Boustany: “A culture of rot going on at the IRS”

posted at 2:41 pm on May 16, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Jeff Zeleny asks good questions of Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), who will chair the hearings in the Oversight subcommittee of Ways and Means into the IRS scandal.  Not coincidentally, Boustany was the person who asked then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman explicitly in March 2012 whether IRS agents were targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny and harassment.  Boustany now wants answers to how Shulman and the IRS misled Congress, how far up the issue goes, and establish how laws got broken.  Boustany tells Zeleny that there is “a culture of rot” that needs a big clean-up.

ABC’s video seems to have some issues, so for now here it is:

Boustany characterizes the new Inspector General’s report, which reveals that the IRS began targeting these conservative political groups as early as 2010, as “very disturbing.”

“At the very least it’s ineffective management,” Boustany says. “We know some egregious abuses occurred at the IRS and whether it’s ineffective management, negligence, or deliberate political egregious violations of First Amendment rights for political purposes, we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”

Boustany started investigating possible targeting of conservative groups by the IRS two years ago after he began hearing complaints from constituents and groups who “felt they were being targeted,” but says the IRS has been “evasive and misleading from the start.”

“We want to get to the bottom of who made the decision, who at the top whether it’s at the IRS or higher up,” Boustany says. “Could it have been someone at Treasury, or even perhaps at the White House, that made this decision to go forward. This is a flagrant abuse of power.”

And yet another conservative group is pointing out an abusive audit, which goes beyond the scope of the IG’s report on politicization within the IRS.  Leadership Institute, which helps train Tea Party organizers, offers a timeline of the abuse that corresponds interestingly with that IG report:

At the same time the IRS was bullying tea party and conservative groups, it was auditing the Leadership Institute.

On June 1, 2011, LI received notice of an audit of its tax return and activities in 2008.

What followed was a more than year-long investigation of more than 23,430 pages of records and requests for items like:
— a list of 2008 interns and their future employers;
— sample emails between employers and LI regarding ConservativeJobs.com; and
— how LI’s more than 300 trainings are advertised.

Ultimately, the IRS accepted the Institute’s tax return as filed.

“The IRS’ indefensible behavior is worse than we first thought, as it targeted both new and existing conservative groups in politically motivated attacks,” said Morton Blackwell, president of the Leadership Institute. “Fortunately my Leadership Institute had the resources to stand up to the government’s bullying and intimidation. Other groups, including grassroots and tea party groups we’ve helped train, did not.  Defending ourselves from the harassing audit cost my organization more than $50,000 in legal fees alone.”

Culture of rot inside the IRS, culture of intimidation within the Obama administration.


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A culture of rot has been festering in DC. It ain’t just the IRS.

hawkeye54 on May 16, 2013 at 2:37 PM

OT: Was the site recently reworked? Suddenly the text of the articles seems much bigger, and a few more labels have been added.

MadisonConservative on May 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM

wish more people had read Michelle Malkin’s “Culture of Corruption” . . .

and she was fired up on Hannity last night . . .

williampeck1958 on May 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Oh, come on. It’s not the IRS. It’s the bunch of Chicago sewer rats who took over in January 2009.

ddrintn on May 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM

As the evidence of Obama’s politicization of the executive branch grows, the theory of Fast and Furious being a plan to manufacture evidence in support of more restrictive gun laws and regulations becomes less and less far-fetched.

Socratease on May 16, 2013 at 2:41 PM

MadisonConservative on May 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM

I would tell you why the text is larger, but I value my posting privileges.

nobar on May 16, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Hearings are one thing. Actual policy and laws are another. The GOP needs to take a page out of the left’s playbook, and exploit this crisis to our advantage. Pass a bill which severely limits the IRS’s powers, and dare Obama to veto it.

Mohonri on May 16, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Laws were broken…

… Who is going to jail?

Seven Percent Solution on May 16, 2013 at 2:43 PM

I’d like to see Bush mentioned during those hearings !!

burrata on May 16, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Judge a leader by his fruit……

……behold, the IRS is Obama’s fruit. So is Benghazi. So is the AP scandal….. so is Obamacare…..so is the economy.

rotten from the top down.

ted c on May 16, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Investigate, investigate, investigate.

But when all is said and done, you clean up swamps by draining them. Defund this one.

de rigueur on May 16, 2013 at 2:43 PM

It’s the bunch of Chicago sewer rats who took over in January 2009.

Meh, they just accellerated and amplified the rot, but it was long present in DC before the Chicago rats got there.

hawkeye54 on May 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Did anyone else catch Obama’s press conference an hour and a half ago where he said he was going to get on the problems in the IRS because after he leaves office they might go after HIM next for political reasons? Isn’t that just an insane thing to say? It reminds me of him harping about Sasha and Malia whenever they might be even obliquely affected by some policy decision. Or even when they’re not. A “it could have been Sasha and Malia”, with a little tear in his eye. Being punished with a baby, or a target of a terror attack, or whatever. So now we have to fix the IRS because of how it might affect Obama when he gets out of office. I’m shocked he didn’t invoke Sasha and Malia.

Paul-Cincy on May 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM

I’m shocked that gubmint Barackracies would become corrupted and dictatorial.

SparkPlug on May 16, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Meh, they just accellerated and amplified the rot, but it was long present in DC before the Chicago rats got there.

hawkeye54 on May 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Oh, no. They took it to stratospheric levels. This is their whole m.o. My guess would be that Head Rat Valerie is behind all this.

ddrintn on May 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Did anyone else catch Obama’s press conference an hour and a half ago where he said he was going to get on the problems in the IRS because after he leaves office they might go after HIM next for political reasons? Isn’t that just an insane thing to say? …

Paul-Cincy on May 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM

I dunno… if anyone can foresee the possible uses to which a politicized IRS can be put, it would be that guy. Besides, Democrats always project onto conservatives what they are doing, or intend to do.

de rigueur on May 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM

The number of IRS abuse cases will make bimbo eruptions seem more rare than Obama’s college transcripts.

Barnestormer on May 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Now’s the time for conservatives to start talking about seriously considering implementing a fair tax or flat tax. We have the nation’s attention with this scandal.

VinceOfDoom on May 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM

wish more people had read Michelle Malkin’s “Culture of Corruption” . . .

and she was fired up on Hannity last night . . .

williampeck1958 on May 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM

It’s what Sarah Palin means when she talks about crony capitalism. When the rule of law isn’t respected anymore, when it becomes who you know, and your sympathies, and your feelings, and what you can get away with, then this is what you get. The leader sets the tone. All Obama cares about is achieving his ends. The ends justify the means. Look at how Obamacare was passed. If Obama had more power, we’d all be in a lot more trouble.

Paul-Cincy on May 16, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Culture of rot inside the IRS, culture of intimidation within the Obama administration.

Both are true but I think it is evasive to talk about “culture.” Real people were out there demanding 23,430 pages of letters and records. Real people were demanding a pro-life group surrender civil rights. Real people were targeting specific groups while fast-tracking the liberal ones.

Sure the culture is involved but the drivers of that culture need to be held accountable. We can’t just let the left blame this on the culture (which essentially says all IRS employees are equally guilty).

Put more simply, I don’t care about the culture. I want the names of those who committed crimes. Let them use the culture excuse at their trials or when they appeal being fired for cause. Just as the Nazis blamed their service in the death camps on the culture of Germany under fascists.

Happy Nomad on May 16, 2013 at 2:51 PM

This is how they temporarily delay Obamacare until after the elections.

oldroy on May 16, 2013 at 2:52 PM

repost:

Just saw former Solicitor General Ted Olson speak about the government and the IRS targeting of the Koch Brothers beginning in 2012. Olson referred to portions of a Jim Messina letter to Koch Brothers lambasting them for views “not held by the majority of the country.”

Olson stressed the tyrannical nature of the POS administration and implied all scandals occurring now are the result of a “fish rots from the head” mentality.

When Henry 11 asked if no one would rid him of that meddlesome priest Becket was consequently killed.

In like fashion, it’s clear the IRS had permission from the POS to go after tea party members in the same way the press has felt free to go after gun owners or anyone else deemed by the POS to be an enemy.

Everyone must redouble their efforts to get rid of this dangerous regime.

wyntre9 on May 16, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Idi Amin would be proud of Hussein !!

burrata on May 16, 2013 at 2:52 PM

What do you expect as they got the signal from the president when he lectured the Supreme Court to their face in the State of the Union?

rbj on May 16, 2013 at 2:54 PM

I would tell you why the text is larger, but I value my posting privileges.

nobar on May 16, 2013 at 2:42 PM

The text is larger?

Mimzey on May 16, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Both are true but I think it is evasive to talk about “culture.”

Happy Nomad on May 16, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Yeah, it’s blame-shifting. Take the focus off the administration and depersonalize it until it’s all the fault of a faceless Bureaucracy.

ddrintn on May 16, 2013 at 2:56 PM

I am sick and tired of the MSM and the “you do know tha Shulman was a Bush appointee?”garbage. Roberts was a Bush appointee too. So what? Unlike these corrupt Dems who when appointed to office tow only the party line ( hello Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor etc…) Repub appointees dont always act like conservatives. RINOs arent conservative so it isnt a far leap to imagine a Bush appointee being RINOesque too. If Shulman lied under oath his head needs to roll just as much as Holders. God, this isnt hard….unless ABC has an agenda, which never happens right? Sarc

neyney on May 16, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Excellent article

Schadenfreude on May 16, 2013 at 2:57 PM

But big government will save everything!

Chris of Rights on May 16, 2013 at 2:58 PM

I’ve been clicking on the AP-Holder story and I get yesterday’s QOTD page !!

burrata on May 16, 2013 at 2:59 PM

I am sick and tired of the MSM and the “you do know tha Shulman was a Bush appointee?”garbage.

neyney on May 16, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Yeah, that one’s as lame-ass as “well MLK was trailed by the government for YEARS!!111eleventyone!!! And the NAACP was audited just a few years ago!!!!!”

ddrintn on May 16, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Meh, they just accellerated and amplified the rot, but it was long present in DC before the Chicago rats got there.

hawkeye54 on May 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Oh, no. They took it to stratospheric levels. This is their whole m.o. My guess would be that Head Rat Valerie is behind all this.

Rot growth plugging along at Warp Speed 2, and whoosh, Barry’s admin pushes it to Warp Speed 11…… catastrophic results await.

hawkeye54 on May 16, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Shocking that this could occur after appointing a known tax cheat to be SecTreas.

Deafdog on May 16, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Excellent article

Schadenfreude on May 16, 2013 at 2:57 PM

And Obama job approval at Gallup still at 48%. He won’t be held accountable for anything.

oldroy on May 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Just think! In one year the IRS will have access to ALL your medical records through Obamacare. If you run for office don’t worry! They won’t tell anybody about your cosmetic surgery, Viagra and STD’s. They would never do that!

Redglen on May 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Wasn’t it Obama who directed, “Punish your enemies?” “Punish our enemies.”

IRS just following the sme orders he gave at Univision in 2010.

marybel on May 16, 2013 at 3:03 PM

I think that this “scandal” will help Republicans propose an overhaul of the IRS including a delay of Obamacare implementation until after the election, in order to save Obamacare.

oldroy on May 16, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Idi Amin would be proud of Hussein !!

burrata on May 16, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Idi Amin would be jealous.

Liam on May 16, 2013 at 3:05 PM

I am sick and tired of the MSM and the “you do know tha Shulman was a Bush appointee?”garbage.

neyney on May 16, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Honestly, as stated before Obama could open up concentration camps and I guaran-damn-tee you that the moonbats would be saying, “well, Republican AG of California Earl Warren interned Japanese-Americans in WWII!!!!!”

ddrintn on May 16, 2013 at 3:06 PM

OT: Was the site recently reworked? Suddenly the text of the articles seems much bigger, and a few more labels have been added.

MadisonConservative on May 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM

With the browser I use (Firefox), if you hold the Control key down, then Up Arrow makes the text larger, Down Arrow makes it smaller. You might have hit Control Up Arrow once by mistake.

Paul-Cincy on May 16, 2013 at 3:07 PM

With the browser I use (Firefox), if you hold the Control key down, then Up Arrow makes the text larger, Down Arrow makes it smaller. You might have hit Control Up Arrow once by mistake.

Paul-Cincy on May 16, 2013 at 3:07 PM

It’s from the sites end. All comment text is unchanged, article text is in a easier to read print. Ed must be getting old (there I said it).

nobar on May 16, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Tyranny.

Meanwhile, rent-seeking progressives and their supporters took the government for hundreds of billions in grants to short-lived “electric car” companies.

Democrat politicians lined their pockets with ill-gotten gains, and in some cases couldn’t even be bothered to pay taxes on their mysterious millions.

Democrat ex-politicians got richer than Croesus; in some cases by selling “businesses” to terrorist-sympathizers.

It’s a great country for crooked Democrats. For the rest of us, audits.

MTF on May 16, 2013 at 3:11 PM

MTF on May 16, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Curiosity question, if I might…

Why do use the term ‘progressive’?

Liam on May 16, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Olson stressed the tyrannical nature of the POS administration and implied all scandals occurring now are the result of a “fish rots from the head” mentality.

wyntre9 on May 16, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Absolutely. The leader sets the tone. Or as one great orator borrowed once from another great orator,

“Don’t tell me words don’t matter”

Obama’s words are derisive, divisive, of someone who believes he’s categorically right and those who disagree with him are not only categorically wrong but selfish, hateful, and just plain evil.

Why would Obama sow such seeds of division and pit one set of Americans against another? For one reason. Because for Obama, the ends justify the means. And his followers take his lead. They do the same thing.

Paul-Cincy on May 16, 2013 at 3:14 PM

With the browser I use (Firefox), if you hold the Control key down, then Up Arrow makes the text larger, Down Arrow makes it smaller. You might have hit Control Up Arrow once by mistake.

Paul-Cincy on May 16, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Nope. Other text on the page is still normal-sized, and it’s normal on every other web page.

My guess is that maybe it’s to make the site more tablet-friendly. Or that Ed is old as hell and can’t see worth a damn.

MadisonConservative on May 16, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Meanwhile, rent-seeking progressives and their supporters took the government for hundreds of billions in grants to short-lived “electric car” companies.

Democrat politicians lined their pockets with ill-gotten gains, and in some cases couldn’t even be bothered to pay taxes on their mysterious millions.

Democrat ex-politicians got richer than Croesus; in some cases by selling “businesses” to terrorist-sympathizers.

It’s a great country for crooked Democrats. For the rest of us, audits.

And the GOP expressed its displeasure with public words of outrage, submitted sternly worded letters of admonishment and organized investigative committees to fill C-SPAN air time and compile reams of testimony. So we can have a record of the widespread corruption, in triplicate. Filed for future reference. If anyone cares or bothers to look, in a few years.

hawkeye54 on May 16, 2013 at 3:17 PM

My guess is that maybe it’s to make the site more tablet-friendly. Or that Ed is old as hell and can’t see worth a damn.

MadisonConservative on May 16, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Lost his reading glasses? Ed isn’t really that old. He didn’t serve aboard the Constitution for instance. It was the Monitor I think.

oldroy on May 16, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Remember, Romney once worked for a company that bought out another company who, sometime after Romney was no longer there, was responsible for the loss of health insurance coverage for some people.

And because of that, it was as if he had injected a poor woman with cancer cells, denied her medical care, and then strangled her with his own hands when she didn’t die fast enough.

But these clowns are not responsible for a single solitary thing that happens under their watch.

Lily on May 16, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Oh, come on. It’s not the IRS. It’s the bunch of Chicago sewer rats who took over in January 2009.

ddrintn on May 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM

It’s some of each.

bw222 on May 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Nothing will change until we change the culture of rot in the State Run Media…
There has been no watchdog for more than four years and this is what you get…
America has a third world media and that is our future unless it is changed.

d1carter on May 16, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Why do use the term ‘progressive’?

Liam on May 16, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Not all Democrats characterize themselves as Progressives, and it’s really the supporters of the Progressive takeover of the modern day Democrat party that are taking the government for a ride, and seeking to control and “improve” the rest of us. I’m referring, of course, to Obama and Clinton supporters, Gore, Pelosi, et al.

MTF on May 16, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Nope. Other text on the page is still normal-sized, and it’s normal on every other web page.

My guess is that maybe it’s to make the site more tablet-friendly. Or that Ed is old as hell and can’t see worth a damn.

MadisonConservative on May 16, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Watch out for that banhammer, buddy ;-)

For what it’s worth, I’m seeing the text size increase too. The rest of my sites look normal. I kind of like the size increase actually.

Doomberg on May 16, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Students of institutional behavior are not surprised.

It is an easy analysis. If the Conservatives and Tea Party types win and implement policy, the IRS faces massive downsizing if not outright elimination. If Obama and Democrats prevail, the power and size of the IRS expands exponentially. And once you have started perverting resources to illicit agendas related to the agency’s interests, it is a short step to perverting those resources to individual agent’s personal agendas.

In this case, we have an Obama administration that is fine with this kind of corruption so long as their interests run parallel, and is tacitly encouraging it. After all, it is the Chicago Way.

The most important lesson is that NO GOVERNMENT AGENCY CAN BE TRUSTED, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WHO RUN IT CAN’T BE TRUSTED.

The responsibilities of living in a semi-free country include keeping tabs on the people who run the bureaucracy.

novaculus on May 16, 2013 at 4:09 PM

The IRS has quite a history of persecuting political opponents – Notably FDR, JFK, Nixon, and Clinton. IMHO, this “brief history” is a must-read.

Essentially, the Left has successfully rewritten American History as a fairy tale where every abuse of power is labeled “Nixonian” when “Kennedyesque” (both JFK and Atty General RFK) and “Clintonian” should be used interchangeably- but never are because virtually no one knows about what they did. Indeed (as you’ll see when you read the linked WSJ story) The Thug in Chief actually paraphrased JFK in his odious Columbus, OH commencement speech last week (where he urged graduates to ignore those whose voices spoke of tyranny).

And as an aside, the Right was blamed for JFK’s assassination despite the fact it was perpetrated by a Marxist resident of the Soviet Union.

Buy Danish on May 16, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Check this out from our old friend Dr Zero on his blog..

IRS sued for stealing the medical records of 10 million Americans

Here is the link…

http://www.humanevents.com/2013/05/15/irs-sued-for-stealing-the-medical-records-of-10-million-americans/

And the libs still want the IRS running our entire healthcare system?? WTF

txdoc on May 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

txdoc on May 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Yep, ACE headlined this yesterday. So many scandals brewing, so little time to cover them all. I’ve been waiting for Fox to cover this…

Buy Danish on May 16, 2013 at 4:36 PM

There was a time when the IRS acted against Al Capone. Now, under Obama, the IRS has been acting like Al Capone.

VorDaj on May 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

VorDaj on May 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

I don’t think Al Capone cared about what books you were reading.

Buy Danish on May 16, 2013 at 4:53 PM

I don’t think Al Capone cared about what books you were reading.

Buy Danish on May 16, 2013 at 4:53 PM

He didn’t want you reading his books.

VorDaj on May 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM

BTW, this story about IRS persecution of a freelance Catholic writer is one of the most heinous I’ve seen yet.

Anne Hendershott, a professor at The King’s College in New York, listened to the voices. She even repeated what some of them were telling her in a 2009 Wall Street Journal op-ed criticizing self-described Catholic organizations that were campaigning for ObamaCare. And the voices sure gummed things up for her.

Read the whole thing. It even has a tie-in to George Soros and his fake Catholic groups who were trumpeting the marvels of ObamaCare – groups she dared to take on with a nice audit as her reward. The harassment worked – she stopped writing for the Catholic Advocate.

Buy Danish on May 16, 2013 at 5:06 PM

The rot goes straight to the core: Obama. His administration is a culture of rot.

Philly on May 16, 2013 at 5:26 PM