Former Democratic congressman and Cincinnati Mayor Tom Luken said his city has been besmirched, unfairly, as a result of reports the IRS field office there targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny from 2010 to 2012.
“The Cincinnati area is being portrayed as a hotbed of rogue, corrupt IRS employees. We are fed up with this constant refrain, which has been picked up by the media blaming the scandal on local IRS workers. We believe the problem originated in Washington,” he co-wrote with the Hamilton County auditor in an op-ed published this week on Cincinnati.com.
The IRS scandal has roiled Washington for weeks, after an inspector general at the Treasury concluded that members of the agency’s branch on tax-exempt organizations improperly singled out groups with terms like “tea party” or “Patriot” in their names for additional scrutiny before processing their requests for special status.
Officials and observers have debated whether the problems stemmed from rogue actions among field office employees in Cincinnati or if the order came from higher-ups at the IRS. House Republicans have suggested the directive may have come from the White House.
Mr. Luken noted he and his co-author, Dusty Rhodes, “have proudly run on the Democratic ticket countless times.”
“This is not a partisan issue,” they wrote. “We encourage Congress to press on with a full and complete investigation of the IRS. We expect the result put the blame squarely where it belongs, and in so doing clear Cincinnati’s good name and reputation.”
The op-ed can be found at http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130611/EDIT02/306110161/Clear-city-s-name-in-IRS-scandal.