Not any scandal; the IRS was doing its job

What scandal? The IRS was just doing its job, trying to determine if the tea party was a tax-exempt social welfare organization, as it was claiming; or if it was, in fact, a political party, not eligible for such exemptions.

If you believe the tea party is not a political party, please contact me -- I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I'd like to sell you.

Robert E. Turner

Castro Valley

Number of scandals shows lost focus

I believe there was, and still is, various serious misconduct and incompetence by the Obama administration in the IRS scandal, plus the various other scandals.

Examples: Benghazi-gate, Fast and Furious Gate, Obamacare (passed behind closed doors by Democrats only), and now this blatant violation of the First Amendment. This can only occur when an unqualified person lacks executive, governing and management experience, has no knowledge of the word "compromise" and is dependent on his crony advisers in the same category.

He is a great talker, but a poor achiever. The Elmer Gentry of the 21st century. That is why no leadership, lost focus.

Rudolph M. Jimenez

Newark

Actions had impact on fundraising

The IRS, which reports to the executive branch of government, is supposed to be nonpolitical. Yet, it was deciding who should get tax-exempt status based on political beliefs.


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It allowed conservative political groups' applications for tax-exempt status to languish for months, while approving liberal political groups' applications in a rapid manner.

This, naturally, had an effect on the fundraising abilities of conservative groups during an election year.

In listening to the congressional hearings about the IRS scandal, the top executives in charge of the IRS -- amazingly enough -- didn't seem to know anything. This is pretty scary, considering that the IRS is going to play a major role in the implementation of Obamacare when it goes into effect in January.

The president made a big show about accepting the resignation of the head of the IRS as the scandal unfolded, but he was scheduled to leave in June, anyway.

Dorothy K. Baker

Newark

It is clear that there was misconduct

Definitive misconduct, but not just by a vague culprit like "the Obama administration." Let's speak clearly: It's Barack Obama who benefitted by it and there's no doubt that he was well aware of the criminal activity at the IRS.

According to most of the media, it's all the Republicans' fault. It's the Republicans' fault that the IRS carried out discriminatory scrutiny on organizations with "tea party" or "patriots" in their names who applied for tax-exempt status.

Oh, yes. The Obama administration got rid of the interim IRS chief after the agency made sure to block those organizations from helping the Republicans in the 2012 election -- that's what "interim" chiefs are for.

Leo T. West

San Leandro

History of IRS misconduct

Houston's Catherine Engelbrecht sought tax-exempt status in 2010 for King Street Patriots and True the Vote. The latter citizen group, already successful in documenting voter fraud, also promotes voter ID laws.

Within months, Engelbrecht, her husband, and their business were repeatedly and aggressively targeted by the IRS -- and also by the FBI, ATF and OSHA.

All four are executive-branch federal agencies, controlled ultimately by the president, though when they behave like thugs, President Obama pretends they are "independent."

Frank Vandersloot, a rags-to-riches U.S. Chamber of Commerce director, served as Mitt Romney's campaign-finance co-chairman. In April 2012, www.barackobama.com libeled Vandersloot and seven other Romney donors. Then the IRS came knocking with two audits. Obama's Labor Department harassed him as well.

Vandersloot was perhaps the first to expose selective, D.C.-directed IRS targeting of conservative entities. Hundreds of them were ultimately intimidated and sidetracked during Obama's deceitful re-election campaign.

Lois Lerner, the IRS Exempt Organizations Division director now on administrative leave, pleaded the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering questions. IRS-targeted taxpayers don't get to do that.

Sharon Mapes

Danville

IRS was wrong, but nonprofit status a joke

The IRS should not be targeting select groups, but why is no one outraged that these political groups get a nonprofit, tax-exempt status?

Their entire mission is to get a politician elected. Where is the nonprofit in this?

Michael Langsdorf

Oakland

IRS was checking for tax cheats

I don't believe the Obama White House was involved in the IRS "scandal."

After the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling that corporations have the rights of citizens to donate to political causes unabated, thousands of political groups sought 501(c)4 status, which is reserved for social-cause nonprofits.

The advantage of a 501(c)4 is that donors can remain anonymous. So, corporations donated millions to support right-wing causes, and nobody knew about it.

The IRS was overwhelmed and handled it by using a shorthand to qualify groups. If they were tea party or Patriot organizations, the IRS asked them to fill out forms to justify their request for tax-exempt status.

Many were ripping off taxpayers by not paying taxes on their political activities. These groups perform little or no social or community service work, yet were all eventually approved.

I think it's wrong to avoid millions of dollars in taxes, while secretly supporting political causes. I feel the IRS decided to slow down the process in order to determine if there were any tax cheats applying. There were, but thanks to today's political climate, they are the ones crying foul, while we are the ones getting ripped off.

Sam Van Zandt

Walnut Creek

IRS scandal no big deal in the scheme of things

Sadly, in the context of today's norms, the current accusations against the IRS of targeting conservative groups are no big deal.

We already know Washington is listening in everywhere and reviewing our emails and credit card purchases.

We see that corrupt officials who headed major financial organizations, such as MF Global, and stole billions from thousands of customers, walk without even a slap on the wrist after congressional hearings.

We've all "learned" that anyone who talks about the importance of the Constitution, individual responsibility, the meaning of freedom, disingenuous rhetoric on government transparency, or return to a sound monetary system has to be some kind of strange eccentric or crazy.

So, what's the big deal with the IRS? Unless, of course, it prompts a few citizens to think for themselves and realize where our country is headed.

Chris Kniel

Orinda