One email, cited by Chairman Orrin Hatch as an “example of Lerner’s interest in conservative organizations,” asked whether the IRS should open an audit of Candie’s Foundation, which paid Palin $332,500 in compensation to be a celebrity spokesperson. Lerner was concerned that the salary figure could violate IRS rules against charitable groups being for the private benefit of individuals.
Palin is the daughter of 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and she became a household name when it was revealed during that campaign that she had become pregnant at age 17. She later performed on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and was briefly engaged to Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer.
“Thoughts on the Bristol Palin issue?” Lerner, then the director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations unit, wrote to her staff in 2011. “I’m asking because I don’t know whether to send to Exam as a referral.” There’s no evidence from the Senate report that an audit was ever opened.