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Lerner Was Told: Fix The Problem Before Elections

From Breitbart:

Lois Lerner Discusses Political Pressure on the IRS in 2010

By John Sexton | August 6, 2013

Newly uncovered video shows Lois Lerner discussing the political pressure that swirled around the IRS in 2010. Lerner says "everyone" was "screaming at" the IRS to stop the flood of money pouring into the 2010 elections through 501(c)(4) groups as a result of Citizens United.

Lerner spoke to a small group at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy on October 19, 2010, just two weeks before the wave election that brought the Tea Party and Republicans significant gains in Congress. During her appearance Lerner was asked about the flow of money from corporations to 501(c)(4) groups. "Everyone is up in arms because they don’t like it" Lerner replied, adding "Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it; they want the IRS to fix the problem."

Lerner goes on to outline the fact that 501(c)(4) organizations have the right to do "an ad that says vote for Joe Blow" so long as their primary activity is social welfare. However Lerner again emphasizes the political pressure the IRS was under at the time saying, "So everybody is screaming at us right now ‘Fix it now before the election. Can’t you see how much these people are spending?’" Lerner concludes by saying she won’t know if organizations have gone too far in campaigning until she looks at their "990s next year."

In other words she was getting direct pressure from above.

Contrary to Lerner’s statement, everyone did not object to the Citizens United decision. The pushback was clearly partisan with the most high profile opponent being President Obama himself. Days after the decision, Obama used his weekly radio address to attack the ruling saying it would "open the floodgates" to special interest advertising in elections.

A few days later Obama castigated the Supreme Court during his State of the Union address. Speaking to a national audience with members of the Court in attendance Obama stated, "Last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates to special interests including foreign corporations to spend without limit in our elections."

The President’s State of the Union reference to Citizens United ended with a call for Congress to reverse the decision by law. The so-called DISCLOSE act was given strong backing by the President throughout 2010 in an attempt to stop what Democrats saw as a flood of campaign money. The White House blog describes the President "pounding his hand on his pedestal" as he advocated for the act’s passage in the summer of 2010.

All of these speeches about Citizens United were ‘dog whistles’ from Obama to his minions in the bureaucracy, like Ms. Lerner, calling on them to act.

Lerner’s statements in late 2010 demonstrate that the IRS was keenly aware of the political firestorm taking place and demands that her organization do something to stop the flow of money from corporations to political campaigns. While Lerner is unequivocal that she can do nothing about the legal political activity of 501(c)(4) groups, it is a remarkable coincidence that the extra scrutiny given applications by Tea Party and 9/12 groups, which began in March 2010, had the effect of hampering the very activity which she says "everyone" wanted the IRS to stop.

It is also noteworthy that Lois Lerner paraphrases President Obama’s framing of the issue when she says, "the Supreme Court dealt it a huge blow, overturning a hundred year old precedent that said basically corporations can give directly in political campaigns." Was she aware who was making this political argument she seems to have adopted wholesale? …

She got the message from Obama, loud and clear.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, August 13th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Lerner Was Told: Fix The Problem Before Elections”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Live by the tech, die by the tech.

    (apologies to Matt 26:52)

    Technology is the passionate sweet lover Power-Mad types use to surveil and control the Little People. But when it catches them in a testicle grabbing goat fest, well … heh heh …

    Just remember Progressives and Dems. All this you’ve set in motion will one day turn on you.

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