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Lawmakers Are Beginning to Get It

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Congress, GOP Crimes, Media Bias, O'Donnell, Video )

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TomCat S (128)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 3:33 am
When the IRS scandal broke, the first thing I did was to read the statute. I was most surprised to discover that the regulation people at the IRS violated and the language of the statute itself are completely unrelated. O’Donnell has continued his campaign to educate Americans, but to date, he seems the only broadcast journalist of note to do so.

Judy C (97)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 4:14 am
Good to see you, T.C. I hope you're doing well now. No political activity should exist at all under 501(c)(4)! I get so sick of these people splitting hairs to get some flimsy justification to buy our political system more and more. what a bunch of B.S.

Alice C (1797)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 4:47 am
Thanks Tom ~ Glad your posting good information for us again. Have a lovely day and be well.

divergent revolution (309)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 5:41 am
So goof to be getting regular correspondence.
Hope you're all repated..and we will be seeing your important news, all the time.
The irs, are some of the laziest,uncaring, power hungry jerks, I've had the displeasure of dealing with, rather do business with the sba, now they've got a heart.
Again, great to see u back In action.
Hope you stay well. ..missed u terribly.

Gene J (290)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 6:02 am
"Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said Citizens United had created a situation where "groups that ought to be [political organizations] are applying for 501(c)(4) status to hide their donors."

Yeah. Well, if there is anything I am sure the Tea Party is not supportive of it is social welfare. They are as extreme a group of right wingers to emerge in years, they have no interest in contributing to the social welfare of this country, they would destroy most of government as we know it, that which provides programs for the social well being of America. This is, regardless how poorly the IRS handled it, simply a way to hide their donor's from public scrutiny. I think it is in the best interest of the public to know who those people are, though I could probably craft a pretty good guesstimate on my own. Hiding one's face, one's company behind this shield says to me that these people wish to do the public's business in the dark and are afraid of the public's reaction were they to be found out as supporting the extremist agenda of the Tea Party. Well, my feeling is and has always been that the business of the public, indeed ANY business, ought be conducted in the clear light of morning because if you can't do that, then you are doing something you probably shouldn't be. Transparency in government is a good thing, actions taken in secret behind closed doors are not usually in the public interest. If you can't do it in the open, don't do it. It is likely wrong. And so is hiding the list of contributor's to the Tea Party. Some "party" that is. Everyone glowering in the shadows and corners of our country isn't an image we want to present to ourselves or the world. We should cut it out and if that takes changing IRS rules, then do so. And do something legislatively about Citizen's United too. Though I won't be holding my breath waiting for that one...

Mike S (86)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 6:08 am
Thank you for the posts Tom. It's great to see you back! :)

Elle B (84)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 6:25 am
Ty for posting Tom...

Who on this earth wants to waste time watching these same ole charlatan routines...misguided toddler hooligans with a bunch of bucks they stole form WE the PEOPLE to promote their shenanigans...deeply sad and sorry...citizenry/media needs crash course in Shams101. . .

Troubling 501(c) status ambiguity has existed for decades. GOP hit this loophole bonanza years ago. When Obama was elected--1,000's of groups formed. What more could the GOP ask 501(c) gets billions donated anonymously by BIG GUNS as another gives duped voters no-limit tax-deductible donation ops. Citizens United at it's best. The right wing political factions started the ABUSES of non-profit status decades it's a multi-billion if not trillion dollar rigged game empire and as usual WE the People--the US Government gets blamed for the malversation and stuck with the tab...this is an age an old CON simply gone ballistic on tech.
Latest scandal is just more ...GOP-SOP with some minor costume and prop changes...all they know how to do well. So sick of seeing tired charade reruns year after year. Wonder how long the CATO crowd et al scoured USA this time with their nit combs to find a local IRS office with enough backlog for their latest scandalous episode. Government staff and funding cuts certainly made that job easier. Bingo...Connecticut is a match. 501(c) 3 and 4 issues have been troubling for a long time. CATO crowd bogus front websites popped up all over the web around 2004--using knock-off logos/designs from legitimate non-partisan and progressive groups. Dead end front one running stores...or even actual stores there to run. ALL domains lead to offices in Virgina...many in same city within miles/blocks of each other w/most registered to same handful of attorneys, PR and political organizers...ALL had some type of 501(c) tax status. Now they've branched out...the sites disappear...morph...rebrand...but are still non-profits of some sort somewhere hauling in anonymous and/or tax deductible bucks. The right wing has used the pulpit and social welfare guises to promote their disease for decades.

Networked all over the country...buried in decades of labrynths and mazes of entity fronts and layers of criss-crossing domain facades. . .the disease began with FAX metastisized with the internet. . .

Better Business Bureau Report for
Family Foundation of Virginia - issued August 2012

Carlene V (202)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 7:06 am
Um, exclusively and primarily don't mean the same thing. These groups that hide behind the IRS ruling whether they be Republican or Democrat should be transparent. Although I must say the Tea Party idiots who rant and rave against their own interests have brought some scrutiny on themselves. A lot of posturing by the evil doer Darrly Issa, who brought the do nothing Arnold to Caifornia. It's a dog and pony show for him as he'll do anything to bring down Obama's administration.

lee e (114)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 7:32 am
I have to admit, I came to my own conclusions re - the "IRS Scandal" and got tired of seeing it rehashed day in and day out - much to my shame!
What an epiphany! Thanks for posting this TC!
However, if the Republicans "legally" changed the wording to this statute, then who's right here? Did they indeed just pull the wool over everyone's eyes to create the "loop-hole" 50 years ago, in hoes the eventually SCOTUS would comply with a Citizens United decision at some time in the future to give corporations full control with anonymity, completely disregarding the intention of the law ( which it seems is the actual "belated Scandal"), or was their finagling with the law illegal to begin with? Therein lies the confusion in my mind, and unless I stupidly missed the core point that O'Donnnell makes, can someone tell me?
It seems, however that if this is true, and the law has been misrepresented, 1.) it is a judicial matter 2.) all parties that have been given the tax exempt status must be denied and a reapplication must be created to prove that each 501 (c)(4) is "exclusively" a social welfare organization.
Please tell me where I'm going "off" on this!

Terrie Williams (798)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 8:28 am
And where as all this 'outrage' when the IRS (aka U.S. SS) went digging into the NAACP, Greenpeace, WWF, AARP, and ACORN???????? All these groups where not dedicated to tearing down our system of government because there's a -- gasp -- half black man in the White House. There is no 'social welfare' to the Tea Party and never will be. They are a political front for the likes of the Kochroach Bros, inc. et al. They are the Brownshirts for the Fascist Corporate state -- period. And they will meet the very same fate that Hitler's Brownshirts met for the identical reasons. History is indeed repeating itself.

Terrie Williams (798)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 8:29 am
Dayum it.....that's 'was' not 'as'

JL A (281)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 9:09 am
So sad that some in Congress are upset that the IRS is doing their job in accordance with the law...

. (0)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 9:44 am
Noted. I think you know where I stand regarding 501 status and political manipulation. Nein.

P A (117)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 9:46 am
"The law says that 501(c)(4) organizations must be operated "exclusively" for the purpose of social welfare, while the IRS regulation defines "exclusively" as "primarily." " Is it just me – I thought the word 'exclusively' meant 'only' – are the IRS re-writing the dictionary for the benefit of some people? How very peculiar.

David C (129)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 10:52 am
so of course the answer is blame Mr. Obama....of course......

tomcat, glad you're back and hope you continue to recover quickly

Winnie A (179)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 11:58 am
Vote all republicans out of office in every state at every opportunity. It's a start but I know it's not the entire answer.

Yvonne White (229)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 2:31 pm
I've thought from day one that OF Course an IRS agent should target Reich-wingers for Closer scrutiny - since TeaBaggers are more likely than "normal" people to reject paying Taxes altogether! They're constantly shouting about how taxation is illegal & immoral & just plain BAD!;) "The statute is crystal clear, and finally, a few Democrats are beginning to get it that the real scandal is that ANY political activity exists under 501(c)(4)." From what I've read NONE of those Reich-wing Wacko Groups were DENIED tax exempt status - while one Liberal group was denied. No big outrage over that!

Birgit W (160)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 2:50 pm

Lois Jordan (63)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 2:54 pm
Thanks, Tom. My understanding was that as long as 51% went to social welfare, it could remain a 501(c)(4). Stephen Colbert's also done quite a bit on this; along with creating his own 501(c)(4), with Wendell Potter on air to explain how simple the entire process is. I've been tossing around the idea that my own family could create our own 501(c)(4) because most all of our income goes towards paying bills for the family to live--"social welfare" of our family. Wonder how THAT would go over with the IRS.....

Yvonne White (229)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 3:13 pm
Touche Lois!:) Love it! I'll see you at the Senate Hearing!;) LOL!

Billie C (2)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 3:39 pm
what does that so with what they pray for? you should see the list of questions that the tea party was asked to answer. they were targeted not just by the irs but jd, home land security, osha and the fbi. no way should anybody be subjected to that kind of government pressure just because they might say something against obama.
plus it was kept hidden until after the election.

Debra Tate (17)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 4:01 pm
I feel all non-profits, should not be allowed to donate to a political cause or canidate. I know I will get nailed to the wall for this statement, but that is my opinion. You have yours!

Craig Zimmerman (86)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 4:22 pm
If a Republican administration had been targeting liberal groups to this extent there would be calls for impeachment.

Joanne Dixon (38)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 4:34 pm
Fewer than a third of the groups audited were conservative. What does that make the rest? Also, no group was denied the requested status. I am coming around to the idea that NO ONE and NO GROUP should be exempt from paying taxes.

JL A (281)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 4:35 pm
Those that read the post know that liberal groups have had similar scrutiny and that it did not lead to calls for impeachment or complaints that the IRS was actually complying with and enforcing the law as written.

Rebecca Y (26)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 4:37 pm
Isn't it clear that we cannot trust any of our government officials???

Mitchell D (87)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 5:02 pm
Welcome back Tom. I could not find the way to send you a greeting that Lynn had spoken of.

Robert K (31)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 5:55 pm
The one and only scandal is that so much as one cent can go to a politician for any reason at all.

Another scandal which is all encompassing and not specifically about 501(c)4's in particular is that dark money is allowed at all.

Robert K (31)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 6:00 pm
No Craig, liberal groups have been singled out to be denied accreditation, but because liberals are far more rational than conservatives they have never suggested impeachment. Only thuggish scumbag Republicans do that. Also note that the only group denied was a liberal women's group This despite the fact that every single Tea Party and Patriot group was formed specifically to break the law and give huge funding to wingnut politicians.

While Nixon specifically ordered the IRS to attack liberals, Obama had nothing whatsoever to do with this and the head of the TRS when this happened was a Bush apointee.

Lynn S (235)
Thursday May 23, 2013, 11:38 pm
What a bloody kettle of stinky fish this is!

Darrell Issa " Let's all be Republicats and Demlicans today." — I didn't know that Issa could be bipartisan. Is it maybe that he, as a Republican ready to skewer the POTUS over the IRS debacle, is feeling the heat now that the IRS scandal has taken another turn? After all, in 1959 when the IRS changed the meaning of the law, it was a Republican administration.

As a compliance manager, I always go to the original document when looking at a situation because there can be nuances of difference in interpretation. And in 40 years of banking, I have never regretted doing things that way. It may have identified a problem that required work but that is OK. Really, this is further proof that the IRS regulations must be checked against the tax laws as written. Not only that, the IRS must resolved identified issues such as those identified in yesterday's article from The Nation "The Nation"

TomCat S (128)
Friday May 24, 2013, 3:42 am
Thanks everyone. The actually did deny 501(c)(4) status to 8 groups, but none were conservative or Tea Party. Billie, I agree thet many of the questions were not at all appropriate, but it was not hidden. TGhewtopic of the investigation was posted on the web well before the election.

TomCat S (128)
Friday May 24, 2013, 3:44 am
That was supposed to read The Topic, but it was hidden behind the butterfly credits popup.

Carol H (229)
Friday May 24, 2013, 3:36 pm
noted, thanks Tom

Sheryl G (360)
Friday May 24, 2013, 5:48 pm
I appreciate Lawrence O'Donnell's intellect, knowledge, and insight. If the IRS screws up I guess that is one thing, but certainly don't screw up with the IRS or it's like having the hounds of hell knocking on the door.

TomCat S (128)
Saturday May 25, 2013, 3:36 am
Thank you both.

Sheryl, over 40 years ago I had a home office, because I spent so much time on the road. I was audited five years in a row, and the only tome I ever paid a penalty is the year I took advantage of their offer to do my taxes. They disallowed deductions they claimed for me. AARRRGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Shirley A (96)
Saturday May 25, 2013, 8:43 am
This "scandal" is like every other "scandal" the rabid, frothing at the mouth Right has conjured up and is just another witch hunt, look the other way bunch of BS. As far as I'm concerned the IRS WAS doing their job and although the word "primarily" needs to be taken out of the regulations, the intent of scrutinizing applicant's for 501c4's is exactly what the IRS should be doing. There is nothing wrong, conniving or illegal about flagging groups that may be trying to run under the radar for political purposes at taxpayers expense. Just more Republican outrage when there is "NO THERE, THERE." The Right will stop at nothing to keep pounding at this administration and don't give a damn how they damage our nation in the process. I don't believe squat out of Right Wing mouths anymore and will vote them out of office every chance I get. They've proven time and again what a selfish, hateful, revengeful, racist and hate filled party they have become. The ONLY scandal here would be if the IRS DIDN'T flagged these groups for assessment when it's obvious they are NOT social welfare groups. The only problem is the Right is continually trying to cut programs and departments so that anyone, anywhere, anytime can run scams, find loopholes and basically avert their responsibilities to be decent law abiding, contributing citizens so this country could progress and prosper. This AGAIN is a Big "TO DO" and whining about NOTHING so the country is looking the other way while they push and pull to get their way in states and congress without scrutiny from the voting public. They have a vile and destructive agenda and it certainly does not play well for the majority of this country only the "chosen few." Remove Republicans starting 2014.

Edith B (146)
Saturday May 25, 2013, 9:23 pm
I agree with all of the above comments! Glad you are back, TC.
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