. (The FEC and IRS have no authority to share this information under section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code.) Soon after this FEC inquiry, the American Future Fund receives a questionnaire from the IRS. (Source)

June 3, 2011:
David Camp, Republican Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, sends a letter to then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman inquiring about a report that the IRS has been conducting an unusually large number of audits of conservative 501(c)(4) groups and taxpayers who have donated money to them. Lawmakers will subsequently send at least seven more letters asking the IRS to address complaints that conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status are being subjected to burdensome screening. (Source and Source)

June 13, 2011: Lois Lerner’s computer allegedly crashes, causing all emails that Lerner sent and received between January 2009 and April 2011, to be lost. (Source)

July 1, 2011:The IRS responds to David Camp’s June 3 letter by stating that its “actions in this area were in no way influenced by political considerations.” According to the Agency, Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner has ordered the criteria for flagging tax-exempt applications for extra scrutiny to be changed, so as to apply more broadly to “organizations involved with political, lobbying, or advocacy for exemption under 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4).” (Source)

August 4, 2011: Staffers in the IRS’s Rulings and Agreements office hold a meeting with the Chief Counsel’s office which is headed by William Wilkins. At this meeting, Wilkins is made aware that conservative groups are being targeted by the IRS. Appointed by President Obama in 2009, Wilkins is one of only two presidential appointees in the entire agency. In subsequent interviews, IRS lawyer Carter Hull, who oversaw the review of some tax-exemption applications by conservative Tea Party groups, tells congressional investigators that his superiors have told him that Wilkins’ office needs to be involved in additional reviews of previously screened tax-exemption applications because of “potential political activity.” (Source and Source)

September 8, 2011: The IRS abruptly cancels its longtime (2005-11) relationship with Sonasoft, a San Jose-based email-archiving company and email-storage contractor specializing in quickly and thoroughly saving its clients’ emails after computer crashes. (Source)

Note: Federal law (the Federal Records Act) requires the IRS to keep records of all agency emails and to print out hard copies of those correspondences to ensure that they get saved in the event of a computer mishap. An instructional page for employees on the IRS website states:

“The Federal Records Act applies to email records just as it does to records you create using other media. Emails are records when they are: Created or received in the transaction of agency business; Appropriate for preservation as evidence of the government’s function and activities; or Valuable because of the information they contain.

“If you create or receive email messages during the course of your daily work, you are responsible for ensuring that you manage them properly. The Treasury Department’s current email policy requires emails and attachments that meet the definition of a federal record be added to the organization’s files by printing them (including the essential transmission data) and filing them with related paper records. If transmission and receipt data are not printed by the email system, annotate the paper copy.

“Please note that maintaining a copy of an email or its attachments within the IRS email MS Outlook application does not meet the requirements of maintaining an official record. Therefore, print and file email and its attachments if they are either permanent records or if they relate to a specific case.” (Source)

September 2011 to June 2012: As the IRS cancels its relationship with Sonasoft, the agency is also in the midst of “retiring” and throwing away numerous sophisticated data-storage devices in the IRS’s national IT offices in Maryland — even though the IRS is still paying maintenance fees ($6,692 per month) on the devices. (Source)

October 6, 2011: Charles Boustany, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, sends a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman requesting information about the agency’s dealings with the tax-exempt sector. (Source)

November 18, 2011: The IRS responds to Chairman Boustany by providing some of the information he requested, but makes no mention of any knowledge that conservative groups are being targeted. (Source)

December 16, 2011: House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee members meet with Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner and other IRS staff. Neither Lerner nor her colleagues mention that their agency has targeted conservative groups. (Source and Source)

January 2012: The IRS begins sending follow-up letters requesting that conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status provide voluminous and sensitive information, such as the names of all donors and the amounts of all their donations; a list of all issues important to the groups; an explanation of where the groups stand on those issues; and all emails sent to members of the groups. (Source)

February 22, 2012: Lois Lerner sends an email to an IRS information technology specialist, with the message line: “Virus on Home PC.” In the exchange, Lerner indicates that she keeps work information on her home computer, and that some of it may have been lost. That computer, says Lerner, may have been “simply hacked because my password was too simple.” (Source) [This information was made public on July 30, 2014, when House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Michigan Republican) turned it over to the Justice Department in support of an investigation into criminal wrongdoing at the IRS.]

February 24, 2012:During a briefing on the onerous follow-up letters received by some conservative organizations, Oversight and Government Reform Committee staffers ask IRS Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner whether the criteria for evaluating tax-exempt applications have changed at any point. Lerner replies that the criteria have not changed. (Source)

February 29, 2012: The IRS issues a 60-day extension (for compliance) to all groups that have received follow-up letters, and Lerner orders that no additional developmental letters be sent. (Source)

March 1, 2012: Charles Boustany, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, sends a follow-up letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman with additional queries about reports that “the IRS has been questioning new tax-exempt applicants, including grassroots political entities such as Tea Party groups.” (Source)

March 1, 2012 – Top IRS officials meet to discuss media reports that conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status are being harassed/targeted. (Source)

March 12, 2012: The IRS responds to Boustany’s letter with no mention of any knowledge that conservative groups are being targeted. (Source)

March 12, 2012: Democratic Senators Charles Schumer, Michael Bennet, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen, and Al Franken write a letter calling on the IRS to scrutinize conservative groups allegedly masquerading as 501(c)(4) “social welfare organizations.” A press release from Senator Schumer’s office, asserting that “the lack of clarity in the IRS rules has allowed political groups to improperly claim 501(c)4 status and may even be allowing donors to these groups to wrongly claim tax deductions for their contributions,” summarizes the terms of the letter:

“We urge the IRS to take these steps immediately to prevent abuse of the tax code by political groups focused on federal election activities. But if the IRS is unable to issue administrative guidance in this area then we plan to introduce legislation to accomplish these important changes.” (Source)

March 22, 2012: The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee holds its regularly scheduled 2012 hearing on the tax-return filing season and general IRS operations. Chairman Charles Boustany asks then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman about reports that the IRS has been targeting Tea Party groups. Shulman responds, “I can give you assurances…[t]here is absolutely no targeting.” (Source, Source, Source, and Source)

March 23, 2012: The IRS sends a supplementary response (containing additional information) to the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, and again makes no mention of any knowledge that conservative groups are being targeted. (Source)

March 27, 2012: Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) send Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner a letter requesting information related to the reports that conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status have been receiving extra scrutiny from the IRS. (Source)

March 2012:Oversight and Government Reform Committee representatives meet with staffers from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to discuss IRS policies for scrutinizing organizations applying for tax-exempt status. In response, then-Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Steven Miller directs the IRS to launch an internal review of the actions taken by the Exempt Organizations Division. (Source)

March 30, 2012: Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ permanent subcommittee on investigations, writes a March 30, 2012 letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman discussing the “urgency” of the issue of possible political activity by nonprofit applicants. Levin asks if the IRS has been sending out additional information requests to applicant groups, and he cites an IRS rejection letter to a conservative group as an example of how the IRS should be conducting its business.

“Some entities claiming tax-exempt status as social welfare organizations under 26 U.S.C.&501(c)(4) appear to be engaged in political activities more appropriate for political organizations claiming tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C.&527,” Sen. Levin writes. “Because of the urgency of the issues involved in this matter, please provide the following information by April 20, 2012.”

Levin asks ”if it is not provided on a routine basis, approximately what percentage of such applicants receive an IRS questionnaire seeking information about any political activities, and how the IRS determines whether and when to send that questionnaire; and approximately how many days after an application is filed that questionnaire is typically sent.”

Levin cites a 1997 IRS rejection letter to the conservative group National Policy Forum, formed by former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, and asks Shulman, “Is it still the position of the IRS that a 501(c)(4) organization cannot engage in any partisan political activity, even as a secondary activity?” (Source)

April 4, 2012: During a telephone briefing, Lois Lerner tells Oversight and Government Reform Committee staff that the information which the IRS has been requesting in its additional follow-up letters to conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status is not beyond the bounds of ordinary practice. (Source)

April 23, 2012: House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany and 61 other House Republicans send a letter to IRS Deputy Director Steven Miller, inquiring about discriminatory practices against conservative groups. (Source and Source)

April 23, 2012: IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins, who was appointed by President Obama in 2009, meets with Obama in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. (Source)

April 24, 2012: IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman (William Wilkins’ boss) and two other IRS officials—Shulman’s chief-of-staff and political aide Jonathan Davis and IRS spokesman Frank Keith—meet for eight-and-a-half hours with a top White House official, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Jeffrey Zients, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building located at the White House complex. (Source and Source)

April 25, 2012: The IRS Chief Counsel’s office (led by William Wilkins) sends Washington-based IRS officials new guidelines on how to scrutinize Tea Party and conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. (Source)

April 26, 2012: The IRS sends a second supplementary response to the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee but includes no information about its practice of targeting conservative groups. (Source)

April 26, 2012: Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner, responding to the March 27th letter from Chairmen Issa and Jordan, writes that the IRS letters to targeted conservative organizations were “in the ordinary course of the application process to obtain the information as the IRS deems necessary to make a determination whether the organization meets the legal requirements for tax-exempt status.” (Source)

May 3, 2012: The IRS, having completed its own internal review of the targeting scandal, concludes that there has been a substantial, inappropriate bias against conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. IRS Deputy Director Steven Miller is informed of this finding. (Source, Source, and Source)

May 15, 2012: IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller identifies two “rogue” employees in the agency’s Cincinnati office as being mainly responsible for the “overly aggressive” handling of requests by conservative groups for tax-exempt status. Miller says the staffers have already been disciplined. (Source)

May 2012: David Camp, Republican Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, sends a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman requesting copies of all 501(c)(4) applications from 2010 and 2011. (Source)

May 2012: In 45-page letters to two lawmakers who inquired about the IRS targeting of conservative groups, Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner makes no mention of any such practice. (Source)

May 2012: IRS officials determine that there were seven types of information asked of conservative applicants, including donor information, that were inappropriate. (Source)

June 4, 2012: In response to Sen. Carl Levin’s March 30, 2012 letter, then-IRS deputy commissioner Steven T. Miller sends Levin a 16-page response explaining that the flexibility of IRS rules allow for the agency to “prepare individualized questions and requests.”

“There is no standard questionnaire used to obtain information about political activities,” Miller writes. “Although there is a template development letter that describes the general information on the case development process, the letter does not specify the information to be requested from any particular organization … Consequently, revenue agents prepare individualized questions and requests for documents relevant to the application. . .” (Source and Source)

June 4, 2012: The Inspector General (IG) informs the Treasury Department’s general counsel that he has been auditing the IRS’s screening of politically active groups seeking tax exemptions. The IG then gives the same information to Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin “shortly after.” This means that Obama administration officials are now fully aware of the matter. (Source)

June 14, 2012: In an email to IRS official Lois Lerner and others, Treasury official Ruth Madrigal writes: “Don’t know who in your organizations is keeping tabs on c4s, but since we mentioned potentially addressing them (off-plan) in 2013, I’ve got my radar up and this seemed interesting…”

This email demonstrates that the Treasury Department and Lerner have been conspiring to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a manner that would be “off-plan” — meaning that they would not be disclosed publicly and would not be published on the public schedule. According to the Daily Caller:

“The rules place would place much more stringent controls on what would be considered political activity by the IRS, effectively limiting the standard practices of a wide array of non-profit groups…. The new rules define more previously acceptable activities by nonprofit groups as prohibited ‘candidate-related political activity.’ Communications and activities including voter registration drives and publishing voter guides, among others, are now classified as political activity. Grants and donations that 501(c)(4)’s give to other nonprofits are now subject to new record-keeping and increased scrutiny to prevent the money’s use for broadly-defined political activity.” (Source)

June 15, 2012: IRS Deputy Director Steven Miller responds to an April 23 letter signed by Charles Boustany, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, and 61 other House Republicans, but includes no information about the IRS’s discriminatory practices against conservative groups. Stating generally that the IRS has recently been seeing more tax-exempt applications from politically active groups and has been striving to “coordinate the handling of the case to ensure consistency,” Lerner does not concede that conservatives have been singled out. (Source and Source)

June 25, 2012: The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee holds a hearing on charitable organizations. When asked about IRS harassment of conservative groups, IRS Deputy Director Steven Miller makes no reference to any discriminatory practices but says: “I am aware that some two hundred 501(c)(4) applications fell into this category [the determinations letter process]. We did group those organizations together to ensure consistency, to ensure quality.” During his testimony, Miller does not disclose what he was told on May 3 regarding the targeting of Tea Party groups. (Source and Source)

July 10, 2012: Sharon Light, then-advisor to Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner, emails Lerner a National Public Radio story on how outside money was making it difficult for Democrats to hold onto their Senate majority. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has already complained to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that conservative groups should be treated as political committees, rather than as tax-exempt social welfare groups. “Perhaps the FEC will save the day,” Ms. Lerner replies later that morning in an email. (Source)

July 30, 2012: In a letter, Senator Carl Levin singles out 12 groups he wants investigated for “political activity.” Of the groups, only one – Priorities USA – is left-leaning. (Source)

September 11, 2012: IRS Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller writes a letter responding to Senator Orrin Hatch, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, who has already written three times to the IRS about complaints related to the targeting of conservative groups. Miller again does not acknowledge the scrutiny to which conservative groups were subjected. (Source)

September 27, 2012: Senator Carl Levin asks for copies of the answers to IRS exemption application question 15 – a question about planned political expenditures – from four specific groups: Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, Priorities USA, Americans for Prosperity, and Patriot Majority USA. (Source)

October 17, 2012: IRS Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller informs Senator Carl Levin, “As discussed in our previous responses dated June 4, 2012, and August 24, 2012, the IRS cannot legally disclose whether the organizations on your list have applied for tax exemptions unless and until such application is approved.” Miller, however, then informs Levin that Americans for Prosperity and Patriot Majority have been approved, but the IRS has no records for Crossroads and Priorities USA. (Source)

October 23, 2012: Senator Carl Levin writes to again express his dissatisfaction with the IRS handling of “social welfare” (501(c)(4) organizations insisting that IRS guidance “misinterprets the law” by allowing any political activity. He again demands an answer as to whether the four organizations he listed in his previous letter (of September 27, 2012) were primarily engaged in the promotion of social welfare. He also seeks copies of tax exempt revocation letters sent due to c4 political activities, as well as statistics on how many c4s have been notified that they may be in violation due to political activities. (Source)

Fall 2012: Pursuant to a request by David Camp, Republican Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the IRS makes all 501(c)(4) applications from 2010 and 2011 available to that Committee. (Source)

November 9, 2012: In an email exchange that Lois Lerner conducts via her official IRS email account with an unnamed colleague at the agency, the colleague writes: “Well, you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP. The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to. And I’m talking about the hosts of the shows. The callers are rabid.” Lerner replies, “Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many assholes.” She adds: “So we don’t need to worry about teRroists [sic]. It’s our own crazies that will take us down.” (Source)

In an email to another colleague, Lerner, responding to a news article about the pro-Obama non-profit Action, writes: “Oh – maybe I can get the DC office job!” (Source) [This information was made public on July 30, 2014, when House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Michigan Republican) turned it over to the Justice Department in support of an investigation into criminal wrongdoing at the IRS.]

November 11, 2012: Douglas Shulman steps down as IRS Director and is replaced by Steven Miller. (Source)

November 15, 2012: Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner and IRS staffers meet with House Ways and Means Committee staff but again do not mention their knowledge about the targeting of conservative groups. (Source and Source)

March 15, 2013 – New Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is informed of the IRS targeting probe. (Source)

March 27, 2013: In an email to a top staffer at the IRS, Lois Lerner writes: “As I mentioned yesterday — there are several groups of folks from the FEC [Federal Election Commission] world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for [501]c4s who report they are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform. This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff. So, don’t be fooled about how this is being articulated – it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.” (Source)

April 2, 2013: Lois Lerner sends an email to internal IRS investigators that tries to explain the “Be on the Lookout” (BOLO) criteria used to select organizations for screening and scrutiny:

… Because the BOLO only contained a brief reference to “Organizations involved with the Tea Party movement applying for exemption under 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4)” in June 2011, the EO Determinations manager asked the manager of the screening group, John Shafer [IRS Cincinnati field office manager], what criteria were being used to label cases as “tea party” cases. (“Do the applications specify/state ‘tea party’? If not, how do we know applicant is involved with the tea party movement?”) The screening group manager asked his employees how they were applying the BOLO’s short –hand reference to “tea party.” His employees responded that they were including organizations meeting any of the following criteria as falling within the BOLO’s reference to “tea party” organizations: “1. ‘Tea Party’, ‘Patriots’ or ’9/12 Project’ is referenced in the case file. 2. Issues include government spending, government debt and taxes. 3. Educate the public through advocacy/legislative activities to make America a better place to live. 4. Statements in the case file that are critical of the how the country is being run. . .” So, we believe we have provided information that shows that no one in EO “developed” the criteria. Rather, staff used their own interpretations of the brief reference to “organizations involved with the Tea Party movement,” which was what was on the BOLO list.

Lerner neglects to mention that her office was “developing” the applications for all Tea Party groups. (Source)

April 9, 2013: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) chairs a hearing in which he discusses the abuse of the 501(c)(4) tax-exempt designation. During that hearing, he makes his leftist agenda clear, insisting that “after the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to big money in elections in its disgraceful Citizens United decision, big donors like to use these non-profit entities to launder campaign spending and hide their identities.” Whitehouse also asks witnesses from DOJ and IRS why they haven’t prosecuted 501(c)(4) groups who have made false statements about their activities, or donors who have used shell companies to mask their donations to Super PACs. He urges both entities to “put together a criminal case showing a fairly straightforward false statement or a fairly [straightforward] shell corporation disclosure violation.”(Source)

April 9, 2013: In an email exchange with fellow IRS employees, Lois Lerner writes: “I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails — so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails.” Lerner then goes on to ask a tech staffer whether instant-message communications are stored automatically. When that staffer tells her that such messages are not stored anywhere (unless one of the parties makes copies of them), Lerner replies, “Perfect.”

April 22, 2013: According to White House spokesman Jay Carney, this is the date when the White House Counsel first learns that the Inspector General will soon be completing its report about the IRS office in Cincinnati, which handles tax-exempt applications. (Source and Source)

May 1, 2013: After receiving an email from an assistant showing that 501(c)(4) applications have increased from 1,591 in 2010 to 3,398 in 2012, Lois Lerner writes back, “Looks to me like 2010-2012 doubled too. Oh well – thanks.” (Source)

May 2, 2013: Discussing an upcoming conference call with approximately 100 congressional staffers, Lerner cautions aides, “Need to be careful not to mention sequester/furlough unless asked although can allude to budget and resources restraints.” (Source)

May 2, 2013: In response to an email reminding her about the upcoming conference call with congressional staffers, Lerner responds, “Arrgh – I just saw it. Sharon [White] could skate, but Cindy [Thomas] is the person who could answer that stuff. We need to give them some type of language in the event that type of question comes up” [apparently in reference to earlier email referencing “sensitive issues”]. (Source)

May 8, 2013: Lois Lerner sends the following email to Nikole C. Flax, then-Chief of Staff to then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller: “I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who ‘lied’ on their 1024s – saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS…” (Source)

May 9, 2013: Flax responds to Lois Lerner: “I think we should do it – also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate? (Source)

May 9, 2013: At an American Bar Association (ABA) conference, attorney Celia Roady asks a planted question of Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner regarding the IRS targeting scandal. The Inspector General’s report on the scandal was slated to be given to the White House the next day, and Lerner chose the ABA event as a venue for issuing a preemptive apology in advance of that report. Several days later, Cecilia Roady explains how this was arranged:

“On May 9, I received a call from Lois Lerner, who told me that she wanted to address an issue after her prepared remarks … and asked if I would pose a question to her after her remarks. I agreed to do so.… We had no discussion thereafter on the topic of the question, nor had we spoken about any of this before I received her call. She did not tell me, and I did not know, how she would answer the question.” (Source and Source)

May 10, 2013: Blaming low-level IRS employees in Cincinnati, Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner says that no high-level officials were aware of the IRS targeting of conservative groups until she began “seeing information in the press that raised questions for us.” She apologizes on behalf of the IRS for the “inappropriate” targeting. This same day, White House counsel receives the Inspector General’s report, and President Barack Obama is said to have heard of the matter for the first time. (Source, Source, and Source)
May 10, 2013: In an email to an aide responding to a request for information from a Washington Post reporter, Lerner admits that she “can’t confirm that there was anyone on the other side of the political spectrum” who was targeted by the IRS. She then adds that “The one with the names used were only know [sic] because they have been very loud in the press.” (Source)

May 10, 2013: An email from former Cincinnati program manager Cindy Thomas excoriates Lois Lerner for her comments blaming low-level IRS employees. Highlighting the words “low-level workers” in bold-face type each of the seven times she used it in a short email, Thomas asks, “How am I supposed to keep the low-level workers motivated when the public believes they are nothing more than low-level workers and now will have no respect for how they are working cases?” Lerner responds tersely nearly an hour later: “I will be back shortly and give you a call.” (Source)

May 13, 2013: President Obama claims to have learned about the IRS targeting just three days earlier: ”I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday.” He says that if the IRS intentionally targeted conservatives, it was “outrageous.” The Democratic-controlled Senate Finance Committee joins Republican-led House committees in planning new investigations into the matter. (Source, Source, and Source)

May 13, 2013: The Daily Mail reports that the IRS, in many of its audits of conservative groups, “demanded to know the names of all its financial donors and volunteers, as part of a 55-question inquisition into its application for tax-exempt status.” For example, the questionnaire: (a) wanted to know “the names of the donors, contributors, and grantors” for every year “from inception to the present”; (b) demanded a listing of “the amounts of each of the donations, contributions, and grants and the dates you received them”; and (c) and asked the targeted groups to “provide the details” about how they had “use[d] these donations, contributions, and grants.”

May 14, 2013: White House press secretary Jay Carney says in a press conference that the White House was notified about the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups “several weeks ago.” Later in the press conference, however, Carney says that that he nor the President were notified individually. (Source)

May 14, 2013: IRS Director Steven Miller says that his agency demonstrated “a lack of sensitivity” in trying to determine whether conservative groups were eligible for tax exemption. The Justice Department says it will conduct a criminal investigation, the Inspector General’s report (titled “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review”) is released to the public, and President Obama calls the findings “intolerable and inexcusable.” (Source and Source)

May 14, 2013: A Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report reveals that the IRS has singled out groups with conservative-sounding terms such as “patriot” and “Tea Party” in their titles when applying for tax-exempt status. The TIGTA probe determined that “Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status (e.g., lists of past and future donors).” The illegal IRS reviews continued for more than 18 months and “delayed processing of targeted groups applications” preparing for the 2012 presidential election. (Source)

May 15, 2013 – The IRS announces that IRS Director Steven Miller will be resigning in June, at which time he was already scheduled to leave anyway. (Source)

May 15, 2013: In an email to Lois Lerner, an aide specifically mentions “Tea Party Organizations,” the “Tea Party movement,” and “Tea Party Patriots” as organizations targeted by the IRS. (Source)

May 16, 2013: At a press conference, Julianna Goldman of Bloomberg News asks President Obama the following question (italics added for emphasis):

“Mr. President, I want to ask you about the IRS. Can you assure the American people that nobody in the White House knew about the agency’s actions before your Counsel’s Office found out on April 22nd? And when they did find out, do you think that you should have learned about it before you learned about it from news reports as you said last Friday? And also, are you opposed to there being a special counsel appointed to lead the Justice Department investigation?”

Obama replies, evasively:

“[L]et me make sure that I answer your specific question. I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press.” (Source)


May 16, 2013:
President Obama calls the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups “outrageous and unacceptable.” He also reiterates that he was unaware of the targeting until news reports began coming out six days earlier. (Source)

May 17, 2013: The New York Times reports that the White House actually learned of the IRS targeting on June 4, 2012—five months prior to the 2012 elections. (Source and Source)

May 17, 2013: In a congressional hearing, acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller apologizes for “foolish mistakes” carried out by IRS employees “trying to be more efficient in their workload selection.” But he strongly pushes back against Republican assertions that the agency is politicized. Moreover, he maintains that he did not lie to Congress—even though he never revealed the targeting program in response to repeated requests from Republican lawmakers in recent years. “I did not mislead Congress,” he says. “I answered the questions as they were asked.” Miller also says that he takes “exception” to the term “targeting” because “It’s a loaded term.” (Source)

May 20, 2013: The Colfax, California-based NorCal Tea Party—claiming that its application for tax-exempt status has been wrongfully subjected to extra scrutiny—launches a lawsuit against the IRS. (Source)

May 21, 2013: In a congressional hearing, former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who stepped down from that post when his five-year term expired in November 2012, tells the Senate Finance Committee he did not learn all the facts about the targeting of conservative groups until he read the preceding week’s Inspector General report confirming the targeting strategy. “I agree this is an issue that when someone spotted it, they should have brought it up the chain,” he says. “And they didn’t. I don’t know why.” Also during the hearing:

  • Shulman says he first heard about the targeting and about the Inspector General’s investigation in the spring of 2012, during the presidential election.
  • When Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana) asks Shulman how the improper screening system could have occurred in the first place, Shulman says, “Mr. Chairman, I can’t say. I can’t say that I know that answer.”
  • When Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) asks Shulman whether he owes conservative groups an apology, the former IRS commissioner says: “I’m certainly not personally responsible for creating a list that had inappropriate criteria on it”—a reference to the list of words (e.g., “Tea Party” and “Patriot”) which IRS workers looked for when deciding which groups to scrutinize. “I very much regret that it happened and that it happened on my watch,” he adds. (Source)

May 21, 2013: True the Vote, a conservative organization that fights for electoral integrity and was targeted by the IRS, files suit against the IRS in federal court. (Source)

May 22, 2013: At a congressional hearing into the targeting scandal, Lois Lerner (Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division) gives a self-serving opening statement and then immediately pleads the Fifth Amendment, refusing to answer any questions. Says Lerner:

“… My professional career has been devoted to fulfilling responsibilities of the agencies for which I have worked, and I am very proud of the work that I have done in government…. I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws, I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee. And while I would very much like to answer the committee’s questions today, I’ve been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify or answer questions related to the subject matter of this hearing…. I know that some people will assume that I’ve done something wrong. I have not. One of the basic functions of the Fifth Amendment is to protect innocent individuals, and that is the protection I’m invoking today.” (Source)

May 23, 2013: Lois Lerner is placed on administrative leave from the IRS. (Source)

May 29, 2013: CBS News reports that after Texas businesswoman Catherine Engelbrecht founded two conservative organizations, she was harassed to an extreme degree by the IRS as well as other government agencies. That prompted her to file a federal lawsuit in May 2013. According to CBS:

The trouble began shortly after Engelbrecht founded True the Vote, which trains election volunteers and aims to root out voter fraud, and King Street Patriots, a group with ideals similar to the Tea Party. Both sought tax-exempt status from the IRS in July 2010. And both organizations drew the ire of Democrats. Democrats accused True the Vote of intimidating voters in its poll watching efforts, which the group denies. And the Texas Democratic Party successfully sued King Street Patriots, arguing that it’s an unregistered political action committee.

But Engelbrecht’s attorney, Cleta Mitchell, says it’s not just the Democratic Party that went after the conservative causes, but also the federal government. Within months of the groups filing for tax-exempt status, Engelbrecht claims she started getting hit by an onslaught of harassment: six FBI domestic terrorism inquiries, an IRS visit, two IRS business audits, two IRS personal audits, and inspections of her equipment manufacturing company by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Texas environmental quality officials….

All the while, the IRS tax-exempt applications seemed to languish. Engelbrecht says the IRS requested additional information from True the Vote five times, requiring thousands of pages of documentation. Engelbrecht estimates she’s spent more than $100,000 in attorney and accountant fees to process the IRS requests. With its tax-exempt status in limbo, she says True the Vote had to return a $35,000 grant and cannot effectively fundraise. “I just kept thinking this can’t be happening.” Engelbrecht says, “it never ends.”

Engelbrecht’s attorney, Mitchell, says the IRS process for conservative groups was relatively painless, often taking just a few months, until about 2010 when there was an abrupt shift: simple questions became intrusive, lengthy interrogations requiring professional legal help. Applicants sometimes had to spend tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees, they lost revenue, and in some cases, got so discouraged that they gave up on tax-exempt status altogether.

Washington, DC attorney John Pomeranz represents liberal organizations seeking tax-exemption. He told CBS News that he has found some of the IRS requests of tea party groups “new” and “very troubling,” and said he doesn’t recall getting similar demands for his liberal clients. (Source)

May 31, 2013: It is reported that the IRS is being sued by 25 Tea Party groups in federal court over its illegal targeting practices. (Source)

June 2013: The Treasury Department’s Inspector General reveals that just 6 liberal/left groups were targeted by the IRS, compared to 292 conservative groups. The IG also says that 100% of conservative groups seeking special tax status— i.e., all 292 of them—were put under IRS review, while only 30% of the liberal/left groups were put under such review. (Source, Source, and Source)

June 5, 2013: It is reported that Sarah Hall Ingram, who headed the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Division in 2010 when the scandal-ridden agency began improperly targeting the tax-exempt nonprofit status of conservative groups, has logged 165 recorded visits to the White House since 2011. (Fully 155 of those were hosted by Jeanne Lambrew, deputy assistant to the president for health policy.) None of Ingram’s 165 meetings overlapped with those of former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, whose name has appeared in the White House visitor logs 157 times since September 15, 2009. In short, these two IRS officials have been responsible for more than 300 White House visits since the beginning of the Obama administration. (Source and Source)

June 11, 2013: Pepperdine University Law School professor Paul L. Caron reveals the astonishing extent to which IRS attorneys supported Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential campaign:

Of the IRS lawyers who made contributions in the 2012 election, 95% contributed to Obama rather than to Romney. So among IRS lawyers, the ratio of Obama contributors to Romney contributors was not merely 4-to-1 at previously reported, but more like 20-to-1. The ratio of funds to Obama was even more lopsided, with about 32 times as much money going to Obama as to Romney from IRS lawyers….

The data show, however, that the partisanship of the lawyers in the IRS is not unusual or even particularly extreme among federal agencies. In fact, the lawyers in every single federal government agency–from the Department of Education [100%] to the Department of Defense [68%] — contributed overwhelmingly to Obama compared to Romney.

July 18, 2013: Testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, top IRS attorney Carter Hull—a 48-year IRS veteran who will soon retire—says that in the winter of 2010-11:

“[I] was assigned by my supervisor to work on two applications of tea party groups. In that same month, I became aware that a group of tea party applications were being held by EO (Exempt Organizations) determinations in Cincinnati. It was my understanding that the applications assigned to me would be ‘test cases’ to provide guidance for those other applications. I was also told by my supervisor that I was to coordinate the review of the tea party applications that were assigned to Elizabeth Hofacre in Cincinnati.”

The most damning part of Hull’s testimony involves a directive from Lois Lerner’s senior advisor, who told him that the applications would require further review and “should go to the [IRS] chief counsel”—i.e., William Wilkins, an Obama appointee. (Source and Source)

July 24, 2013: During an economic address at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, President Obama charges that Republicans have turned the IRS matter into part of “an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals.” (Source)

August 13, 2013: According to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and his colleague, Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner has been using a non-official, personal email account to conduct official government business. This is a violation of U.S. law, which requires those employed by federal agencies to retain all of their emails in the event that they are someday needed for lawsuits or congressional investigations. (Source)

August 2013: Congress issues its first subpoena for all emails sent or received by Lois Lerner from Jan. 1, 2009 to Aug. 2, 2013. (Source)

September 23, 2013: Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal, retires from the agency after an internal investigation finds that she was guilty of “neglect of duties” and prepares to call for her dismissal. (Source)

October 9, 2013: It is learned that top IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram in 2012 discussed confidential taxpayer information with senior Obama White House officials — including Lois Lerner, then head of the IRS Tax Exempt Organizations division — as evidenced by a series of 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. At that time, Ingram headed the IRS office responsible for overseeing tax-exempt nonprofit groups.

Specifically, Ingram sought to counsel the White House on how to handle a lawsuit filed by religious organizations opposing Obamacare’s mandate for contraception coverage. As the Daily Caller reports: “Email exchanges involving Ingram and White House officials — including White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz and deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew — contained confidential taxpayer information, according to Oversight.” This was a violation of Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code, which forbids — on pain of up to five years in prison — a federal employee from “disclos[ing] any return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an officer or an employee.”

in [sic] her October 9 testimony before Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee, Ingram says she cannot recall a document that contained confidential taxpayer information. (Source)

November 2013: The House Oversight Committee subpoenas all emails sent or received by Lois Lerner from Jan. 1, 2009 to Aug. 2, 2013. (Source)

February 2, 2014: In an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, President Obama adamantly rejects the suggestion that the IRS had been used for political purposes by targeting Tea Party groups that sought tax-exempt status. “That’s not what happened,” Obama says, explaining that certain IRS officials had simply made some “some bone-headed decisions” due to their confusion about the proper procedure for implementing the law governing tax-exempt organizations. When asked whether corruption, or mass corruption, had been a factor, Obama replies: “Not even mass corruption—not even a smidgen of corruption.” Obama also acknowledges that then-IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman had been to the White House more than 100 times, but says he cannot recall speaking to him on any of those occasions. (Source)

February 2, 2014: IRS officials first learn that many of Lois Lerner’s emails are missing. (Source)

February 4, 2014: Lois Lerner’s computer crashes. (Source)

February 11, 2014: House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Michigan) says that his committee’s continuing investigation has found that the IRS targeting of conservative groups extended far beyond merely placing hurdles in the path of organizations that were seeking 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status. Says Camp:

“We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s. At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.” (Source)

March 5, 2014: Former IRS official Lois Lerner once again invokes her Fifth Amendment right not to testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing, just as she previously did on May 22, 2013. Though Republicans argue that Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment right by giving a statement during that May 22 hearing, Lerner, in response to several questions, says: “On the advice of my counsel, I respectfully exercise my Fifth Amendment right and decline to answer that question.” (Source)

After the hearing is adjourned, Lerner’s attorney, Bill Taylor, says that his client will make no further statements or give any testimony unless forced to. According to Taylor, the Oversight Committee “would have to start all over” in its investigation to compel Lerner back to the witness stand. (Source)

March 11, 2014: Darrell Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issues a staff report on Lois Lerner and her involvement in the IRS targeting of conservative groups. According to Brietbart.com:

The [Oversight Committee] report suggests Lerner misled Congress in four instances and attempted to downplay the inappropriate targeting after it came to light.

The report says Lerner was concerned about the political implications of allowing 501(c)(4) groups to spend money on election related activity in the wake of the Citizens United decision. The Oversight Committee report concludes that Lerner was involved in three separate efforts to curb such spending. From the report’s conclusion:

Evidence indicates Lerner and her Exempt Organizations unit took a three pronged approach to “do something about it” to “fix the problem” of nonprofit political speech:

1) Scrutiny of new applicants for tax-exempt status (which began as Tea Party targeting);

2) Plans to scrutinize organizations, like those supported by the “Koch Brothers,” that were already acting as 501(c)(4) organizations; and

3) “[O]ff plan” efforts to write new rules cracking down on political activity to replace those that had been in place since 1959.

The sense conveyed in the report is that Lerner was concerned IRS activity might appear to be “per se political” (as she warned in one email) even as she helped slow walk any movement toward approval on cases which were, overwhelmingly, conservative groups.

In the summer of 2011, Lerner learned about the criteria used to gather the Tea Party cases, which included “[s]tatements in the case file [that] criticize how the country is being run.” As a result she adjusted the criteria for selection so it would not appear to be focused on right-leaning groups. However, while her adjusting of the criteria represents an admission that the prior criteria had been problematic, she apparently made no effort to release the cases selected under that criteria. Tea Party cases remained gummed up in the multi-tier review process she had recommended.

The same briefing prepared for Lerner noted that one of the groups under scrutiny “stated it will conduct advocacy and political campaign intervention, but political campaign intervention will account for 20% or less of activities.” That’s far below the 49% threshold set by law. The briefing for Lerner added, “A proposed favorable letter has been sent to Counsel for review.” But the report notes that as of June 2013, a full two years later, the application was still pending.

And there is no doubt Lerner was aware who was being scrutinized. In July 2012, Lerner was notified by email that of the 199 501(c)(4) cases which had been set aside “approximately 3/4 appear to be conservative leaning while fewer than 10 appear to be liberal/progressive leaning groups…”

Earlier in 2012, Lerner was asked a series of questions by Committee staff. The report lays out four instances where she appears to have misled them in her answers. For instance, Lerner was asked whether criteria for examining 501(c)(4) cases had been changed at any time. She said no. But, as noted above, she had changed the criteria used to identify cases for scrutiny herself in 2011.

In response to another Committee question about letters sent to conservative groups demanding donor lists, Lerner replied this had been done “in the ordinary course of the application process.”

Later, in 2013, the Committee learned from the IRS Commissioner’s Chief of Staff, Nikole Flax, that she was unable to find another instance in the IRS’ history where such a request had been made.

Finally, the report is critical of Lerner’s attempt to downplay the import of the TIGTA findings by arranging a planted question to which Lerner could give a scripted answer claiming the targeting had been a mistake, not “a political vendetta.” Internally, Lerner wrote an email saying of the forthcoming report, “It is what it is … we will get dinged.” But a few months later, just before the report was released, she was exploring her retirement options. (Source)

March 26, 2014: In testimony before the House Oversight Committee, IRS commissioner John Koskinen makes no mention of Lois Lerner’s computer hard-drive crash. Under questioning by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Koskinen says that IRS emails “get taken off and stored in servers.” He also acknowledges that seven months after Congress first asked the IRS to supply Lerner’s emails request, the agency has not yet begun serious work to find them and turn them over. But he assures: “We can find, and we are in fact searching, we can find Lois Lerner’s emails.” (Source)

April 7, 2014: A new report by aides to Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, reveals that IRS agents have testified before Congress that — contrary to recent claims by Democrats — the agency’s political targeting did not apply to liberal/left organizations. A Daily Caller story explains:

IRS agents testified before Oversight that ACORN groups were scrutinized because the agency thought they were old organizations applying as new ones. Emerge America was scrutinized for potential “improper private benefit.” No evidence exists that the IRS requested additional information from any Occupy Wall Street group.

“Only seven applications in the IRS backlog contained the word ‘progressive,’ all of which were then approved by the IRS, while Tea Party groups received unprecedented review and experienced years-long delays. While some liberal-oriented groups were singled out for scrutiny, evidence shows it was due to non-political reasons,” according to the Oversight staff report….

“[T]he Administration and congressional Democrats have seized upon the notion that the IRS’s targeting was not just limited to conservative applicants,” the report states. “These Democratic claims are flat-out wrong and have no basis in any thorough examination of the facts. Yet, the Administration’s chief defenders continue to make these assertions in a concerted effort to deflect and distract from the truth about the IRS’s targeting of tax-exempt applicants.”

“[T]here is simply no evidence that any liberal or progressive group received enhanced scrutiny because its application reflected the organization’s political views,” the report stated.

April 9, 2014: The Washington Times reports that a government watchdog is pursuing cases against three IRS employees and offices suspected of engaging in illegal political activity in support of President Obama and fellow Democrats:

In one case the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates federal employees who conduct politics on government time, said it was “commonplace” in a Dallas IRS office for employees to have pro-Obama screensavers on their computers, and to have campaign-style buttons and stickers at their office.

In another case, a worker at the tax agency’s customer help line urged taxpayers “to re-elect President Obama in 2012 by repeatedly reciting a chant based on the spelling of his last name,” the Office of Special Counsel said in a statement. OSC said it is seeking “significant disciplinary action” against that employee.

Another IRS employee in Kentucky has agreed to serve a 14-day suspension for blasting Republicans in a conversation with a taxpayer.

“They’re going to take women back 40 years,” the IRS employee said in a conversation that was recorded. The employee also said that “if you vote for a Republican, the rich are going to get richer and the poor are going to get poorer.”

That employee went on to tell the taxpayer she knew she wasn’t supposed to be voicing her political opinions, and asked the taxpayer not to say anything.

In the Dallas situation, the OSC issued a letter to employees reminding them they aren’t allowed to do anything that would appear to be campaigning. “Specifically, it was alleged that employees have worn partisan political stickers, buttons, and clothing to work and have displayed partisan political screensavers on their IRS computers. It was alleged that these items expressed support for President Barack Obama,” the OSC said.

The IRS issued a statement saying it couldn’t comment on specifics, but vowing it took complaints of politicking seriously.

May 6, 2014: The House of Representatives, in a 231-187 vote, decides to hold Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the scandal in which the IRS targeted conservative groups, despite a subpoena that demanded her testimony. Six Democrats side with Republicans in the vote.

May 14, 2014: The Daily Caller reports the following:

The IRS’ Washington, D.C. headquarters targeted conservative groups in part due to pressure from Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, according to emails obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch and reviewed by The Daily Caller [DC].

Levin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ permanent subcommittee on investigations, wrote a March 30, 2012 letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman discussing the “urgency” of the issue of possible political activity by nonprofit applicants. Levin asked if the IRS was sending out additional information requests to applicant groups and cit[ed] an IRS rejection letter to a conservative group as an example of how the IRS should be conducting its business.

A top IRS official replied that the agency could send out “individualized questions and requests.”

“Some entities claiming tax-exempt status as social welfare organizations under 26 U.S.C.&501(c)(4) appear to be engaged in political activities more appropriate for political organizations claiming tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C.&527,” Sen. Levin wrote. “Because of the urgency of the issues involved in this matter, please provide the following information by April 20, 2012.”

Levin asked ”if it is not provided on a routine basis, approximately what percentage of such applicants receive an IRS questionnaire seeking information about any political activities, and how the IRS determines whether and when to send that questionnaire; and approximately how many days after an application is filed that questionnaire is typically sent.”

Levin cited a 1997 IRS rejection letter to the conservative group National Policy Forum, formed by former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, and asked Shulman, “Is it still the position of the IRS that a 501(c)(4) organization cannot engage in any partisan political activity, even as a secondary activity?”

Then-IRS deputy commissioner Steven T. Miller sent Levin a 16-page response explaining that the flexibility of IRS rules allow for the agency to “prepare individualized questions and requests.”

“There is no standard questionnaire used to obtain information about political activities,” Miller wrote. “Although there is a template development letter that describes the general information on the case development process, the letter does not specify the information to be requested from any particular organization … Consequently, revenue agents prepare individualized questions and requests for documents relevant to the application. . .”

As TheDC has extensively reported, IRS agents targeted groups’ donors, seized training information, demanded personal information on college interns, and even targeted individuals by name.

The emails obtained by Judicial Watch clearly demonstrate that the targeting was based in Washington, D.C.

IRS official Holly Paz wrote a July 6, 2010 email to Washington-based IRS lawyer Steven Grodnitzky “to let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling Tea Party applications in the last few months.” Grodnitzky replied to the email, confirming that the Washington-based Exempt Organization Technical unit (EOT) was designing the targeting in the nation’s capital.

“EOT is working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases,” Grodnitzky wrote.

“Chip Hull [another lawyer in IRS headquarters] is working these cases in EOT and working with the agent in Cincy, so any communication should include him as well. Because the Tea party applications are the subject of an SCR [Sensitive Case Report], we cannot resolve any of the cases without coordinating with Rob,” Grodnitzky wrote.

“Rob” is believed to be then-IRS director of rulings and agreements Rob Choi, who was based at the agency’s Washington headquarters, according to Judicial Watch.

Lois Lerner also sent an April 2013 email to IRS internal investigators shortly before the scandal broke, explaining that “staff used their own interpretations of the brief reference to ‘organizations involved with the Tea Party movement,’ which was what was on the BOLO list.” (Source)

June 13, 2014: The IRS tells Congress that due to a computer crash, it has lost many of former employee Lois Lerner’s emails from 2009-11 — specifically, those she transmitted to other federal agencies including the White House, the Justice Department, the Federal Election Commission, the Treasury Department, and Democratic Members of Congress.

Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, says: “The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to congressional inquiries…. Frankly, these are the critical years [2009-11] of the targeting of conservative groups that could explain who knew what when, and what, if any, coordination there was between agencies. Instead, because of this loss of documents, we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone.”

In a letter to IRS commissioner John Koskinen, House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa, who issued a subpoena seeking IRS documents, says that more than 1 million pertinent documents have yet to be produced.

“At this rate, the IRS’ response to the committee’s subpoena will drag on for years,” he wrote. (Source)

June 17, 2014: The IRS reports that due to computer crashes, it cannot produce e-mails from six more employees — in addition to Lois Lerner — who were involved in the targeting of conservative groups. Among the lost emails were those sent by Nikole Flax, chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller. (Source)

June 18, 2014: When Information Technology experts say they are confident that they would be able to retrieve the lost emails from Lois Lerner’s crashed computer hard drive, the IRS announces that the hard drive has been thrown away. (Source)

June 20, 2014: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen tells Congress that Lerner’s hard drive had been “recycled and destroyed in the normal process.” (Source)

June 20, 2014: In an angry exchange with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen during a Congressional hearing, Rep. Paul Ryan says:

“I’m sitting here, listening to this testimony, I don’t believe it. That’s your problem. Nobody believes you. The Internal Revenue Service comes to us a couple years ago and misleads us and tells us no targeting is occurring. Then it said it was a few rogue agents in Cincinnati. Then it said it was also on progressives. All of those things have been proven untrue….

“You are the Internal Revenue Service. You can reach into the lives of hard-working taxpayers and with a phone call, an e-mail or a letter you can turn their lives upside down. You ask taxpayers to hand onto seven years of their personal tax information in case they are ever audited and you can’t keep six months worth of employee e-mails? And now that we are seeing this investigation, you don’t have the e-mails, hard drives crashed. You learned about this months ago. You just told us, and we had to ask you on Monday.”

Koskinen replies that this was the first time in his career that someone did not believe him.

“I don’t believe you,” Ryan said again.

When the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Michigan), notes that the IRS has not issued any apology for not having informed anyone that the emails were lost long ago. “I don’t think an apology is owed,” Koskinen says. “Not a single email has been lost since the start of this investigation. Every email has been preserved that we have.”

Koskinen also says that the appointment of a special federal prosecutor to investigate how the IRS handled tax-exempt applications would be a “monumental waste of taxpayer funds.” (Source)

June 25, 2014: Under a federal court order, the IRS pays a $50,000 settlement to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) — a group opposed to same-sex marriage — after having admitted that it was at fault for the publication of the names and addresses of NOM donors who had been identified on the organization’s tax returns; their personal information was supposed to be confidential.

Breitbart.com reports:

“The case began when the pro-marriage group sued the IRS in 2013 because a 2008 form was leaked, and then the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates gay rights, published the information in 2012 [so that gay rights activists could target the donors of the organization for harassment]…. (Source)


July 14, 2014:
The Daily Caller reports that the Federal Election Commission has recycled the computer hard drive of April Sands — an African American woman and a former co-worker of Lois Lerner’s — hindering an investigation into Sands’ partisan political activities. The report adds:

Sands resigned from the Federal Election Commission in April [2014] after she admitted to violating the Hatch Act, which bars executive branch employees from engaging in partisan political activities on federal time and at federal facilities.

The twist is that Sands also worked under Lois Lerner when the ex-IRS agent — who is currently embroiled in a scandal over the targeting of conservative political groups — worked at the FEC’s enforcement division.

In a letter to FEC chairman Lee Goodman, Oversight chairman Darrell Issa and committee member Jim Jordan laid out Sands’ partisan activities and asked for records pertaining to the recycling of her hard drive and of the agency’s records retention policies.

Sands took part in a heavily partisan online webcam discussion from FEC offices and also operated a Twitter account with the handle @ReignOfApril which were sent during Sands’ normal working hours.

One of Sands’ tweets, from June 4, 2012 read “I just don’t understand how anyone but straight white men can vote Republican. What kind of delusional rhetorical does one use?” …

“Dear every single Republican ever, When will U learn that Barack Hussein Obama is simply smarter than U? Stand down, Signed #Obama2012 #p2,” Sands wrote on May 1, 2012.

In a message from Aug. 25, 2012, Sands called Republicans her “enemy.”

In others, Sands issued fundraising pleas on behalf of Obama. “Our #POTUS’s birthday is August 4. He’ll be 51. I’m donating $51 to give him the best birthday present ever: a second term,” she wrote on July 18, 2012.

“The bias in these messages is striking, especially for an attorney charged with the responsibility to enforce federal election laws fairly and dispassionately,” read the Oversight letter to Goodman, an Obama appointee.

The FEC’s Office of Inspector General [OIG] sought to conduct a criminal investigation into Sands’ activities but were stymied when they found that the agency had recycled her computer hard drive.

“Therefore the OIG was unable to show that Ms. Sands’ solicitations and political activity were done from an FEC computer,” reads the letter.

Because of this, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia declined criminal prosecution.

“The FEC’s failure to retain Ms. Sands’ hard drive prevented the FEC OIG from fully pursuing appropriate criminal sanctions for Ms. Sands’ admitted violation of federal law,” wrote Issa and Jordan.

“Like the IRS’s destruction of Lois Lerner’s hard drive, the FEC’s recycling of Ms. Sands’ hard drive may have also destroyed material responsive to Freedom of Information Act and congressional oversight requests,” the letter continued. (Source)

July 22, 2014: It is learned that ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer hard drive was only “scratched” in February 2014 (when Lerner’s computer crashed). At that time, the IRS’s in-house IT experts stated that the lost data was still recoverable, and they advised the agency to outsource the recovery project. But instead, the IRS simply destroyed the hard drive.

“It is unbelievable that we cannot get a simple, straight answer from the IRS about this hard drive,” says Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp. “The Committee was told no data was recoverable and the physical drive was recycled and potentially shredded. To now learn that the hard drive was only scratched, yet the IRS refused to utilize outside experts to recover the data, raises more questions about potential criminal wrong doing at the IRS.”
(Source)

August 14, 2014: After documents obtained in the nonprofit group Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the IRS show that that IRS technology officials have contradicted sworn testimony about damage to Lois Lerner’s computer hard drive, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan orders the IRS to file a sworn Declaration by no later than August 22 on four specific issues: the IRS’s efforts to recover Lerner’s lost emails after her computer allegedly crashed; bar codes that may have been on the hard drive; IRS policies vis a vis hard drive destruction; and information about an outside vendor who worked on IRS hard drives. Noting that a court filing which the IRS had made to the House Ways and Means Committee indicated that Lerner’s hard drive was “scratched” and then “shredded,” The Daily Caller reports:

“Aaron Signor, an IRS technician that looked at Lerner’s hard drive in June 2011, said in IRS court filings that he saw no damage to the drive before sending it off to another IRS technician … But Signor’s statement, issued in response to the Judicial Watch lawsuit, does not jibe with sworn congressional testimony…. The IRS technology official who served as the source of the ‘scratched’ and ‘shredded’ revelation is believed to have looked at the hard drive after Signor. [Judge] Sullivan’s order seems to have been motivated by the obvious contradiction.” (Source)

September 5, 2014: It is reported that computer crashes have caused the IRS to lose emails from five more employees who are under investigation by Congress, including two agents who worked in a Cincinnati office processing applications for tax-exempt status. This brings the total number of alleged computer-crash victims tied to the IRS scandal to more than 20. (Source) and (Source)

November 21, 2014: The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informs congressional staffers from several committees that up to 30,000 missing emails sent (between 2009-11) by former IRS official Lois Lerner have finally been recovered from among hundreds of “disaster recovery tapes” that were used to back up the IRS email system. “They just said it took them several weeks and some forensic effort to get these emails off these tapes,” said a congressional aide. (Source)

November 27, 2014: The Daily Caller reports: “Now, with 30,000 Lerner emails set to be turned over to Congress, new information is surfacing about the White House-IRS information pipeline.” Specifically, it has been learned that there exist nearly 2,500 documents pertaining to occasions where the IRS improperly disclosed confidential taxpayer information to the White House. (Source)

December 23, 2014: The Washington Times reports that according to a Congressional Oversight Committee report released on December 23, IRS employees who gave extra scrutiny to Tea Party groups’ nonprofit status applications “showed a marked antipathy to the organizations, with one examiner calling a group ‘icky’ and others saying they were searching for ways to deny the requests.” “The staff report,” says the Times, “… also found that IRS officials ‘repeatedly changed their stories’ about what went on and who was responsible for targeting the conservative and tea party groups.” (Source)

DTN Resource List

The IRS Harassment Scandal: A Timeline of “Reform”
By The Center for Competitive Politics

The Complete IRS Scandal Timeline in Spreadsheet Format
By DirectorBlue.blogspot

IRS and the Tea Party: A Timeline
By The Center for Competitive Politics

IRS investigation: Who Knew What, and When
By Darla Cameron, Zachary A. Goldfarb, and Alberto Cuadra
May 21, 2013

Issa Report Slams Dem Collaboration with the IRS
By Arnold Ahlert
April 8, 2014

New Documents Show IRS HQ Control of Tea Party Targeting
By Judicial Watch
May 14, 2014

______________________

Copyright 2003-2015: DiscoverTheNetworks.org

Bridenstine & Lankford Tax Reform Emails


James Lankford & Jim Bridenstine

Senator James Lankford and Rep. Jim Bridentine

Congressman  & Senator from Oklahoma

 

By John R. Houk

© May 12, 2015

 

I participated in one of those mass emails to Congress recently in which an email was sent to my Oklahoma Representative from District One and my Okie Senators. I believe the mass emailing was about tax reform. Dog gone it, I can’t remember the facilitator of the email was. I just remember a payment was not necessary and a contribution would have been appreciated. I participate and didn’t think anything further about my participation.

 

Here’s the thing though yesterday I received a response from Rep. Jim Bridenstine. Incidentally the Republican I supported in the First District 2012 Primary as Tea Party Conservative who defeated Republican incumbent John Sullivan. And check it out – Sullivan was a standard Oklahoma Republican. However, as a Congressman, Sullivan towed the GOP marching order line. Bridenstine won in 2012 campaigning on a Less Government, Fairer Taxation and dump Obamacare. And of course Bridenstine won reelection in 2014.

 

Senator James Lankford, my Republican Senator responded today (5/12/15) to the mass email on tax reform. Frankly I enjoyed both their responses even though I suspect they were form letter responses canned according to constituent questions. Since I liked the responses that was some good canning.

 

JRH 5/12/15

Please Support NCCR

***********************

Regarding Tax Reform Email

 

By Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK District 1)

Sent: 5/11/2015 4:21 PM

Congress Website: http://bridenstine.house.gov/

 

Thank you for contacting me regarding tax reform.  I appreciate your opinion and value your input on this important issue.

As you may know, in the 113th Congress I introduced House Joint Resolution 104 to repeal the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and eliminate the IRS. The 16th Amendment allows the federal government to impose the income tax.  There are viable alternative plans for raising revenue fairly to support constitutionally enumerated functions of the federal government that don’t require the 16th Amendment.  The current system is broken beyond repair and it’s time for the United States to move beyond our dated tax structure.

Our current tax code is an unfair system which discourages investment, innovation and entrepreneurship.  Our income tax has become so convoluted that even professionals have a hard time understanding its mechanics.  The system is subject to endless manipulation by individuals and groups seeking to gain even the slightest monetary advantage.

The 4th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees, “The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” The 16th Amendment effectively negates the 4th Amendment.  Now is the time to repeal the 16th Amendment and eliminate the IRS.

If successful, the repeal of the 16th Amendment will eliminate the personal and corporate income tax, the estate and gift taxes, and taxes on investment earnings at the federal level.  Personally, I am in favor of replacing it with the Fair Tax, but I believe that supporters of other alternatives to our broken tax system can also get behind this effort.

 

Thank you again for writing and expressing your thoughts on this important issue.  Please visit my website at http://bridenstine.house.gov to send me another message with your thoughts and opinions, read my positions on major issues, or sign up for my E-Newsletter. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links below. I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Sincerely,

 

Jim Bridenstine
U.S. House of Representatives

 

Please click the following links to follow me on Facebook or Twitter, and click here to sign up for my E-Newsletter.

 

++++

Response from Senator James Lankford

 

Sent by Senator James Lankford (R-OK)

Sent: 5/12/2015 9:31 AM

Senate.Gov Website: http://www.lankford.senate.gov/

 

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns on the IRS targeting scandal and the vote to hold Lois Lerner in Contempt of Congress.  I served as a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for four years and was actively involved with this investigation from the beginning. I appreciate the time you took to engage yourself in this important matter.

 

On April 10, 2014, after numerous hearings, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to hold Ms. Lerner in Contempt of Congress.  On May 7, 2014, the bill to hold her in contempt passed the House in a bipartisan vote of 231-187. I supported both measures.

 

I also supported H. Res. 565, a resolution calling on the Attorney General to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate IRS targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.  In addition to 224 Republicans, 26 Democrats voted in favor of the resolution, which passed by a vote of 250 to 168.

 

On April 1, 2015, the Justice Department announced they will not seek criminal charges against Ms. Lerner. In a letter written to Speaker John Boehner, Ronald Machen, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said a criminal case would not be presented to the grand jury over Ms. Lerner’s refusal to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

 

Justice Department attorneys determined that Ms. Lerner did not waive her Fifth Amendment right during her opening statement of general claims of innocence on May 22, 2013.  Because she exercised her constitutional right, she cannot be prosecuted for contempt.

 

You might be interested to know the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration indicated in congressional testimony on February 27, 2015, that there could be criminal wrongdoing in the disappearance of IRS emails related to the Lerner case.  Additionally, on April 2, 2015, a federal judge ordered the IRS to turn over any lists of potentially targeted groups.

 

I am disappointed but not surprised by the Justice Department’s decision not to take up the contempt case.  The IRS still owes every American taxpayer the truth about whether or not the IRS specifically targeted Americans seeking tax-exempt status based on their political beliefs. I will continue to seek the facts, so we can ensure this type of misconduct does not happen again.

 

Please feel free to contact me again via email at www.lankford.senate.gov for more information about my work in the United States Senate for all of us…

 

In God We Trust,

 

James Lankford
United States Senator
___________________________

Bridenstine & Lankford Tax Reform Emails

By John R. Houk

© May 12, 2015

_________________________

Regarding Tax Reform Email

 

216 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-2211

 

About Rep. Jim Bridenstine

 

Congressman Jim Bridenstine was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First District, which covers Washington, Tulsa, Wagoner Counties plus portions of Rogers & Creek Counties. Bridenstine serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee.

From the start, Bridenstine has been widely recognized in the House for his integrity, commitment to principles, and willingness to uphold the rule of law. He has become an effective member of Congress by focusing on three specific areas: National Security, Economic Freedom, and Constitutional Integrity. Jim supports moving toward a balanced budget through spending control, tax reform, and financial measures and policies promoting free markets.

Bridenstine has focused on the elimination of Obamacare and reform of laws and regulations that present a huge burden on the economy. He has introduced legislation and supported a strong national defense, religious freedom, protection of life, free speech and restoration of the balance of power within the branches of the federal government consistent with the Constitution.

 

On April 1st, Bridenstine achieved a remarkable accomplishment and became the READ THE REST

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Response from Senator James Lankford

 

About Senator James Lankford

 

Senator James Lankford is committed to protecting our freedom, demanding an efficient and transparent federal government, and ensuring our nation remains the world leader.

 

Addressing our national debt and restoring a responsible federal budget is among James’ highest priorities in the Senate. He remains focused on eliminating duplicative and excessive federal regulations that diminish people, suffocate business and drive manufacturing overseas. From regulations that increase the cost of living to the oppressive regulations on consumer lending that make it hard for working people to build credit, Senator Lankford fights for opportunity in Oklahoma and our nation. He believes that empowering families, individual people and private businesses will create jobs, protect our values, and provide the best solution to grow our economy.

 

After serving four years in the U.S. House of Representatives, James was elected to the U.S. Senate on November 4, 2014, to finish the remaining two years of retiring Senator Tom Coburn’s term, which will end January 2017. James serves on the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Indian Affairs Committee.  Within the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, he is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management.  Additionally, James serves on the Senate Republican Whip Team for the 114th Congress.

 

Encouraging personal faith, committed families, practical education and the critical need for everyone to invest in READ THE REST