The IRS’ targeting of groups and individuals who disagree with government increased sharply with President Barack Obama’s accession to office. Reminds me of how he won his first election in Illinois.
As a community organizer, [Obama] had helped register thousands of voters. But when it came time to run for office, he employed Chicago rules to invalidate the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers.
The move denied each of them, including incumbent Alice Palmer, a longtime Chicago activist, a place on the ballot. It cleared the way for Obama to run unopposed on the Democratic ticket in a heavily Democrat district.
“That was Chicago politics,” said John Kass, a veteran Chicago Tribune columnist. “Knock out your opposition, challenge their petitions, destroy your enemy, right? It is how Barack Obama destroyed his enemies back in 1996 that conflicts with his message today. He may have gotten his start registering thousands of voters. But in that first race, he made sure voters had just one choice.”
What he did then was hardball politics, might even have been dirty politics, but at least it was, strictly speaking, legal. His actions today through the IRS—which not only targeted conservative political groups, it targeted groups and individual Americans opposed to abortion and those openly supportive of Israel—took his “destroy your enemy” mindset to a new level, a criminal one.
And now it’s coming out, from some of those “rogue agents” in Cincinnati whom he tossed under the bus, that the orders to do so came from…higher up.
Interviews with a regional IRS agent involved in the agency targeting Tea Party groups for additional vetting appear to contradict the White House assertion that rogue agents, not the administration, were behind the effort, according to partial transcripts released Sunday by the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee.
The agent in the Cincinnati office…told congressional investigators that he or she was told in March 2010 by a supervisor to search for Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status and that “Washington, DC, wanted some cases.
When asked by congressional investigators about allegations and press reports about two agents in Cincinnati essentially being responsible for the targeting, the agent responded: “It’s impossible. As an agent we are controlled by many, many people. We have to submit many, many reports. So the chance of two agents being rogue and doing things like that could never happen.