- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Tea partyers rally at Capitol, blame White House for IRS mess
Question of the Day
Thousands of activists rallied outside the Capitol on Wednesday to protest the IRS targeting of conservative and tea party groups, with many of the event’s speakers laying the blame for the fiasco squarely at the White House.
The “Audit the IRS” rally, organized by the Tea Party Patriots organization in response to the agency’s improper scrutiny of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, drew members and leaders of tea party groups across the country, radio personality Glenn Beck and the Senate’s tea party trio: Republicans Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas.
“When Richard Nixon tried to use the IRS to target his political enemies, it was wrong,” Mr. Cruz said. “And when the Obama administration does it, it’s still wrong.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Kansas Republican, said the two presidents have become so intertwined in his mind that he thinks of Mr. Obama as “President O’Nixon.”
Ken Hoagland, chairman of Restore America’s Voice PAC, accused former White House counsel Bob Bauer of sending “memo after memo to the Justice Department, to the IRS and other interested parties urging them to go after law-abiding citizens who wanted to end voter fraud [and] exercise their rights to stop an out-of-control government. This abuse of Americans was directed by Washington at the very highest levels of the Obama administration and campaign.”
The sentiment permeated throughout the crowd, peppered with “Don’t Tread on Me” Gadsden flags, Colonial American garb, and one suggestive sign, complete with two round balls, apparently questioning the manliness of House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, who often draws the ire of staunch conservatives.
“I hate what our government is doing right now. I don’t like what they’re doing with the IRS, I don’t like what they’re doing with the [National Security Agency], I don’t like what they’re doing with Homeland Security, and definitely with the Justice Department, any of what’s going on,” said Gladys Torres, a retired retail store worker from Long Island, N.Y.
“I feel like we’re living in Nazi Germany. I believe this administration is using all these agencies against the people they don’t agree with politically. And I think that is totally un-American,” she said.
‘We will get answers’
Even Rep. Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican who has largely stayed out of the partisan fray over the IRS targeting that has engulfed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, promised the crowd in short remarks that “we will get answers.” Mr. Camp’s Ways and Means Committee is conducting a joint investigation with the oversight committee.
Oversight Chairman Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, and ranking member Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat, have been waging a back-and-forth battle over transcripts of interviews from witnesses in the investigation.
Excerpts of testimony have revealed involvement of the agency’s Washington office that appears to contradict early IRS claims that the improper scrutiny was confined to a few employees of the Cincinnati office.
“A worker in Cincinnati was quoted as saying we don’t do anything without direction,” said Mr. Camp, who did not mention Mr. Obama or the White House.
But Mr. Cummings, to the consternation of Mr. Issa, released the entire transcript this week of an interview with John Shafer, a Cincinnati employee and self-described “conservative Republican,” who said the issue for him began when an employee in Cincinnati, not Washington, flagged an application that appeared like it could be a “high-profile” case, so Mr. Shafer forwarded it.
Mr. Shafer said his team was not influenced by political motivations and that he had no reason to believe the White House was involved at all.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Wilder, Cuccinelli may be called as witnesses in McDonnell trial
- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's trial to test definitions of political corruption
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Mich. congressman returns Commerce award after group endorses opponent
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: 'Playing defense on the one-yard line'
Latest Blog Entries
- Dick Cheney: Hillary Clinton 'clearly bears responsibility' on Benghazi
- Holder vows to press ahead on gun control fight
- Seven of 10 prefer that Obama work with Congress, not go around it: Poll
- Schumer: Tea party hasn't let Obama put his policies into effect
- GOP official: Black not running for Wolf's House seat
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- D.C. plans to seek stay of order striking down ban on handguns in public
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq