• Leader of targeted Tea Party group ‘pissed off’ by IRS’s questioning, calls it a ‘fishing expedition’

    Top Line

    Susan McLaughlin knows first-hand what it’s like to be targeted by the IRS. Her Tea Party group in Liberty Township, Ohio was among those subjected to intense questioning after applying for tax-exempt status.

    McLaughlin tells Top Line, “it just pisses you off” to be questioned by the IRS in such detail.

    “It's intrusive; it is clearly a fishing expedition,” McLaughlin says.

    McLaughlin reads aloud a question from a seven-page-long letter The Liberty Township Tea Party received from the IRS’s Cincinnati office. “’List each past and present board member, officer, key employee and members of their family,’ and then it says, ‘have they served on the board of another organization?’”

    “Well, what does that mean?” McLaughlin asks of the IRS’s question.

    McLaughlin’s Tea Party group happens to be in Speaker of the House John Boehner’s district. She says they did make the Speaker’s office aware of the questions they received IRS at the time—feeling they were “onerous and out of line”—but

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  • BOTTOM LINE

    Controversy has been the word this week Washington as the White House has grappled with the fallout from Benghazi, the IRS scandal and the Justice Department seizing phone records of journalists at the Associated Press. On Wednesday President Obama announced that the head of the IRS had been fired, and the administration released a series of emails about the Benghazi situation, all while Attorney General Eric Holder was taking questions on that AP leak investigation up on Capitol Hill. The abundance of activity in Washington has prompted a lot questions.

    Daniel Bonomini wanted to know: Can the IRS act on its own w/o directive from the executive branch?

    Carol Livingston tweeted: Firing the IRS commissioner does not end it… need to hear from him what or who gave his agency the idea to target the groups.

    And Patrick wrote in on Yahoo answers: As far as the Benghazi stuff, and IRS stuff go, that's not really anything new. I'm more concerned about the phone taps. When did that

    Read More »from Sorting through the scandals: What’s at stake for the IRS, DOJ and the White House
  • Chairman leading Friday showdown on Hill: There’s a ‘culture of rot’ at IRS

    The Fine Print

    One of the lawmakers leading the search for answers in the IRS investigation into how Tea Party groups were treated is Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee.

    He tells The Fine Print “there's a culture of rot going on at the IRS” and that “heads will roll” as his subcommittee prepares for the first Congressional hearing on the matter Friday.

    Boustany characterizes the new Inspector General’s report, which reveals that the IRS began targeting these conservative political groups as early as 2010, as “very disturbing.”

    “At the very least it's ineffective management,” Boustany says. “We know some egregious abuses occurred at the IRS and whether it's ineffective management, negligence, or deliberate political egregious violations of First Amendment rights for political purposes, we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”

    Boustany started investigating possible targeting of conservative groups by the IRS two years ago after he

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