Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts came down on the IRS’ witnesses admirably today, knocking them for abuses of freedom of speech and breaches of trust by comparing them to those routinely employed in Communist, repressive regimes. In his statement is none of the perfunctory acknowledgment of wrongdoing that’s merely a preface to demanding more efficient campaign finance laws we’ve heard from many Democrats.

It’s a worthwhile five minutes of your time, and I thank him for his words and his seriousness:

His opening statement also served to undercut the notion that these hearings are all “GOP overreach.” After all, while Brad Woodhouse of the DNC was tweeting this nonsense, Lynch was telling the IRS there’d be “hell to pay” if they didn’t stop acting like tinpot dictators.

How unobliging of the narrative, Rep. Lynch.

Rep. Elijah Cummings had some choice words for the witnesses today, too, though he did pivot to the idea of giving the admitted abusers of political power a way to more efficiently police political speech because that makes sense.

The IRS has been so busy with tiny Tea Parties, they missed out on Penny Pritzker’s $80 million mistake:

Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker inadvertently understated a portion of her income by at least $80 million in a disclosure form required for her nomination to be U.S. Commerce secretary and has amended the document.

Forms released online last night by the Office of Government Ethics show that Pritzker earned additional income for consulting work on hundreds of trusts, including family trusts, beyond what she disclosed last week. The omission, discovered by Pritzker’s financial advisers, was due to a clerical error, said Susan Anderson, the nominee’s spokeswoman.

“It is a substantial amount and we moved to correct the mistake as soon as it was discovered,” Anderson said in an e-mailed statement.
Documents released last week show Pritzker received $32.2 million for a decade’s worth of consulting on the restructuring of domestic trusts. The filings released yesterday show she earned at least $80 million for that work, according to Bloomberg’s compilation of the data. The revised total is in addition to the amount reported last week, according to Anderson.

Pritzker, a billionaire of the Hyatt family and an old Chicago acquaintance of President Obama’s, is his nominee for Secretary of Commerce. I wonder if her tax understatement will get as much press as Apple’s legal tax structure. Hey, eye on the ball, people. The IRS and Congress have adoptive parents to harass!