DOWNSIDE LEGACY AT TWO DEGREES OF PRESIDENT CLINTON
SECTION: IRS AUDITS AND TAX EXEMPT STATUS
TAX EXEMPT STATUS
Paula and Stephen Jones
Billy Dale (Travel Office)
Western Journalism Center (Joseph Farah)
Citizens for a Sound Economy
Manufacturing Policy Project (Pat Choate)
American Life League
Christian Film and Television Commission
National Rifle Association
National Center for Public Policy Research
American Policy Center
American Cause (Pat Buchanan)
Citizens Against Government Waste
Citizens for Honest Government
Freedom Alliance (Oliver North)
Progress and Freedom Foundation (Newt Gingrich)
Council for National Policy
Concerned Women for America
Center for Bioethical Reform
Free Congress Foundation (warning?)
Fortress America (warning?)
Capitol Resource Institute, Sacramento, California
Center for the Study of Popular Culture (David Horowitz/head Drudge Defense Fund)
Peoples Network Inc. (Chuck Harder)
Abraham Lincoln Opportunity Foundation (defunct, still being audited) (Newt Gingrich)
GOPAC (Newt Gingrich)
H. H. Callaway Foundation (Newt Gingrich)
Kennesaw State University, Georgia (Newt Gingrich)
Reinhardt College, Georgia (Newt Gingrich)
Bruce Bate (National Religious Broadcasters)
Margie Gray (critical e-mail)
Christopher Emery (fired usher)
Patricia and Glenn Mendoza (shouted remark/Chicago)
Kent Masterson Brown (attorney for Association of American Physicians and Surgeons)
Walter Gazecki (edited documentary "Waco, the Rules of Engagement")
Shelly Davis (whistleblower; author of "Unbridled Power")
Joseph Farah (World Net Daily)
David Horowitz, head of Drudge Defense fund
Chuck Harder (People's Network Inc.)
Chuck Lee (talk show)
David Bresnahan (talk show)
George Putnam (talk show)
Grant Gillam (internet)
Landmark Legal Foundation 10/5/98 "Landmark Legal Foundation has won a significant victory in federal court in the first round of its lawsuit to uncover politically motivated audits by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Federal District Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. issued a summary judgment ruling for Landmark rejecting the IRS's attempt to force the nonprofit foundation to pay the IRS's expenses in searching for information about the IRS's tax audits of numerous conservative and libertarian organizations. "The IRS attempted to block Landmark's access to public information about the agency's audits of several conservative and libertarian public interest groups by demanding tens of thousands of dollars to search IRS files," explained Landmark President Mark R. Levin. "The purpose of this demand was to derail Landmark's nearly two-year effort to get to the bottom of the IRS's seemingly political and partisan audits." Landmark filed its FOIA lawsuit in June, 1997, after the IRS refused to respond to the Foundation's original FOIA request in January, 1997. Waivers of FOIA processing fees are normally granted by federal agencies as a matter of course to 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations such as Landmark. "This is an extraordinary legal victory - a rare defeat for the IRS. I'm now looking forward to the court addressing the real issues of our suit," explained Levin. "Hopefully, the court will finally order the IRS to turn over all documents showing any politically motivated requests for audits of conservative and libertarian nonprofit organizations." "
The Washington Times 10/19/98 Robert Stacy McCain ".As an example of the left's power, Mr. Horowitz said that when he was identified by the Wall Street Journal as a leader of an effort to defend Internet gossip columnist Matt Drudge against a libel suit brought by White House adviser Sidney Blumenthal, "within five days, I was notified that I was being audited by the IRS." ."
NY Post Tracy Conner ".An actress who says she had a long-ago fling with President Clinton came under IRS scrutiny just weeks after a warning that she could be audited if she didn't keep quiet, her lawyer says. Elizabeth Ward Gracen, star of the "Highlander" TV series, has been deluged with dozens of letters from the tax man - claiming she didn't file returns and threatening to seize her wages and property. Gracen, a former Miss America who says she had sex with Clinton in 1983, isn't the first woman linked to the president to interest the IRS. Paula Jones, who settled her sex-harassment lawsuit against him last year, was audited after she rejected a deal with Clinton - and the Treasury Department is investigating why the IRS got involved. Filming her TV show in Europe, Gracen refused to talk about her situation, but one of her lawyers contacted by The Post said the IRS is on her case for no good reason..The threat of an IRS probe came from the same anonymous caller who once warned Gracen she was about to get a subpoena and should get out of town, Vento said. The former beauty queen has no idea who the caller was, but her lawyer said the list of people with a motive is a short one.."
UPI 1/13/99 ".The TV actress who claims she had an affair with President Clinton in 1983 has reportedly become the subject of an Internal Revenue Service investigation just weeks after she was warned she could be audited if she didn't keep her mouth shut about her alleged dalliance with Clinton. According to the New York Post, ``Highlander'' star Elizabeth Ward Gracen has been deluged with dozens of letters from the IRS claiming she didn't file returns and threatening to seize her wages and property..The Post says she received an anonymous phone call warning her that if she didn't keep quiet about her relationship with Clinton, she would be audited by the IRS.."
1/13/99 Rush Limbaugh by Freeper Goldi-Lox ".Radio commentator Rush Limbaugh discussed today how Ms. Gracen was threatened by an anonymous phone caller to keep her mouth shut about Clinton, or expect an IRS problem. Three weeks later, the IRS letters started coming... to her mother's house...not anywhere in her IRS files.."
Drudge Report 1/31/99 ". MORRIS: When I was called by the House Judiciary Committee just last weekend to testify or to meet with them I met with 3 investigators of the committee. They asked me not to use their names and I won't but they were each 50 years of age or over, they weren't kids. They had decades of experience working for the IRS, the FBI, and all kinds of other investigative organizations; they told me that they were physically afraid of retaliation. They asked me if I would testify DRUDGE: The ones questioning you were afraid?! MORRIS: Exactly, they asked me if I would testify and I said yea. And they said aren't you afraid of retaliation? And I said what are they going to expose, my sex life? You know we have done all that. I've taken the trouble to not sin since then. And they said no, no. I mean don't you know the list of the 25 people who have died in mysterious circumstances in connection with this investigation? And I said are you guys out of your minds? And they said no, no. And one of them said I guarantee you that each of us will have an IRS audit when this is over, he said I'm saving my receipts I know that I am going to have an audit. And I said, how does that work? And he said well the head of the IRS and Hillary are very good friends. DRUDGE: Let me get this straight, those even questioning people at this point are afraid. MORRIS: Yes. And we are not talking here about some right wing nuts, or some people who are really paranoid. We are talking about guys who have spent 20 or 30 years as top level investigators for the IRS and the FBI who have retired and are now on leave and brought back by the Judiciary Committee and they specifically asked me not to mention their names on the air.."
WorldNetDaily 3/25/99 Stephan Archer "…Landmark Legal Foundation, a public-interest law firm, received 8,379 pages of documents from the Internal Revenue Service yesterday in answer to the law firm's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the agency, but an early analysis of the documents indicates that large portions of the documents had been blacked out. "Our preliminary examination of the 8,379 pages shows us that -- as best as we can tell -- all pertinent information has been blacked out," said Mark R. Levin, Landmark's president. The "pertinent information" that Levin is referring to are the names of those individuals and groups who, during the Clinton administration, may have encouraged the IRS to audit nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations, or 501 (c) (3)s, critical of White House policies. Levin and his group are trying to determine whether the audits of these types of organizations were politically motivated…."
WorldNetDaily.Com 3/29/99 Joseph Farah Freeper E Pluribus Unum "…...there is one news organization -- and one news organization only -- that is challenging Clinton's abuses of power with regard to the pursuit and punishment of political enemies using all the many levers of government. That news organization is this one -- WorldNetDaily and its parent company, the Western Journalism Center. This morning, at 9 a.m., as part of that commitment, our attorney, Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch will argue today in federal court in Sacramento before U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. that our $10 million lawsuit against officials in the White House and Internal Revenue Service over the use of political audits should proceed. If we are successful at proving to a jury that our civil rights were violated in an attempt to suppress our investigations, it will be much more difficult for the remaining skeptics -- in the press and the public -- to ignore the Clinton administration's pattern of abuses and crimes. So, say a little prayer for us this morning…."
Investors' Business Daily 4/29/99 Mark Levin "...The IRS is infamous for its efforts to root out taxpayer fraud and wrongdoing - even when, no such crimes have been committed. But don't try to uncover any sins by the IRS. It'll just stonewall and, in some cases, retaliate. The Landmark Legal Foundation is giving the IRS a dose of its own medicine. And the IRS doesn't like it. We first reported Landmark's efforts to inquire into the political actions of the IRS in May 1997. At issue: The IRS has audited some 20 right-wing groups and at least a half-dozen of Clinton's critics. Why'? And who pulled the trigger? The Landmark Legal Foundation filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the IRS to see if the agency had a political vendetta against conservative groups. Since then, the IRS has thrown up every conceivable roadblock. In fact, at nearly every turn, the IRS has broken the law, failing to provide requested material to Landmark within statutory deadlines. That is, until Landmark filed suit. The group is still locked in the legal battle. The IRS has turned over some of the documents but has so censored the material and all the relevant names, the documents are nearly useless. In addition, the agency has failed to turn over e-mail and telephone records that could show that it was doing the bidding of political hit men. In short, the agency continues to balk. Land-mark has asked the court to force the issue. ....It's critical to understand that Landmark isn't asking the IRS for private tax information. It wants public documents showing correspondence between groups or individuals seeking the audits. After all, the IRS ostensibly serves the people and should yield to public scrutiny. To be sure, most agencies try to dodge the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. After all, no agency likes to disclose embarrassing information. But if the suspicions about these audits are true, the IRS needs to be challenged. If it has moved itself from a tax-law enforcement agency, where every citizen and group is equal under the law, into a minion of those in power. the threat to liberty is clear. Landmark's effort could be the most important lawsuit during the entire Clinton administration. We already know that other agencies, such as the Commerce and Energy Departments, have been used to facilitate fund raising for the Clinton-Gore campaign But Landmark's effort could show something far worse-- a White House that is willing to use the power of the state to crush political opponents and strangle public debate. IRS' power alone is such a sufficient threat to liberty that it's the duty and right of every citizen to monitor it. As the IRS hearings from 1997 revealed, the agency has twisted itself into an engine of great destructive power. And at least one of those IRS employees who testified about the agency's abuses is feeling the agency's wrath. Jennifer Long, a 16-year IRS employee with a record of strong performance ratings, has been targeted for firing. When news of the possible firing reached Congress, it was hastily suspended until the agency's top officials reviewed the matter. It's still under review. Punishing truth-tellers. Targeting political groups. These are not the actions of a government founded on the ideals of liberty and the rule of law...."
Associated Press David Pace 4/28/99 "... Inspectors identified 15 instances of unauthorized file snooping by Internal Revenue Service employees in the first year after Congress made such actions criminal, according to a General Accounting Office report released Wednesday. In all 15 instances, the employees involved either resigned or were fired, said the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress. One case is the subject of an prosecution under the law that makes IRS employees liable for $100,000 fines and a year in prison. Congress enacted the anti-snooping law in 1997 after the GAO reported that only 23 IRS workers had been fired in fiscal years 1994 and 1995 even though 1,515 cases of unauthorized tax file browsing had been identified...."
Investor's Business Daily 6/2/99 Editorial "...The Landmark Legal Foundation's battle to get the IRS to comply with the Freedom of Information Act has taken a new twist..... The IRS turned over more than 9,000 documents. But most of the relevant information was censored. Names and almost whole pages were blacked out. Also, the IRS didn't turn over any e-mail or telephone records - even though they were requested. Landmark has asked the IRS to explain the legal reasons for withholding information - a so-called Vaughn index. But the IRS balks at even this request....The agency maintains that there is no reason it should have to produce a Vaughn index. It says that the job is too tough and that a one-page letter attached to the documents explains everything. But there is good reason to doubt what the IRS says. For instance, it's impossible to make sense of what rules the IRS used. At times the documents show the names of lawmakers, at other times names are censored. We think there is another reason the IRS opposes the Vaughn request. Without the index it is impossible to find out if the IRS is complying with the law..... Given the poor paper record the IRS has produced, Landmark says it needs to depose Hallihan for three reasons. Hallihan is a senior IRS manager. She would know why Landmark's FOIA requests were handled with such contempt. Hallihan also knows the agency's policies on third-party contacts that urge audits or investigations. Interestingly, Landmark will only give its third reason before the judge without the IRS present. Landmark says it has asked for the special hearing to protect certain federal employees and preserve its trial strategy...."
Judicial Watch 6/15/99 Larry Klayman and Monty Warner "...."The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce," a 331-page manifesto and brainchild of Associate White House Counsel Jane Sherburne and the DNC, was circulated to select reporters in a tortured effort to describe how the "right wing" conveyed "fringe" stories into the mainstream American media. In essence, this document was an effort to "alert" friendly journalists that such a "conspiracy" was being promulgated by certain groups dissatisfied with the moral lapses of the Clinton White House. In short, it was a 1990's enemies list...... In December of 1994, Associate White House Counsel Sherburne prepared a memorandum that outlined strategies to use against individuals and organizations perceived to be adversaries of the Clinton Administration. The memo also assigned staff members to carry out these strategies - and specifically identified the Western Journalism Center for having investigated Foster's death. WJC was the only news organization targeted for action...."
Judicial Watch 6/15/99 Larry Klayman and Monty Warner "....In July 1996, after absorbing months of swirling rumors of a pending audit, Joe Farah answered a knock on his door at the Western Journalism Center. Thomas Cedarquist, an IRS official and one of the chief defendants in Judicial Watch's lawsuit on behalf of WJC, strode in and announced that, having seen the WJC's work on "60 Minutes," he had arbitrarily decided (as this Administration does) that WJC was a political and not a non- profit organization. Cedarquist then confirmed he and others in Washington were going to challenge WJC's tax-exempt status and audit their 1995 tax returns..... Regrettably, our sensibilities to this end would be quickly overwhelmed when we saw - as Joseph Farah did - that the search Cedarquist and the IRS were conducting was not for financial reasons, rather to review the content of WJC's work. Farah was asked about his affiliation with Christopher Ruddy, a thorn in the side of the Administration, and why WJC chose to work with him. Nearly every query posed to Farah was related to a story or developing story concerning the White House - an IRS search completely devoid of concern for money. Rightfully exasperated, Farah questioned the tactics of the agency and received the following rejoinder from Cedarquist: "Look, this is a political case, and the decision will be made at the national level." Taxpayers Bill of Rights? Over the course of the investigation of WJC, nearly 20 other conservative organizations - including the Heritage Foundation, NRA and Citizens Against Government Waste - felt the close, warm touch of the Clinton audit machine. Ironically, all of these groups happened to take issue with its policies and political hatchet work. Even more oddly, the media who knew of the "Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce" never saw any pattern developing that would signify an orchestrated White House effort - much less actually troubled themselves to report it. Meanwhile, the Western Journalism Center's offices were being broken into, with, mysteriously, nothing stolen. Their phone messages were apparently being monitored, and some of these developments happened to coincide with WJC breakthroughs in Clinton investigations....The scrutiny of the WJC by the IRS lasted 9 months. During this time the Center almost went bankrupt. One donor called Mr. Farah and told him that Hazel O'Leary, then the Energy Secretary, had related to him that he would lose his federal contracts if he continued to support the Western Journalism Center. WJC employees lost their jobs and livelihoods...."
Judicial Watch 6/15/99 Larry Klayman and Monty Warner "....Finally in October of 1996, Farah exposed these corrupt practices in a piece in The Wall Street Journal, and the tide began to turn. Margret Milner-Richardson, IRS Commissioner and close friend of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, abruptly resigned. The New York Post attributed her departure to political audits of conservative organizations. Some began to probe these rampant abuses, and the audit of the Western Journalism Center was "concluded" - a verdict of "no wrongdoing" rendered in May of 1997. Under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights enacted by Congress, Farah requested his case file from the IRS so he could review its contents. In keeping with the Clinton Administration standard practice, these rights were trampled on with a terse refusal to turn over the documents - the IRS frivolously citing "government privilege" as a means of keeping Mr. Farah from seeing justification for what had nearly bankrupted his organization. But Farah would not be deterred. On behalf of WJC, Judicial Watch, a public interest watchdog group, filed a $10 million lawsuit against Ms. Richardson, Mr. Cedarquist, numerous unidentified agents involved in the case and the IRS itself. We are determined to ensure that Mr. Farah sees justice in this case, and that every American is free to express his or her First Amendment-protected views without vicious, detached harassment from its own government...."
Investor's Business Daily 7/1/99 "...Just how sinister is the Internal Revenue Service? Thanks to the latest twist in the Landmark Legal Foundation's lawsuit against the agency, we have a better understanding of how bad things are there. Political corruption is just the beginning. According to a new filing, Landmark Legal Foundation has uncovered deeply troubling evidence that the IRS may have deliberately sought to cover up and destroy evidence of third-person requests to target, audit and threaten private groups and citizens -most of whom were conservative or critics of the Clinton administration...In the midst of Landmark's court battles, a ''long-term government employee'' came forward with explosive evidence from an IRS regional meeting: The IRS may be doing political dirty work for certain members of Congress and others on the left. Terry Hallihan, acting head of the nonprofit division of the IRS, speaking to the Regional Coordinated Examination Program managers' meeting on Oct. 9, 1997, made some alarming statements, say Landmark documents: First, Hallihan ''indicated that perhaps a Justice Department attorney should leave before her remarks.'' Second, she addressed ''IRS policy on 'intake notes' '' - third-person requests to audit private groups and citizens. Third, she ''noted that the IRS was trying to deal with intake notes from members of Congress and their staff members in such a way as to conceal the source of the request.'' One way to protect the IRS' friends in Congress was to ask if the tip could be blamed on a media story instead. Fourth, Hallihan said she ''was aware that intake notes relating to tips from congressmen or staffers had been or were being shredded by IRS employees.'' In other words, if it's true the IRS was destroying evidence, then it's guilty of a federal crime. This is exactly what we suspected the IRS was hiding when it began to fight tooth and nail in 1997. The IRS has an audiotape recording of Hallihan's remarks, but - no surprise - the tape hasn't found its way into the public record. Judge Henry H. Kennedy has all this information in hand. Yet he's moved at a snail's pace, despite deliberate IRS efforts to thwart the inquiry. Why? The Clinton appointee hasn't explained his actions yet...."
WorldNetDaily.com Stephan Archer "…Landmark President Mark Levin informed WorldNetDaily that his group has mounting evidence that the IRS has been obstructing information regarding the names of congressional members who are requesting audit information on tax-exempt, non-profit organizations, particularly those of a more conservative or libertarian bent. In the lawsuit itself, Landmark has been trying to obtain all pertinent information involving the names of individuals and groups who, during the Clinton administration, may have prompted the IRS to audit conservative and libertarian tax-exempt groups. Last March, Landmark Legal received 8,379 pages of documents from the IRS in response to the FOIA request, but large portions of the documents wereblacked out. ….Although Levin said there is nothing illegal about asking the IRS to audit a tax-exempt organization, deliberately obstructing public information regarding who requested the audit is a crime. "If you're destroying public documents that are the subject of litigation, that's unlawful," said Levin…."
WorldNetDaily.com Stephan Archer "…Levin said he first got a hold of this information when his organization interviewed a "senior grade" government official who did not want to be identified. This "whistleblower," as Levin called the government official, was in attendance at an October 1997 IRS meeting at which Terry Hallihan, a senior manager for the tax-exempt organization division of the IRS, spoke. According to the "whistleblower," Hallihan made some interesting statements at that meeting. What was said, however, is not entirely known. However, she allegedly indicated that perhaps a Justice Department attorney in attendance leave the meeting before she spoke. No one left. According to information Levin got from his contact, Hallihan addressed IRS policies regarding certain IRS forms on which "intake notes" are kept. "Intake notes," Levin explained, are "notes taken by IRS employees in response to requests by third parties for audits of tax-exempt, non-profit groups." These "intake notes" were allegedly handled in a way that was intended to conceal the source of the audit request. "She (Hallihan) evidently said, according to the person we interviewed who was in attendance (at the meeting), that if a congressman or staffer called, the IRS was to ask the congressman or the staffer where the information came from -- like a TV or a radio report or constituents or a news article or whatever -- so that the IRS could then list as the source of the information something other than the congressman or the staffer," Levin said. Levin added he was told Hallihan was aware some of these "intake notes" had been, or were being, shredded by the IRS…."
Wall St. Journal 7/20/99 "…In its own suit seeking to depose IRS officer Terry Hallihan, Landmark Legal Foundation quotes a government official who was at an IRS meeting in San Francisco, where he alleges that Ms. Hallihan said she was aware that documents identifying the names of members of Congress and their staffers as the source of audit requests had been, or were being, shredded--and then went on to suggest ways to disguise future requests so that they did not appear to be coming from Congressmen. At the same time, a similar FOIA suit by one of the targets of these audits--Joseph Farah's Western Journalism Center--has turned up a Treasury Department report that states the audit began with a letter forwarded from the White House to the IRS. Note what we have here. To begin with, two specific accusations of political manipulation of the IRS, both with strong evidence. And in both cases an IRS fighting tooth and nail to prevent the real story, whatever it may be, from emerging. In Mr. Farah's case the Treasury Report, titled "Questionable Exempt Organization Examination Activity," came three years after he first filed suit for his IRS case file. Ditto for Landmark, which has yet to receive a direct answer to the simple question it first asked back in 1997: Who are the people who requested audits of tax-exempt organizations? We don't yet know for sure if anyone in the Clinton Administration or the IRS is targeting enemies for investigation. But we do know that many of these enemies were indeed audited…."
Judicial Watch 7/20/99 "…Just released IRS documents show that an audit of the Western Journalism Center, a non-profit, "originated" with a complaint forwarded to the IRS by the Clinton White House. The forwarded complaint had been faxed by a California resident directly to Bill Clinton. The smoking gun IRS/Department of Treasury documents were released to the Western Journalism Center last week, as a result of lawsuits brought by Judicial Watch on behalf of Western Journalism Center. Judicial Watch represents the Western Journalism Center in its cases concerning the politicized audit, which caused the Center great harm and continuing damage…. The documents note how a "Special Inquiry" by the Department of Treasury found that "the audit originated from a taxpayer who faxed a letter to the White House expressing his concern over a one-page advertisement paid for by WCJ (Western Center for Journalism) that asked for contributions to investigate (White House deputy counsel Vincent) Foster's death. The fax was forwarded to the EO (Exempt Organizations) National Office and then to the respective Key District Office for appropriate actions." Once the audit began, an IRS agent told representatives of the Western Journalism Center that the audit was "political" and that decisions on the audit were being made out of the "national office." Indeed the newly-released IRS documents show that the IRS’s national office did take an interest in the Western Journalism Center audit. The documents also call into question the sworn affidavits of IRS officials submitted in federal court recently in Judicial Watch’s lawsuit on behalf of the Western Journalism Center. "The IRS and the Clinton Justice Department told us they had turned over the entire case file on the Western Journalism Center. This was not true, as many smoking-gun documents were suppressed…."
1999 WorldNetDaily.com 7/20/99 "…A 1996 Internal Revenue Service audit of WorldNetDaily.com's non-profit parent company began with an accusatory letter forwarded to the agency from the Clinton White House, show Treasury Department documents obtained by the Internet newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act. ….. The revelations were followed quickly by the resignation of IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson, a close personal friend and political confidante of Bill and Hillary Clinton, and the launching of a congressional probe by Rep. Bill Archer, R-Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation.
WorldNet Daily 7/22/99 "...The Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department are withholding evidence crucial to a $10 million civil suit alleging the tax agency audited the Western Journalism Center at the behest of the White House in 1996, says Judicial Watch chairman Larry Klayman..... a Treasury Department report obtained by the center through a separate FOIA request shows investigators found documents in the case file not yet produced by the IRS or Justice Department. Among those documents is a letter sent from the White House to IRS officials suggesting an audit of the center was in order.... "This new evidence, clearly suppressed by the administration until after a favorable ruling by a Superior Court judge, provides the smoking gun we were hoping to find in the discovery process," said Klayman. "I am confident this new revelation demonstrating the government systematically concealed the truth will persuade the courts to permit this case to proceed to trial and give us the opportunity to expose and punish these abuses of power." ..."
WorldNet Daily 7/26/99 Joseph Farah "…An official Treasury Department report, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act after three years of such filings by the Western Journalism Center, parent company of WorldNetDaily.com, states unequivocally that the audit of the center in 1996 began with a letter forwarded to the Internal Revenue Service from the White House. This is known as the smoking gun that proves the Clinton administration was actively using the IRS as its own private political attack dog. This is the stuff of police states. This is worse than anything the Nixon administration did. This is raw-boned abuse of power…. WorldNetDaily has been hammering on this story for five consecutive business days. Only two other print sources have touched it -- the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times. Neither treated it as the serious, headline-making front-page news it is….Not only does the Treasury Department report make clear the audit initiated as a result of the letter from the White House, there has been a systematic cover-up of this fact for three years and it continues at the White House and IRS even today. Hello? Is anyone home out there? Do we now tacitly accept such authoritarian practices at the highest levels of government? Is this a case of once impeached, you're home free on any future charges? Or has the public and press become so overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of Clinton administration corruption that proof of crime no longer even matters? …"
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/ 7/26/99 Stephan Archer Sarah Foster "…The Internal Revenue Service and the White House have formally declined to comment on a tax audit of Western Journalism Center, WorldNetDaily.com's non-profit parent company, after Treasury Department documents, obtained by the Internet newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that an accusatory letter faxed to the IRS from the White House initiated the audit….. One IRS spokesman did comment briefly on the case to a staff writer for the Washington Times. "We do get comment from the public and sometimes the comments we get from public sources are an issue in deciding whether to commence an audit of an exempt organization," said Steve Pyrek. In response, Larry Klayman, whose Judicial Watch has filed two lawsuits on behalf of Western Journalism Center's case against the IRS and White House, said the practice, whether routine or not, should be stopped. "You have tremendous power when you get something from the White House and a bureaucrat has to act on it," said Klayman. "The White House has no business forwarding it. It has a conflict of interest and would inflict undue influence on the IRS. It's like an official stamp to start an audit." …"
World Net Daily 8/4/99 Stephan Archer "...Although it could very well be the most flagrant abuse of power the nation has seen since Nixon, Congress has remained silent. The abuse of power being referred to is the Internal Revenue Service's 1996 audit of the Western Journalism Center, parent company of WorldNetDaily. Political motivations behind the audit were alleged by the center's founder, Joseph Farah, when the IRS agent in charge of the audit, Thomas Cederquist, said the case was a "political case" and "the decisions were being made at the national level.".... WorldNetDaily, in attempting to get a reaction from Congress, has made repeated calls to numerous members of Congress but has had little success in getting even the smallest comment from any of them. Most of the congressmen didn't even know Western Journalism Center had been the target of a politically motivated audit. Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., explained to WorldNetDaily a possible reason for Congress' lack of response on the issue may have had to do with the fact that on July 20, the very day both WorldNetDaily and the Wall Street Journal broke the story, Congress was "riveted on passing a tax bill." "I think that drowned out everything else," Doolittle said. "I really think that's the lion's share of the explanation as to why I suspect most people weren't even aware of it." ...."
WorldNetDaily.com 8/24/99 "…Congress may be ignoring the legal questions of the 1996 politically motivated audit of Western Journalism Center, parent company of WorldNetDaily, and other organizations critical of the administration in an attempt to avoid a confrontation with the White House, according to one outspoken congressional aide. "The current Congress doesn't seem to want to tackle any issue that is going to put it in a head-to-head match with the administration," said Tom Lizardo, chief of staff to Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. "What it comes down to is there is absolutely no will by 218 or more members of this Congress to get into a fight with this administration." Although Lizardo mentioned that 218 or more members -- some of which would have to be Republican -- would not want to face off with the White House, he added he didn't want to imply the Republican Congress doesn't want to get into an argument with the White House. "There are certainly more Republican members who would be willing to stand up to the administration than there are Democratic members, but when you put them together, I don't think it comes anywhere close to a majority," Lizardo said…… "What about the Christian Coalition?" asked Lizardo who was commenting how the IRS turned down Christian Coalition for tax-exempt status. "What just happened to them? On the technical law, were the IRS actions technically correct? That's a good avoidance of the real issue. How many churches go out and participate in politics but tend to be Democratic? What happens to them? Do they get audited by the IRS? Do they lose their (non-profit) status? Do they get treated the way the Christian Coalition or the Western Journalism Center (get treated)?" ….. "The notion of an IRS is a corrupt notion which leads to a centralized government, which leads to abuse of power, and that's what we try to spend our time talking about rather than saying 'save this one entity' because you know what? If suddenly, we raise enough heck and they decide to back off one audit, you might say the problem's over. We wouldn't," Lizardo said….."
WorldNet Daily 8/24/99 Joseph Farah "…The American system of government checks and balances is dead. It's no longer relevant. It's a sham. That's the only conclusion I can draw from the latest outrage discovered by WorldNetDaily last week with regard to all of Congress' huffing and puffing last year about the abusive nature of the Internal Revenue Service. The centerpiece of a legislative effort to address the problems Congress revealed in dramatic testimony featuring cloaked, anonymous witnesses and emotionally gripping horror stories was a requirement for President Clinton to appoint an "independent" Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board by Jan. 22, 1999. Not only did Clinton not appoint an independent board, he didn't appoint ANY board. In fact, this may be the first federal jobs program Clinton has neglected since taking office. Apparently he could find no one he trusted to wink at the way his White House uses and abuses the IRS with impunity. So, he flagrantly ignored the will of Congress -- formerly known as the will of the people in these parts. Yet, is there any effort on the part of the Congress to hold the president accountable? Of course not. It's all a game. Congress no more cares about your civil liberties or reforming the IRS than the president does….. "
WorldNetDaily.com 8/27/99 Stephan Archer "…"This would be an issue that I would think would be bipartisan," says Laura Woolfrey, press secretary for Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama. "I would think that no one in either party would want to see intimidation from the government." Aderholt's spokeswoman is referring to the now three-year-old Internal Revenue Service audit of the Western Journalism Center, parent company of WorldNetDaily. If that audit was, in fact, instigated by the White House -- as WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah claims, and as recently unearthed evidence seems to prove -- then both Democrats and Republicans should rally together to fight the injustice, says Woolfrey…..Speaking of the audit against the Western Journalism Center, Woolfrey states, "This office sees it as cut and dried that it's a bad thing to do, but we're not going to make any stark judgments on anyone until we see evidence come out of the committee. But if there's evidence, we should have hearings on it." "Evidence?" echoes Western Journalism Center's founder, Joseph Farah. "We have the smoking gun, and it's still hot." …"
WorldNetDaily.com 8/31/99 Charles Smith "…Clinton's crackdown on U.S. investigative journalists is representative of his corrupt and dangerous administration. Democrats often point out that the abuse of the IRS by Richard Nixon was his final transgression. Clinton has already shown he is willing to abuse the press with his presidential powers, including the IRS audit of the Western Journalism Center. Yet, none of the so-called defenders of the press have leapt to the rescue. Henry Waxman and the Democrats now stand accused of helping the cover-up by confessed PLA bagman Johnny Chung. The Republicans, stung by the Starr investigation of Monica, are not about to go up against the Clinton machine again. CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post all remain strangely silent about the events slowly unfolding behind the White House orders to intimidate and cow journalists with the powers of the U.S. government. The facts speak volumes that all the spin-masters cannot distort. The first rule of Watergate journalism is "follow the MONEY." Obviously, there was enough money for PLA "Swiss" bank accounts. What of the allegations that Ron Brown and Vince Foster also had off-shore bank accounts? Does Hillary Clinton or Vice President Gore have a Swiss bank account stuffed with illegal bribes spun by foreign investors? You can be sure that ABC, CBS, and NBC will not seek the answers to these questions. And you can be just as sure that this reporter will pursue the allegations and the money…."
WorldNetdaily 9/10/99 Stephan Archer "....Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., said about the WJC audit, "I believe Congress should hold hearings into (it)." He added: "There has still been no reasonable explanation offered by the Clinton administration for its decision to crack down on conservative non-profits, while turning a blind eye to liberal groups." A member of the Government Reform Committee and an assistant majority whip, Barr took further aim at the Clinton administration, charging it has politicized the executive branch as never before. He mentioned specifically the political manipulation of the Immigration and Naturalization Service that resulted in citizenship for foreign criminals, the use of confidential FBI files by White House political operatives, allegations that foreign military action may have been coordinated for political impact during the impeachment process, and the solicitation of donations from foreign sources, including communist China. Now, allegations of a politically motivated audit, said Barr, only add to the already long list of White House practices of using government agencies for any purpose it likes. "Evidence of selective IRS auditing is simply further indication the White House is more than willing to play politics with any agency of government that suits its needs, whether it is the FBI, our military, or the IRS," said Barr...."
WorldNetdaily 9/10/99 Stephan Archer "...Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., also commented on the politically motivated audit of the center. "Unfortunately, the Clinton administration's record fully justifies the suspicions that this is politically motivated, because of their past history, such as (the scandals involving) the 900 FBI files, the travel office, the voter registration of ineligible aliens and a laundry list of failures by the Justice Department and questionable IRS enforcement actions against conservative, non-profit organizations," said Bartlett. "This pattern by the Clinton administration undermines the integrity and trust of the American people in their government," he added....."
Roll Call.com 10/21/99 Damon Chappie ".....When leading conservative nonprofit groups charged in 1997 that the Internal Revenue Service was unfairly targeting them with audits, the leaders of the Congressional tax-writing panels promised a thorough investigation to find out if the IRS was being used to attack enemies of the Clinton administration. For the first time since Watergate, the Joint Committee on Taxation was directed to probe political abuses by the IRS and the decision was cheered by conservative nonprofits and covered by newspapers across the country. But more than two years after it was supposed to be completed, the investigation remains unfinished and it may never be done, say people familiar with the work......"
NEWSMAX.COM 10/30/99 Carl Limbacher "….In an exclusive interview with Lucianne Goldberg on her Saturday afternoon radio show, key Chinagate witness Johnny Chung revealed that the Clinton IRS Department filed a tax lien against all his property just days ago. "One day after I spoke at Judicial Watch dinner, I got notice of IRS lien against my property. This is the first time I publicly talk about this." Chung told Goldberg that he closed his fax business on Friday and is currently "more than broke," explaining that his experience testifying against the Clinton administration has left him hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt…."
WorldNetDaily.com 11/4/99 Stephan Archer "…..The California Franchise Tax Board placed a lien on all property and funds belonging to former Democratic Party fund-raiser and Chinagate witness Johnny Chung just days after he publicly accused high-ranking Clinton administration and Democratic National Committee officials of accepting cash payments for political access by Chinese military and intelligence officials. The entire California government apparatus -- including the governor and both houses of the Legislature -- is controlled by Democrats. On Oct. 22, the day before Chung, in lieu of death threats, went public with his accusations at a Judicial Watch conference in Pasadena, Calif., a representative from the FTB contacted Chung's tax attorney saying his agency would not accept Chung's offer of compromise. Chung had earlier submitted an offer of compromise to the FTB because he was unable to pay all his taxes due to his $700,000 debt that had been acquired for such things as his legal fees in the ongoing Chinagate investigation….."
NEW YORK POST 11/18/99 "…Now The Associated Press has confirmed what conservative groups and this page have been talking about for years: Several tax-exempt organizations have been set upon by Internal Revenue Service auditors for what look to be blatant partisan purposes. The story comes to light after the agency was forced to reveal the targets of its audits following a suit initiated by the Landmark Legal Foundation, which fights against judicial activism in the courts. One Democratic congressman referred the Heritage Foundation (a Washington think tank) and Citizens Against Government Waste (an anti-tax group) to the IRS based on a desire for "evenhandedness." The IRS responded within two months and both groups are still defending themselves from the costly audits. The American Spectator, the conservative monthly that has been crusading against the Clintons since 1992, also found itself under the IRS telescope.
Associated Press 11/18/99 Curt Anderson "….The new Treasury Department tax inspector general plans aggressive investigations of potential misconduct by Internal Revenue Service employees, raising questions from the workers' union about unfair quotas. The inspector general, David C. Williams, has set a goal of 5,000 such misconduct investigations in the next fiscal year, according to today's editions of The New York Times. That would be about one for every 28 IRS employees and one in every nine front-line auditors and tax collectors. According to an internal e-mail from Williams obtained by The Associated Press, the focus should be on ``major cases and high-impact work'' as part of ``expressing our value to our stakeholders within Congress and the treasury.'' …."
FOX News 11/17/99 Larry Margasak AP "…The IRS admits a secretary taped over, with music, a recording sought as evidence by a group searching for examples of politically motivated audits of tax-exempt groups. The Landmark Legal Foundation, a conservative law firm that sued the tax agency, contends it has information from "a senior-grade federal government employee'' that an Internal Revenue Service official spoke of concealment and document shredding at a 1997 meeting recorded by the secretary. An IRS document in Landmark's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit also revealed that the tax agency, which can punish taxpayers for poor record-keeping, can't find some of its own files related to audits of tax-exempt organizations……"
FOX News 11/17/99 Larry Margasak AP "…"My office could not locate 114 of the 1,586 potentially responsive case files. These are files missing ... during the time period 1992-1994,'' Harold N. Toppall, an IRS manager in the exempt organizations division, stated in the court case. The lawsuit is searching for evidence that conservative, tax-exempt groups were victims of politically motivated audits after members of Congress and the White House made inquiries to the IRS. ….."
FOX News 11/17/99 Larry Margasak AP "…Citing its government source, Landmark said, "Ms. Hallihan is also reported to have said that she was aware that intake notes relating to tips from congressmen or staffers had been or were being shredded by IRS employees.'' IRS officials declined to address the allegations or allow Ms. Hallihan to be interviewed. "It is inappropriate for the IRS to comment on this particular case while the litigation is pending. We are confident the issues being raised will all be taken up and addressed during the court's consideration of the case,'' agency spokesman Steve Pyrek said…..U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. has granted Landmark the right to question Ms. Hallihan, despite IRS efforts to obtain a protective order to stop such a deposition. The deposition has been delayed while Landmark tries to obtain the disputed tape recording….."
Associated Press 11/16/99 Larry Margasak "….The Internal Revenue Service, which penalizes taxpayers for sloppy documentation, has a record-keeping problem of its own. The agency can't find 114 files related to audits of tax-exempt organizations. The IRS also says a secretary taped over a recording that is being sought as evidence in a lawsuit -- a suit that alleges agency officials may have shredded documents to conceal efforts by politicians to get groups audited….."
Capitol Hill Blue 11/16/99 "…Internal Revenue Service officials say their agents don't make politically motivated decisions to audit tax-exempt groups, but that doesn't mean tax officials are oblivious to the motivations of those requesting action…….When Rep. Owen Pickett, D-Va., wrote the agency in 1994 inquiring whether black churches had been improperly targeted by the IRS for political audits, he got a three-page response from then-IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson. The commissioner wrote that there was no targeting based on race, but she acknowledged ``not all of our field offices fully adhered to the Manual Instruction.'' ``Recent contacts were made with five churches in the Commonwealth of Virginia after media reports about apparent church actions that could jeopardize tax-exempt status,'' she said, explaining that the contacts were ``an informal and nonthreatening way'' of reminding churches of their responsibilities under tax laws….."
Judicial Watch 11/16/99 "….Associated Press has issued a story entitled "Documents Pinpoint Federal Audits" written by Larry Margasak and John Solomon. The key story in this article involves Western Journalism Center, a client of Judicial Watch, who was audited by the Clinton IRS because of its investigation of the Vince Foster death. In the course of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, Judicial Watch uncovered a letter sent by a Clinton supporter in Beverly Hills to President Bill Clinton. The letter did not request a tax audit, but simply complained about Western Journalism Center's advertising of its investigation of Foster's death. IRS documents show that the President forwarded this letter to the IRS, which triggered the audit. "Obviously, when the President forwards a letter to an executive branch agency, government bureaucrats 'answer the call and take action.' To do otherwise would be a 'poor career choice.' It is, therefore, clear that Judicial Watch has uncovered the first direct evidence that the Clinton White House has commenced IRS audits of groups critical to it. While Western Journalism Center was cleared of any charge of wrongdoing, Mr. Clinton's actions constitute a crime, since they are an unlawful abuse of government power to harm critics," stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman. Judicial Watch continues to pursue two lawsuits on behalf of the Western Journalism Center…."
AP 11/15/99 "…..Internal Revenue Service documents show that when members of Congress make a request, tax officials put a premium on being responsive. Such requests are often marked "expedite'' or "sensitive.'' Sometimes, officials even add their own political observations: A handwritten memo, referring to a request from House Ways and Means Committee chairman Bill Archer, R-Texas, made it clear that the complaint had to be handled gingerly. "This letter was so 'hot' politically that ... the final outgoing correspondence went directly out from the A/C's (assistant commissioner's) office,'' the memo said. Archer had written Sept. 4, 1996, asking the IRS whether a college course taught by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich had been singled out for an audit. …… The IRS has issued special guidelines to its employees for handling requests from Congress, urging officials around the country to "develop positive, productive, working relationships'' with lawmakers. Those guidelines note the IRS receives numerous phone calls and letters from lawmakers, and advises "the way the service handles these calls and letters collectively will be significant in determining how members of Congress view the service.'' …."
Associated Press 11/15/99 John Solomon Larry Margasak "…..Members of Congress and the White House have triggered audits of hundreds of tax-exempt groups this decade by lodging complaints with the Internal Revenue Service against their political foes. The referrals range from citizen letters and newspaper articles to personal demands for investigations, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press. The White House once referred a constituent complaint about a group that had suggested presidential lawyer Vincent Foster had been murdered. Democratic lawmakers sought investigations of conservatives ranging from the Heritage Foundation to the Rev. Jerry Falwell. And the Republican chairman of the House committee that writes tax laws sought an audit of a Buddhist temple in California after it was host for a Democratic fund-raiser featuring Vice President Al Gore……. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., an ally of the president, referred Falwell, an outspoken critic of Clinton, for investigation based on a constituent complaint in May 1993 that ``religious broadcasters are using their tax-exempt status for political purposes.'' Waxman urged the agency to keep his constituent's ``concerns in mind.'' The congressman got a speedy reply, but the IRS didn't audit Falwell. Five of his organizations had just been audited two years earlier. IRS officials insist they don't buckle under pressure….."
Judicial Watch 11/15/99 "…..An article now running on the wires of the Associated Press, entitled, "Documents Pinpoint Federal Audits," written by Larry Margasuk and John Solomon, inadvertently omits the source for its information concerning Judicial Watch's client, the Western Journalism Center. The public information and documentation about the audit of the Western Journalism Center comes from a lawsuit which Judicial Watch filed for the non-profit public interest corporation, run by Joseph Farah, an award winning journalist. …."
NewsMax.com 11/19/99 "….For years, the White House and members of Congress have been siccing the Internal Revenue Service on tax-exempt groups that are pains in the neck politically to them or their allies. That in turn led to not finding something: It seems the IRS can't lay its hands on 114 audit files that mysteriously went missing in the Clinton administration years of 1992-94. These weren't just run-of-the-mill files about audits of ordinary taxpayers. They were about IRS audits of tax-exempt organizations. What's bringing the missing files to light is a suit filed under the Freedom of Administration Act, which government agencies stoutly resist when possible. This time, it is the Landmark Legal Foundation, a conservative group, that is suing to learn how much political influence may be behind some of those audits of tax-exempt bodies. ….."
New York Post 11/18/99 "….. Now the Associated Press has confirmed what conservative groups and this page have been talking about for years: Several tax-exempt organizations have been set upon by Internal Revenue Service auditors for what look to be blatant partisan purposes. The story comes to light after the agency was forced to reveal the targets of its audits following a suit initiated by the Landmark Legal Foundation, which fights against judicial activism in the courts. One Democratic congressman referred the Heritage Foundation (a Washington think tank) and Citizens Against Government Waste (an anti-tax group) to the IRS based on a desire for "evenhandedness." The IRS responded within two months and both groups are still defending themselves from the costly audits……"
New York Post 11/19/99 Brian Blomquist "…..The IRS claims a secretary recorded music over a tape of a 1997 meeting in which document shredding was allegedly discuss - a move that evokes the mysterious 18-minute gap on one of Richard Nixon's Watergate tapes. And the tax agency still refuses to give the tape to Landmark Legal Foundation, a conservative watchdog group that wants to know about politically motivated audits. "We were told the tape was recorded over with music. When we asked if we could have the tape examined, the IRS filed a response to ask the court to stop us," said Mark Levin, president of the foundation, which claims document shredding was discussed at the meeting. …… "
The Sierra Times 2/24/00 Pastor Greg Dixon "……In the 50th anniversary year of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple, Sarah Evens Barker, Chief Judge, United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, signed an Entry MODIFYING TERMS OF STAY OF EXECUTION OF JUDGMENT PENDING APPEAL, dated February 10, which reverses a previous agreement that she made with the church and has made demands that the church cannot meet which, unless changed, will result in the selling of the church property some time after April 10, 2000. On November 10, 1999, Judge Barker signed a summary judgment order including foreclosure and sale of the property of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple. The judgment included penalties, interest, and other additions now totals approximately $6 million. The Judgment is for alleged uncollected and unpaid 941 taxes on those who minister at the church from 1987 to '93. Judge Barker had accepted the Baptist Temple's position that the property should not be vacated pending appeal. She agreed that if the property should be sold, the church would suffer irreparable harm even if it prevailed on appeal. She further agreed that the parents of the children in the church education ministry would also be harmed because they would not be able to find suitable schools for their children after the semester had been in progress for several weeks. However, she has now changed her order in apparent pressure from the Clinton/Reno Justice Department and has agreed with Federal Prosecutor Douglas Snoyenbos that new demands should be made on the church. These include the filing of monthly detailed financial reports with the court and the paying of 941 taxes on current ministries of the church into an interest bearing escrow account to be administered by the court......."
Politics Live 3/10/00 Julia Malone "…..More than three years ago, federal tax auditors began an audit of the Heritage Foundation that the research center says has cost it $200,000 in legal fees and expenses so far and generated a stack of documents 75 feet high. Citizens Against Government Waste received a similar visit from Internal Revenue Service auditors that has cost the Washington-based private watchdog group more than $50,000 without reaching a final conclusion. Across the continent a few months earlier, IRS inspectors probed the records of a third group, the non-profit Western Journalism Center. Pointing to these and about a dozen other examples, conservatives say the IRS scrutiny amounts to retaliation against some of the Clinton administration's toughest critics. An IRS spokesman denied that politics influences audit decisions. The allegation, evoking memories of President Nixon's attempts to punish his political enemies with IRS audits, will get more attention soon with the expected release of a report from Congress and a ruling from a federal judge. Three years after the Joint Tax Committee of the House and Senate was directed by congressional leaders from both parties to review the issue ``as expeditiously as possible,'' aides say the conclusions will be released in about about 10 days.........."
1-28-97. Landmark's original Freedom of Information Act Request filed with request for expedited consideration. Landmark's initial request sought a fee waiver because the agency records were sought for public education purposes and would be widely disseminated soon after their release by the IRS. The initial request sought expedited processing because of the current importance of the issue to the public, media and Congress. The IRS failed to respond within the ten day limit imposed by FOIA. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
4-11-97. IRS requests unprecedented "dissemination plan" as a condition precedent to consideration of Landmark's fee waiver request. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
6-27-97. Landmark files its original complaint pursuant to Freedom of Information Act. Case assigned to Judge Thomas Hogan. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
10-22-97. Case reassigned to Judge Henry Kennedy. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
1-21-99. Status conference before the Court. The IRS is ordered to produce documents within 60 days of docketing the order to produce information responsive to Landmark's FOIA request. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
2-5-99. IRS files its Motion to Vacate Court's Order of January 22, 1999. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
3-23-99. IRS complies with Court's February 23, 1999 Order and partially produces remaining documents under FOIA request. IRS produces some 8000 pages of documents with redactions. Additionally, the Service "determined that approximately 200-300 pages were not responsive to Landmark's request . . . ." No justification for any of the extensive redactions is provided by IRS. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
7-19-99. IRS provides Landmark with a Vaughn index and submits three sworn declarations from IRS officials. Despite being over 9,000 pages long, the Vaughn index fails to detail adequately the parameters of the search and fails to justify adequately the numerous redactions contained in the IRS document release. Further, the attached declarations fail to detail adequately the parameters of the search or justify the redactions. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
8-6-99 Status conference with Judge Kennedy.
9-2-99. Landmark requests that IRS and DOJ make reasonable efforts to; (1) preserve information, (2) locate missing files, (3) ensure that documents are being preserved. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
9-13-99 Justice Department attorneys notify Landmark that the IRS has taken steps to notify personnel in offices not searched for information responsive to Landmark's FOIA request to ensure that any potentially responsive information will be preserved. In addition, the Justice Department informs Landmark that it will not consent to the depositions of agency employees responsible for supervising and conducting the search for information responsive to Landmark's FOIA request. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
9-7-99. Landmark consults with Justice Department concerning depositions of three IRS Officials; Thomas J. Miller, Chief of Projects Branch 1, Exempt Organizations (EO) Division, Harold N. Toppall, Chief of Projects Branch 2, Exempt Organizations (EO) Division, and Donald M. Squires, Chief Branch 2, Office of the Assistant Chief Counsel. Landmark seeks these depositions to resolve questions about, among other things, the scope of the government's search for information, and the revelation that the IRS cannot locate nearly 8% of files identified as having information potentially responsive to the Foundation's FOIA request. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
9-8-99. Justice Department attorneys inform Landmark that it cannot ensure that the IRS has made reasonable efforts to preserve information, locate missing files and ensure that documents are being preserved until it has consulted with IRS officials. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
9-10-99 U.S. District Court Judge Henry Kennedy issues orders denying IRS motion for protective order allowing Landmark to depose IRS senior manager Terry Hallihan; denying IRS motion to strike Hutchison declarations; and accepting IRS Vaughn index submission. - Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service
10-28-99 Landmark files opposition to the government's Motion for Protective Order seeking to prevent the depositions IRS employees knowledgeable about the tape recording of government meeting during which Frances T. Hallihan reportedly described the destruction of evidence related to Landmark's Freedom of Information Act request and litigation.
Drudge Report 2000 3/15/00 Larry Margasak AP "……A three-year bipartisan congressional investigation found no evidence that the IRS targeted political enemies for audits but alleged Clinton administration officials twice tried to improperly obtain secret taxpayer information. One of the contacts involved an effort by staffers from Vice President Al Gore's office to obtain information about ''the status of certain forms filed by members of a tax-exempt organization,'' according to the Joint Taxation Committee's report obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. Gore's staffers first tried to get the information, which involved a union, from the Treasury Department. The department directed them to the IRS in violation of the department's rules, according to the report. ''The White House officials then, in violation of written White House policies, contacted directly several IRS employees ... and attempted to secure taxpayer return information,'' the report alleged. ……"
Drudge Report 2000 3/15/00 Larry Margasak AP "……Officials familiar with the investigation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said evidence gathered by the committee suggested Gore's staff made the inquiry because the vice president was expecting to talk to union officials. ...... The report also said that in 1995 a Treasury Department official inquired about the status of an examination of a tax-exempt organization to several IRS officials, one of whom was ''sufficiently concerned'' to report the contacts to investigators. The report did not name the officials or the group. ......"
Boston Globe 3/15/00 Larry Margasak AP "….. The report had harsh words for the administration's efforts to obtain IRS information. ''These types of contacts lend credence to the allegations that the administration does intervene in IRS matters pertaining to specific taxpayers,'' the report said. ''The fact that these contacts occurred could raise issues concerning the integrity of the system.'' The investigation by the Joint Taxation Committee was begun in 1997 after several conservative tax-exempt groups questioned whether they had been audited by the IRS because of their opposition to the Clinton administration. …….. The committee found that members of Congress and their staffs ''have the potential to influence'' IRS activities because they control the agency's purse strings. ''Because the funding of IRS operations is depending on the Congress, the IRS responds more promptly to, and takes more seriously'' the requests of lawmakers over average taxpayers, the report said. The report found that cases involving ''high-profile tax-exempt organizations and individuals received intense internal review and scrutiny by the IRS.'' But it found ''no credible evidence'' that organizations were selected ''based on the political views'' of the organizations or of individuals related to them. Examinations of groups ''clearly in opposition to the Clinton administration'' were initiated from media reports, but so were audits of pro-Clinton groups, the report noted. ……."
Associated Press 3/20/00 Larry Margasak "……An aide to Vice President Al Gore contacted the Internal Revenue Service to obtain confidential tax information after a lower level staff member was rebuffed by the tax agency the same day, according to documents described today. IRS documents provided to the Joint Committee on Taxation said the first attempt was made by Kiki Gibson, identified as a counsel to the vice president, and the second by Joe Eyer, who apparently was Gibson's boss, according to Lindy Paull, staff director of the panel. The committee staff, in a bipartisan study, found no evidence that conservative groups were audited by the IRS for their anti-Clinton views but determined that the vice president's office and the Treasury Department tried in separate instances to obtain confidential information. The IRS is prohibited by law from releasing specific taxpayer data in almost all instances. The Gore staffers were trying to get information for the vice president that he could use in an upcoming meeting involving a union matter. Both calls were made the same day in January 1997 and in each case, the callers were told by the IRS that it could not provide the information, Paull said, referring to the documents. ….."
World Net Daily / Between the Lines 3/16/00 Joseph Farah "……. The Joint Committee on Taxation yesterday leaked its long-awaited report on Internal Revenue Service political audits to a few select reporters. Given the direction of the committee and its pitiful results after three years, it's no wonder I wasn't one of them. You see, I broke the story that led to the congressional investigation. On Oct. 22, 1996, I first told the story of how the IRS targeted my organization, the Western Journalism Center, which had broken a number of stories the Clinton administration didn't like. The expose also provided evidence of a pattern of such audits against other non-profit organizations critical of the White House. Within days of the story, Rep. Bill Archer, co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, had demanded of IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson all of the agency's records on the WJC case. Within weeks, the Joint Committee had begun a probe. Within three months, Richardson had resigned unexpectedly as commissioner. The only problem is the committee never did its job. The committee never bothered to contact me -- the guy who started it all. That should tell you a lot right there. I had to contact the committee and fly to Washington at my own expense just to meet with staff. They never bothered to get in touch with me again. And guess who is the last one to get a courtesy copy of the whitewash report? ……"
Cox News Service 2/29/00 "……A new government audit faults the Internal Revenue Service for pervasive mangement flaws that included hiring workers with criminal charges to process cash, checks, and taxpayer information. The report, issued by the U.S. General Accounting Office, also says the tax-collecting agency can't balance its own books and handles unpaid assessments poorly, risking potentially billions of dollars in lost revenue.. …."
WorldNetDaily 5/31/00 Joseph Farah "…….I predicted it. As Rush Limbaugh would say: "See, I told you so." I warned you that if Bill Clinton was not held accountable for his many abuses of power that the corruption would only continue and intensify in his last days in office. Heck, I didn't even need to tell you. Clinton told us long before I mentioned it. ……. Just one day after his re-election as president, Clinton told his political supporters in Arkansas that he would devote a lot of time in his second term to going after detractors who pursued him on Whitewater and other ethical questions. He also called political attackers "a cancer" and vowed to "cut (them) out of American politics." That's just what Clinton continues to do today. The latest victim of his wrath is Juanita Broaddrick. Brutally raped once by Clinton when he was Arkansas attorney general, now she's being targeted by the most feared agency in the federal government -- the Internal Revenue Service -- for blowing the whistle on the creep. ……."
NewsMax.com 5/28/00 Carl Limbacher "……What are the odds that yet another Clinton sex assault accuser would be audited by the IRS? "Juanita Broaddrick was notified last week that she is being audited for tax returns that were filed covering 1998," revealed the Drudge Report late Sunday. …….. But if it's true; if indeed Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick has been hit by an audit, she would be the third of four women to accuse Bill Clinton of trying to force them into sex to come under IRS scrutiny. …..Paula Jones alleged that Clinton exposed himself to her in a Little Rock hotel room in 1991…….Jones was hit by an IRS audit in September 1997, just four months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that her case against Clinton didn't have to wait until he left office. ……Then there's former Miss America Elizabeth Ward Gracen. …..Just weeks after Gracen admitted in an April 1998 New York Daily News interview that Clinton had sex with her, the onetime Miss Arkansas was slapped with an audit. ...... Jones, Gracen, Broaddrick? All victims of Clinton's sexual predations. And all audited. ......"
NewsMax.com 5/30/00 Carl Limbacher "……In a press release issued Monday morning, Judicial Watch announced: ……. Today, Judicial Watch filed a complaint before the Inspector General of the Treasury Department over recent notice that Juanita Broaddrick, one of the women who was harassed by President Bill Clinton, is being audited through her nursing home. The IRS' notice of audit follows a lawsuit which Ms. Broaddrick filed, through Judicial Watch, against President Clinton's White House. "As the public will recall, Juanita Broaddrick was brutally raped by Bill Clinton, a fact which the President has conspicuously never denied. "In addition to Ms. Broaddrick, other Judicial Watch clients and others who have been harassed, assaulted, or raped by the President have been audited, including but not limited to Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, and Elizabeth Ward Gracen. Indeed, other perceived adversaries of Bill Clinton have also been audited, including Billy Dale, the Western Journalism Center, and over 20 conservative groups in the last seven years alone. "'To those who doubt that there is a campaign of terror by the Clinton-Gore White House and its allies through IRS audits, FBI files, and other means, I suggest they consult with the 'law of averages' to determine whether these matters are simply coincidental,' stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman. ……"
NewsMax.com 5/30/00 Carl Limbacher "……In her first public comment since the IRS targeted her nursing home business for an audit, Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick told NewsMax.com she believes she's being punished for going public with the rape charge last year. "I do feel like there's certainly a connection to me coming forward," Broaddrick said from her home in Van Buren, Arkansas. "How can this be a coincidence?" …….The Clinton accuser noted that the IRS was interested only in the tax year 1998, shortly before she decided to tell her story to NBC's Lisa Myers. "I guess they're trying to prove that we were paid off in some way. It's ridiculous." ……"
Fox News Channel 5/31/00 "……The Fox News Channel's Bill O' Reilly, host of the weeknight show, The O' Reilly Factor, Interviewed renouned author and conservative constitutional attorney, Ann Coulter, live this evening. No official transcripts are avaliable, so what follows is my own, typed-out version of the interview. (Please excuse any spelling errors.) …..
O'Reilly: Are you convinced that the president himself is using the IRS as a weapon?
Coulter: I think the evidence is overwhelming, as I describe in my book, that in the first term the IRS was being used as a weapon. Otherwise, it's just a mathematically improbable series of coincidences. Now, it is a difficult charge to prove. It's also a very serious charge. But the accumulation of detail, the number of people audited, the number of conservative groups audited, I just don't can be written away as a coincidence.
O' Reilly: Did you look into liberal groups as well?
Coulter: Well, the interesting thing about that is that - and this is part of the reason why it's such a difficult charge to prove - you can't find public records on who's being audited. Organizations don't want to talk about it.
'O Reilly: And the IRS says they can't give that information out because of privacy reasons.
Coulter: Right, moreover, organizations, such as the Heritage Foundation, Christian Coalition, NRA, Western Journalism Center, Oliver North's Freedom Foundation, and basically, every conservative group you can think of was audited in Clinton's first term. They tend not to want to mention those sorts of things because donors don't want to donate money - they don't want their records tied up with some sort of IRS audit. Still, it was so overwhelming, that that information did come out. There were a number of articles written about it. The IRS never stepped forward and said, no, we just happen to be auditing alot of non-profits right now. No other non-profit stepped forward .....American spectator by the way, was also audited in the first term, also.
O' Reilly: So you believe basically from your research that the Clinton administration targeted right wing groups unfriendly to them.
But now we're into the personal realm, with Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Elizabeth Ward Gracen. The evidence - the circumstantial evidence - I agree with you, is overwhelming. But I'm not sure that Clinton would leave a trail, that could be traced back to him. Do you know what I mean?
Coulter: I'm sure that's right.
O' Reilly: So how does it work? Do you know how it works? I mean, Margret Richardson, she was the IRS person who did alot of these audits.
Coulter: Yes, and on personal audits. That's actually the most damaging information against Clinton. That is, the personals and individuals who ended up audited in the first term. You have a smoking gun on the auditing of Bill Dale.......
O' Reilly: Who was the Travel Office employee
Coulter: Whom they prosecuted. When the White House Counsel called in the FBI demanding an investigation of the White House Travel Office, the FBI agent - who stated this in an afidavit - the White House Counsel said to him that if the FBI doesn't show up in 15 minutes, I'll call in the IRS. And, coincidentally, the IRS was called in. …….
O' Reilly: I don't think Mr. Clinton is dumb enough to leave a trail that could be traced back to him, and I'm not exactly sure how this deal would work. Now, I'm going to tell the audience and you something I've never told anybody....... Guess who's been audited in the last three years? Me. Never audited before, I had one contribution to the 'Big Brothers' back in the seventies, that was questioned, it took about ten minutes. The last three years I've been audited. And that was very strange, and I believe that it was a political audit. And I told the IRS officials in New York that, if they continued to down this road, there might be some legal action against them. But I can't prove it. And I don't know what the chain would be ......You know, Clinton is not going to say, 'Audit that SOB, O' Reilly'....he's not going to do that. So who's going to do it?
Coulter: I think the way it happens is the way all of these things keep happening in the Clinton administration. He surrounds himself with protectors and scoundrels who do all of this for him. And somehow they never get punished. They're never held accountable. …."
newsmax.com 5/31/00 "…….Judicial Watch filed a complaint yesterday before the Inspector General of the Treasury Department over recent notice that Juanita Broaddrick, one of the women who was harassed by President Bill Clinton, is being audited through her nursing home. The IRS notice of audit follows a lawsuit that Broaddrick filed, through Judicial Watch, against President Clinton's White House. As the public will recall, Broaddrick alleges she was brutally raped by Bill Clinton, a claim the president has conspicuously never denied. …….. "
Capitol Hill Blue 6/6/00 Ann Coulter "…… Juanita Broaddrick, whom about 80 percent of Americans believed when she accused President Clinton of raping her (how do you like that poll?), is being audited by the Internal Revenue Service. Maybe it's just the luck of the draw. It has to be admitted, the odds of the IRS randomly auditing a woman Clinton has tried to have sex with are not insubstantial……So in the abstract, it could be a coincidence. Except this is not in the abstract. It's in the Clinton administration. And under Clinton, the IRS has audited a mathematically improbable series of the president's critics. ……. Indeed, the IRS' random audit selection process has led to audits of an impressive array of citizens inconvenient to the administration. These include: Elizabeth Ward Gracen (Clinton conquest who helpfully admitted that Clinton did not rape her); Billy Dale (fired in travel office imbroglio); Bill O'Reilly (Clinton critic on Fox News channel); Kent Masterson Brown (brought lawsuit compelling Hillary's health care task force to reveal members); Paula Jones (wrecked Clinton presidency). …….Clinton's IRS has also audited almost every conservative organization you can name. Among them are: National Review, The American Spectator, The Christian Coalition, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Oliver North's Freedom Alliance, The Heritage Foundation, The National Rifle Association, The Western Journalism Center, The National Center for Public Policy Research, Fortress America and Citizens Against Government Waste. There may be still other conservative organizations that have been targeted by Clinton's IRS, of course. There is no public record of IRS audits, and organizations that survive on charitable contributions tend not to advertise the fact that the IRS is rifling through their books. ……."
NY Post 6/4/00 Lida Stasi "……. WHAT'S worse? Being stalked by Bill Clinton or being audited by the IRS? Answer: Both. Just ask Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones or Elizabeth Ward Gracen. After each woman came forward with a sexual allegation against Big Billy the big bully, each found herself the victim of an IRS audit and were forced to indecently expose their assets. Last week, the feds showed up at Broaddrick's accountant's office to check out her books. …….. Hey! Either these are the three unluckiest women in the world, or something here smells worse than Clinton's socks after a jog to McDonald's. ……..According to Steve Teitelbaum, former deputy counsel to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, "Out of 200 million tax returns filed in '97, only 1,519,000 were audited." …… In other words, if you haven't seen the president naked, you have only a three-quarters of 1 percent chance of being audited, but if you have and then talk about it, your chances of being audited go up to roughly 100 percent, give or take a point. …..Said Teitelbaum: "The chances of these three women, all with claims against the president, being randomly audited by the IRS are so astronomical as to be almost incalculable." Paulie the rocket scientist added it up for me. "It's about a .0000438 percent, or 1-in- 2,282,530, probability." ......"
newsmax.com 5/31/00 "……Judicial Watch filed a complaint yesterday before the Inspector General of the Treasury Department over recent notice that Juanita Broaddrick, one of the women who was harassed by President Bill Clinton, is being audited through her nursing home. The IRS notice of audit follows a lawsuit that Broaddrick filed, through Judicial Watch, against President Clinton's White House. As the public will recall, Broaddrick alleges she was brutally raped by Bill Clinton, a claim the president has conspicuously never denied. In addition to Broaddrick, other Judicial Watch clients and others who have been harassed, assaulted or raped by the president have been audited, including but not limited to Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers and Elizabeth Ward Graecen. Other perceived adversaries of Clinton have also been audited, including Billy Dale, the Western Journalism Center and more than 20 conservative groups in the last seven years alone. …….."
newsmax.com 6/1/00 "….. Former Senator Al D'Amato says he believes Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick and several other Clinton sex accusers were audited because "they took on the Clinton administration." Worse still, says D'Amato, the president himself sicced the IRS on the women, using surrogates to do his dirty work. The former head of the Senate Banking Committee made the explosive charges Wednesday night on Fox News Channel's "The Edge" with Paula Zahn. ……
ZAHN: The GAO, when it came to conservative groups that have complained about this, said: Look, there is no evidence of intervention by the Clinton administration. You simply don't buy that?
D'AMATO: How are you going to find it? I mean, you think that you're going to be able to swear in some person who's going to say, "Yeah, somebody called me and told me..." Of course not. It's going to take place in a much more subtle way…….."
Augusta Chronicle 6/22/00 "…….. The administration, of course, denies any connection to the audits [IRS – Jones, Gracen, Broaddrick] much less a revenge motive. …….However, the ``coincidence'' prompted conservative magazine The Weekly Standard to consult statistical experts at Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. They estimated that the chance of any American being audited is one in 110. ……The Standard concludes if it's true there's been no administration targeting, then - statistically speaking - there must be another 330 Clinton women out there somewhere. ……"
WorldNetDaily 7/11/00 Linda Bowles "...... In recent years, the Internal Revenue Service has shown a propensity to leap like a junkyard attack dog at every suspected and imagined tax violation by conservative organizations such as the Christian Coalition and freedom-minded investigators like Joseph Farah's Western Journalism Center; and it has with similar, savage enthusiasm executed tax audits on Bill Clinton's accusers, such as Juanita Broaddrick, alleged rape victim, and Paula Jones, alleged pants-dropping target. ........Given such diligence, you may never have suspected that the same IRS might look the other way at massive and in-your-face violations of its tax codes by liberal organizations such as the National Education Association (NEA). .........Fortunately, the Landmark Legal Foundation, as an act of good citizenship and in the interest of fair play, has politely reminded a selectively negligent IRS that political activities and expenditures by the tax-exempt NEA "are taxable to the organization unless they are segregated from the organization's general operations and conducted through a political action committee." ......"
Chicago Tribune 7/6/00 Curt Anderson AP "…..Thousands of taxpayers were sent IRS notices demanding taxes they'd already paid and thousands of others forfeited their rights to get money back from the government, an independent audit found……….The audit found that the agency did not credit or refund $25 million in income taxes overpaid by taxpayers who paid late, though still within the time allowed. Some faced federal liens because of the error. And thousands of others forfeited their rights to refunds or credits, or were at risk of doing so, that totaled $335 million. These individuals, families and businesses failed to file late tax returns in time to qualify for the money……….The audit by the independent Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, David C. Williams, examined 426,000 tax payments, totaling $360 million, from 240,000 taxpayers that had been transferred as of March 1999 to the IRS Excess Collections Account. Payments are deposited into this account when the IRS is unable to match them with a tax return, usually because it is late. Of the $360 million, the audit found that:
* About $25 million, or 29,820 payments, immediately should have been refunded or credited to taxpayers who filed returns late but within the legal requirement of generally three years after the initial due date -- usually April 15 of a given year……..
* Taxpayers forfeited $162 million, or 191,700 payments, because they did not get a return to the IRS within the three-year window to claim a refund or to credit the payment toward another tax year. ….
* No tax return had been filed for $173 million, or 204,480 payments. But these taxpayers still could get their credit or refund if they took action quickly……….
Tax law requires a taxpayer to file a claim for a credit or refund of an overpayment within three years after a return is filed or two years after the tax was paid, whichever is later. If no tax is due, the claim must be made within two years of the payment. The chief culprit is the main IRS computer, which is not linked directly to computers in the agency's 10 service centers, where records of payment transfers to the excess account are kept………. When a late return is filed, the computer containing a taxpayer's main account has no record of the previous payments and the IRS sends out a notice demanding the money…….."
LAT 6 21/00 Larry Stammer "…….A Buddhist temple involved in a controversial political fund-raiser four years ago featuring Vice President Gore has agreed to pay federal tax penalties as a result of an IRS investigation. The Hsi Lai Temple of Hacienda Heights, Calif., east of Los Angeles, said it had agreed to pay an undisclosed "excise tax" on all political expenditures. It did not say when the IRS investigation began...."
Capitol Hill Blue 7/29/00 "…….CHICAGO (AP) - At least eight Internal Revenue Service employees have been suspended during an investigation into whether IRS workers took bribes in exchange for helping taxpayers with such things as halting collection actions and providing transcripts of accounts, according to published reports. The New York Times reported Saturday that Charlie Turek, president of the National Treasury Employees Union local in Chicago, and lawyers familiar with the case expect a federal grand jury to hand down indictments. ……. The paper said the workers, who are employed at four Chicago offices, were suspended with pay three weeks ago and were told they would be fired. ……."
Elmira Sunday Star Gazette 9/10/00 Dave Henderson "….....New York is already one of the toughest states in the country in which to qualify for handgun ownership,which is fine. BUT Senate Bill SB-2099 would make legal ownership even more of a burden while trampling the basic right to privacy. The bill will REQUIRE owners to list on their 1040 federal tax form all handguns that they have or own. It may require fingerprints and a tax of $50 per gun. This bill was introduced on Feb.24 and won't become public knowledge until 30 days after it is voted into law. Now that's sneaky. How can legislators bypass the lawmaking process? Because this is an amendment to the Internal Revenue Act of 1986. That means the Finance Committee can pass it with out the Senate voting on it at all. The full text of the proposed amendment is on the U.S. Senate homepage (www.senate.gov) do a search by entering the bill number……."
Washington Times 8/30/00 "….. The woman who sharply questioned Vice President Al Gore at a town-hall meeting about Juanita Broaddrick's rape accusation against President Clinton has become the subject of an inquiry by the Internal Revenue Service. "I find it very suspicious," said Katherine Prudhomme, who subjected Mr. Gore to several long, uncomfortable minutes of questioning about the Broaddrick case in December. "I feel like I'm being harassed." Mrs. Prudhomme said she was notified of the IRS inquiry on Aug. 18, one day before she delivered a long-planned speech about Mrs. Broaddrick outside Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign headquarters in New York. After the speech, she walked into the headquarters and gave a videotape of Mrs. Broaddrick's NBC interview to a campaign aide, asking that it be forwarded to Mrs. Clinton…….. Although the IRS did not initiate a formal audit of Mrs. Prudhomme, the tax agency has demanded expense forms pertaining to her daughter's schooling in 1998……"
Washington Times 8/23/00 John Godfrey "…..An oversight board authorized two years ago to help reform the Internal Revenue Service - an agency many lawmakers viewed as running amok - has yet to be impaneled. Most of the blame falls on the White House for dawdling in picking nominees and on the Senate for failing to confirm them once those nominations were made…….. "The administration waited too long," Sen. Bob Kerrey, Nebraska Democrat, said shortly before leaving town for the monthlong August recess…… Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said in January that "finalizing a slate of qualified and willing candidates has, to the frustration of many - including me personally - taken longer than we ever imagined."……."
Washington Times 8/30/00 Bill Sammon "….."I find it very suspicious," said Katherine Prudhomme, who subjected Mr. Gore to several long, uncomfortable minutes of questioning about the Broaddrick case in December. "I feel like I'm being harassed."……… Mrs. Prudhomme said she was notified of the IRS inquiry on Aug. 18, one day before she delivered a long-planned speech about Mrs. Broaddrick outside Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign headquarters in New York…….. After the speech, she walked into the headquarters and gave a videotape of Mrs. Broaddrick's NBC interview to a campaign aide, asking that it be forwarded to Mrs. Clinton.......... Although the IRS did not initiate a formal audit of Mrs. Prudhomme, the tax agency has demanded expense forms pertaining to her daughter's schooling in 1998....... Mrs. Prudhomme, a homemaker in Derry, N.H., is doubly suspicious because in June she accused the IRS of auditing Mrs. Broaddrick's nursing home business "for political reasons."…….. The accusation was contained in an op-ed newspaper column that also questioned audits of Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers and Elizabeth Ward Gracen, all of whom have accused Mr. Clinton of sexual affairs or advances…….."
Washington Monthly 9/98 Robert Worth "…….. On April 30, 1998, a woman named Maureen O'Dwyer testified before the Senate Finance Committee along with six other current and former Internal Revenue Service employees. The press, weary after months of blockbuster hearings on abused taxpayers, didn't pay much attention. After all, the House and Senate were already writing legislation to make the IRS more user-friendly. But Maureen's story wasn't the usual tale of rude or threatening auditors. Instead, she told how her manager had ignored one company's $24 million tax debt because he wanted to close the case quickly so as to collect a $2,000 productivity bonus. Other witnesses told similar stories of IRS auditors who "zeroed out" multimillion-dollar tax bills because they didn't want to spend the time, or to curry favor with corporations that might offer them jobs. In short, the hearings showed that the IRS wasn't just suffering from rudeness. It had lost track of its most basic mission as an agency, it had failed to monitor the performance of its agents, and it was retaining plenty of people who should have been fired long before. …….. What have Al Gore and his team of "reinventing government" experts done about problems like these? "We have expanded and improved service hours and phone support" at the IRS, declared Gore proudly in late July, along with a few other measures "focused on improving customer service." Magnify those comments across the federal government and you'll see far too much of what Gore has achieved since Clinton handed him the task of reinvention in early 1993. …."
Wall Street Journal 9/20/00 "…… The wheels of Washington's bureaucracy don't always grind slowly. Within two months of receiving a letter from Democratic Congressman David Skaggs in 1996, the IRS launched audits against both the Heritage Foundation and Citizens Against Government Waste. So it will be interesting to watch what the IRS does with a far more substantive - and well-documented - complaint against the National Education Association. All the more so now that a former IRS officer who has reviewed the case agrees it cries out for a full investigation. …….. That man is Edward D. Coleman, a 27-year veteran of the IRS's exempt-organizations function, who served as the division's director from 1986 to 1990. We reported on this case back in June, when the Landmark Legal Foundation lodged a complaint alleging that the NEA was not reporting the full extent of its political activities. Since 1994, the NEA has reported spending zero dollars for political activities on its Form 990s, the tax form required of all tax-exempt organizations. That's zero, as in nothing. And this from the union that has consistently sent the largest chunk of delegates to recent Democratic national conventions. …….. Mr. Coleman goes through these allegations point by point. His conclusion is clear. "In sum," he writes, based on my review of the complaint and supporting exhibits that were filed with the IRS, I think that there is a very strong basis for the IRS to select NEA for an examination. A field examination would enable the IRS to corroborate the extent of the NEA's political undertakings and expenditures and to ascertain why the NEA has not reported any political expenditures on line 81a of its Forms 990. …….. "In addition, the IRS should determine why NEA has not filed Forms 1120-POL, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations, and paid the appropriate tax. ……. "Accordingly, I concur with your analysis of NEA's alleged political expenditures and your recommendation of an IRS examination of NEA. NEA certainly appears to have filed inaccurate Forms 990 and neglected to pay taxes on Forms 1120-POL." ……"
NewsMax.com 10/28/00 Carl Limbacher "..... The Clinton-Gore IRS has dropped its case against Kathrine Prudhomme, the Derry, New Hampshire housewife who asked the vice president during a December town hall meeting whether he believed his boss had raped Juanita Broaddrick. ...... The IRS had contacted Prudhomme on August 18, on the eve of a trip to New York where she had planned to confront First Lady Hillary Clinton with the same question. The agency claimed that an internal audit of two year old records showed Prudhomme and her husband owed $1,500 in taxes. ...... Prudhomme was the fourth woman linked to the Clinton sex scandals to come under IRS scrutiny. Previously, Paula Jones, Elizabeth Gracen Ward and Broaddrick had been audited after leveling accusations against the president. ....... But on Friday, the IRS told Prudhomme they were withdrawing their claim after she provided proof that the agency was wrong: ........."
Americans United 10/17/00 "........ Churches Can't Support Candidates, Says Americans United Presidential candidate Al Gore's recent appeal for campaign support from pastors could get churches in legal trouble, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ........ In a letter to Gore today, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn noted that federal tax law bars churches from involvement in partisan politics and asked the candidate to clarify his views on the subject. ........ According to an Oct. 15 report in The New York Times, Gore participated in a conference call with African-American ministers Oct. 14 during which he discussed the need for their support of your campaign. The Times story states, "With the presidential election in a dead heat, Vice President Al Gore sought to mobilize his campaign's 'get out the vote' drive today by imploring black preachers to push for his election from their pulpits." ......... The Times says Gore told pastors, "I'm asking you in your sermons to do the work of the Lord here on earth. I ask for your help in getting that message out urgently tomorrow." ....AU's Lynn found the newspaper report troubling. ........"If the Times report is accurate," Lynn wrote Gore, "you appear to be asking religious leaders to endorse your candidacy from the pulpit. This is highly inappropriate, since it could put the tax-exempt status of those churches at risk. While church leaders may, acting as private citizens, endorse you or any other candidate, they may not do so in their official capacity as pastors. ......."As I'm sure you know," Lynn continued, "federal tax law states that churches and other non-profit organizations may not endorse or oppose candidates for political office. While churches are free to register voters, encourage voter turnout and take other nonpartisan political actions, they may not endorse candidates." ............"
Washington Times 10/30/00 Bill Sammon "......President Clinton yesterday begged blacks to choose the "outstretched hands" of Al Gore over the "clenched fists" of George W. Bush in an 11th-hour bid to rally core Democrats without alienating scandal-weary swing voters...... "I am pleading with you," the president told the congregation at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington. "Talk to your friends, talk to your neighbors, talk to your family members, talk to your co-workers - and make sure nobody takes a pass on November 7th." Mr. Clinton said it would be a "terrible mistake" to elect the Texas governor, who is leading the vice president in virtually all national polls. The president said the election will have a "huge impact" on racial profiling, affirmative action, the appointment of black judges and America's relationship with Africa. He even mentioned slavery. Mr. Clinton pointed out that while Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers considered slavery wrong, they still owned slaves........ "Look, these guys weren't stupid - they knew God created somebody besides white male property owners," said the president, prompting laughter and applause. "So what did they pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to? To form a more perfect union......."
Fox News 1/4/01 David Shuster "......Senior staff working for Attorney General Janet Reno have threatened to fire an independent counsel investigating a possible coverup at the Justice Department, Fox News has learned. ..... Independent Counsel Dave Barrett led the investigation of former Clinton housing secretary Henry Cisneros, who admitted lying to the FBI. According to sources, for the last 10 months Barrett has been presenting his grand jury with new evidence alleging that officials at the Justice Department improperly tried to influence actions by the Internal Revenue Service. ... Barrett was warned by senior Justice Department officials to halt his investigation. ..... According to well-placed sources, last year a top lawyer within the IRS alleged that senior Justice Department officials were attempting to protect Cisneros. The IRS employee, who is now a whistleblower for the independent counsel, has reportedly testified that justice officials pressured the IRS in other cases as well. ... Allegations have been made before that the IRS backed off of President Clinton's friends and stepped up cases against his opponents. ......But the investigation at the Washington courthouse marks the first time that any of these allegations have been reviewed by a federal grand jury. Lawyers say dozens of IRS employees have testified in recent months. And Fox News has learned that dozens inspectors general at the IRS and Treasury Departments are helping with the case. ......"
newsday.com 12/21/00 David Kravets "......A federal appeals panel ruled Wednesday that an investigative journalism group that alleged it was audited for political reasons cannot sue the Internal Revenue Service. The conservative Western Journalism Center claimed that the White House retaliated with an audit after the group suggested President Clinton's lawyer Vincent Foster had been murdered. Foster committed suicide, according to investigators. ...... A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the group should have filed the suit within a year after learning of the IRS audit in 1996. ....... The panel said the suit was barred by the statute of limitations, upholding a federal court decision which said the IRS could not be sued on allegations of politically-motivated auditing. ......"
The Associated Press 12/26/00 Theo Emery ".....An employee wielding a semiautomatic rifle and a shotgun opened fire at an Internet consulting company Tuesday, killing seven co-workers before being subdued by police, authorities said. Prosecutors were investigating whether Michael McDermott, 42, was upset about an Internal Revenue Service request to garnish his wages to pay back taxes, Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley said. She said Edgewater Technology Inc. had agreed not to begin taking out money from McDermott's paycheck until after the holidays. ......"
The Associated Press 12/10/00 Rex Huppke "……Behind a line of run-down strip malls stands the Indianapolis Baptist Temple, its furniture and finery stripped away as if to make room for the resolve of the people who remain inside. In the echoing emptiness, the sound of hymns mingles with talk of government conspiracies, religious persecution - and the belief that it may be the first church the federal government takes by storm over a tax debt. The first, supporters fear, of many. To the Internal Revenue Service, the Indianapolis Baptist Temple is simply a building waiting to be seized to make up for $6 million in back taxes. ……..But for the congregation's supporters across the country, including numerous right-wing groups that share some of the church's ideology, the impending seizure is the fulfillment of long-held fears that the government is out to silence its critics and control what preachers say from the pulpit. ……"
Washington Times 10/31/00 Gary Anderson "……Kenneth Timmerman credits President Bill Clinton and William Perry, his second secretary of defense, with taking a decaying Cold War military machine and turning it into a first-rate, post-industrial military superpower. Unfortunately, the country in question is not the United States. In his book, "Selling Out America: The American Spectator Investigations," Mr. Timmerman accuses Mr. Clinton and Mr. Perry of turning Communist China into a formidable post-Cold War adversary through a combination of neglect of American national security interests that, if not treasonous, borders on gross governmental negligence …….. Mr. Timmerman is a former Time magazine reporter who alleges that he was fired for his revelations concerning the Clinton administration's misdeeds. In doing so, he makes a compelling case. From the illegal upgrading of Chinese MiG fighters to the transfer of critical information about multiple re-entry warheads, Mr. Timmerman lays the responsibility for the selling out of America squarely at the feet of Mr. Clinton and his closest advisers. Worse still, Mr. Timmerman accuses the Clinton administration of allowing Chinese agents to have unprecedented access to classified material through a combination of cynical expediency and the worst possible disregard of time-tested security precautions……In the case of Mr. Perry, the motivation appears to have been a misguided sense of policy objectives. He obviously hoped that appeasement, i.e. increasing economic incentives, would work with the Chinese. To his credit, Mr. Perry realized the error of his ways, but not before the Chinese had used their misbegotten technological gains to fire a warning shot over Taiwan's bow in the form of two advanced missiles………Perhaps as disturbing as the evil done to national security is what happened to Mr. Timmerman himself when he crossed the Clinton administration. Aside from being fired from Time magazine, he has been repeatedly audited by the Internal Revenue Service……… This is a book that bears reading. There may be another side to this story, but Mr. Timmerman makes a compelling case that some members of the Clinton administration have hurt America and strengthened China for the sake of some very dubious motives. The extent of the real damage may take years to assess……"
TAX EXEMPT STATUS
Chicago Sun-Times 12/11/98 Lynn Sweet Ernest Tucker ".A Wheaton congregation is among a group of eight churches nationwide whose tax-exempt status is being challenged by a group that claims they broke election laws. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State filed formal complaints Thursday with the Internal Revenue Service, seeking to strip the exemptions because they say the churches distributed Christian Coalition material two days before last November's election. ``These houses of worship are breaking federal tax law and penalties must be imposed,'' said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of the Americans United group. A spokesman for the Wheaton Evangelical Free Church, 520 Roosevelt Rd., called the charges ``baseless.'' William Miller, a former associate pastor of the church and spokesman, said, ``we are familiar with the IRS regulations and we have abided by those.'' Miller said he had been unaware of the group's charges. Joseph Conn said his group filed the complaints because the material from the Christian Coalition ``was clearly to endorse Republican candidates.'' He said his group had done an extensive education campaign for churches before the Nov. 3 election to ``educate'' clergy on the boundaries for participating.``We chose eight that we knew of, but obviously there were more,'' he said. ``We just didn't have information on all.''."
Washington Times 2/5/99 Greg Pierce ".Now that the Internal Revenue Service has ruled that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's college course was just that -- a college course -- all those Democrats who claimed it was an illegal political scheme owe the man an apology, says Republican Chairman Jim Nicholson. After all, the House forced Mr. Gingrich to pay a $300,000 fine over the issue. And Mr. Nicholson has a question: What took the IRS so long? "The Clinton administration Internal Revenue Service owes an explanation why it took 3- and- a-half years to determine that Newt Gingrich's college course wasn't political, something they should have known after watching 20 hours of tapes," Mr. Nicholson said.."The trumped-up charges by congressional Democrats, led by David Bonior, were politically motivated attacks from the outset," he said. "Bonior and the Democrats owe Newt Gingrich an apology, and all Americans should demand an explanation of why the Internal Revenue Service became a weapon for 41 months of political water torture against the most prominent opponent of the Clinton-Gore Democrat agenda." ."
Washington Post 3/31/99 Peter Slevin "…The Internal Revenue Service properly stripped tax breaks from a New York church that opposed candidate Bill Clinton in full-page newspaper advertisements during the 1992 campaign, a federal judge here ruled yesterday. U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman decided that the IRS acted lawfully when it took away tax-exempt status from The Church at Pierce Creek in Vestal, N.Y. He dismissed the church's claims that the IRS violated religious freedoms and engaged in selective prosecution. Churches that claim exemption from taxation cannot take sides in an election campaign, the federal tax code states. The IRS concluded after a two-year investigation that the nondenominational Christian church had done just that and no longer was entitled to the exemption. The case centered on a full-page advertisement that appeared in USA Today and the Washington Times four days before the 1992 general election. The advertisement said, "Bill Clinton is promoting policies that are in rebellion to God's laws."…"
Oklahoman Online 6/10/1999 Mary Jacoby Freeper eleven "...After a 10-year review, the Internal Revenue Service has denied the Christian Coalition's application for federal tax- exempt status. The confidential IRS ruling, delivered to the coalition this spring, essentially settles a long- standing controversy about the nature of an organization that has been a powerful force within the Republican Party. The question before the IRS was: Is the coalition, as it maintains, a nonpartisan group dedicated to educating voters on issues of importance to religious conservatives? Or is its real purpose, as critics have argued, to influence the outcome of elections in favor of the GOP? The IRS ruling points to the latter, said University of Miami law professor Frances Hill, an expert on tax-exempt organizations. "It is suggesting that the real activities were in substantial part to influence the outcome of elections."..."
The Wall Street Journal 6/22/1999 Leslie Lenkowsky "...Groups favoring abortion rights have petitioned the IRS to withdraw the Catholic Church's tax exemption because of its endorsement of antiabortion candidates. Black churches have reportedly been warned that opening their pulpits to candidates might jeopardize their exemptions. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has also been the object of complaints, including a lawsuit brought by former U.S. government officials, that it devoted more of its resources to backing candidates than the IRS allowed. Environmental groups have been particularly active campaigners. The League of Conservation Voters widely advertises its "dirty dozen" list of congressmen whose voting records it deemed unacceptable. The league keeps a "scorecard" indicating which of them are defeated. Because the IRS's decisions are confidential, we don't know what led it to rule against the Christian Coalition. It's possible but unlikely that politics played a role. (The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation is completing a report on allegations of political bias in the IRS's auditing of conservative political groups, which should indicate whether there is a problem in the agency.) ...."
Augusta Chronicle 7/25/99 "…As a rule Democrats line up behind watchdog groups that push separation of church and state policies. But Americans United for Separation of Church and State may have gone over the edge this time. Shortly before a July 4 voter registration drive organized by the Christian Coalition, AUSCS warned churches nationwide that they could forfeit their tax-exempt status by working too closely with partisan political groups. That was hardly news to churches, but why would the point be made just before a Christian Coalition registration drive -- unless it was designed to scare off, not only new voters, but volunteer organizers as well? Maybe this is a coincidence, but six GOP senators, including Georgia's Paul Coverdell and South Carolina's Strom Thurmond, are asking the Justice Department investigate. Indeed, there's nothing wrong for church groups to encourage citizens to register and vote. Black churches have engaged in such activities for decades and usually register mostly Democrats….."
WorldNetDaily 8/19/99 Stephan Archer "…When House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer, R-Texas, announced Aug. 2 that the Joint Committee on Taxation was still conducting an investigation of politically motivated Internal Revenue Service audits after two-and-a-half years, he evidently forgot to let his staffers know this. In response to allegations that the 1996 audit of WorldNetDaily's parent company, Western Journalism Center, was politically motivated, the Internet newspaper's readers flooded Archer's office as well as the offices of their local representatives, with e-mail and letters. One concerned reader, Bill Vendramin, wrote his congressman, Rep. Peter J. Visclosky, D-Indiana, asking him to help Archer in the continuing investigation of IRS procedures. However, the congressman wrote back saying Archer was not aware of any investigation. "I have contacted Chairman Archer regarding this investigation, and have been informed that he is neither conducting one, nor is he aware of, an ongoing investigation into these allegations," Visclosky wrote in a letter dated Aug. 5 to Vendramin. However, as wasreported earlier by WorldNetDaily, Archer had stated in an Aug. 2 press release from the House Ways and Means Committee he would continue to "monitor the progress of the JCT's (Joint Committee on Taxation's) investigation." The subject of this investigation was explained by Archer earlier in the press statement: "On March 24, 1997, in coordination with the Senate Finance Committee, I requested the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) investigate allegations the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had targeted certain tax-exempt organizations with audits for political reasons." "Unfortunately, due to the investigation's complexity, scope, and because it involved privileged information about individual tax returns, the committee's final report has been delayed considerably beyond our original hopes," continued Archer. "This investigation has become far more voluminous than was originally anticipated." Archer went on to explain he takes allegations of IRS harassment of political enemies "very seriously" and will "follow the JCT's investigation with interest." …"
San Francisco Chronicle 10/5/99 Carla Marinucci, Ed Epstein "....The battle over the state initiative defining marriage as a one-man, one-woman relationship flared in the presidential campaign yesterday when San Francisco supervisors called for an investigation of the Mormon Church's tax-exempt status -- an action Republican presidential hopeful Orrin Hatch called ``bigoted and prejudiced.'' Hatch, 65, a U.S. senator from Utah and a devout Mormon, spoke in San Francisco as supervisors unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the tax-exempt status of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some church leaders have urged members to financially support California's Knight Initiative. Hatch, in an interview with The Chronicle, said he strongly supports the initiative, a measure on the March 2000 ballot that would bar the state from recognizing gay or lesbian marriage. But the senator also said he believes that gays and lesbians deserve respect and may ``need some sort of recognition for a monogamous relationship.'' Still, the powerful chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee lambasted as idiotic the vote by the San Francisco board, which charges that the Mormon Church has been so outspoken on the Knight Initiative that it could be violating IRS rules forbidding churches to engage in ``substantial lobbying or political activity.'' ....."
Americans United for the Seperation of Church and State 2/14/00 "….The Internal Revenue Service should investigate a New York City church for violating federal tax law by endorsing Democratic candidate Al Gore for president, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State. In a formal complaint filed with the IRS today, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn charged that the Rev. Floyd Flake knowingly violated the Internal Revenue Code by inviting Gore to address his congregation on Feb. 13 and then endorsing the candidate during Sunday morning worship services at Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City….."
AP Press 2/25/00 Sonja Barisic "..... The Christian Coalition filed a federal lawsuit Friday accusing the Internal Revenue Service of discriminating against the conservative group by denying it tax-exempt status. The IRS unfairly denied the coalition's application for tax exemption while granting that status to "liberal" groups such as the Democratic Leadership Council and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing the coalition. "The basis of our complaint is that the IRS is applying two standards - one for the organizations they think are politically palatable and one for the organizations they don't think are politically palatable," Sekulow said. The coalition, founded by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, became a major force in Republican politics in the 1990s by mobilizing conservative voters through grass-roots activities. The IRS concluded in a ruling revealed last year that some of the activities, such as the distribution of voter guides at churches across the country, were too partisan for the coalition to enjoy tax-exempt status. The lawsuit contends the coalition's activities provide educational information, are nonpartisan and promote social welfare. It also says the IRS discriminated against the coalition based upon the content of the group's speech and viewpoint. Last August, a federal court in Washington dismissed most of the charges in a lawsuit by the Federal Election Commission that challenged the coalition's voter guides and accused the coalition of illegally aiding Republican candidates. The government had claimed that the voter guides, phone banks and other get-out-the-vote operations were partisan activities that should be treated as contributions under federal law. "Once we cleared that hurdle, this was our next logical approach," Sekulow said of the lawsuit filed Friday. ......"
Detroit News 2/18/00 Gebe Martinez "…..Democrats in Detroit's African-American church pews this Sunday will hear an unusual message: Vote for Republican John McCain. It's a call for political revenge; an instruction by community leaders to vote in Tuesday's Republican Primary for Arizona Sen. John McCain in order to get back at Gov. John Engler, who is helping McCain's rival, Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Democratic Party leaders aren't endorsing the message……"
The Asheville Tribune 2/29/00 "….. A Confrontation is shaping up in Indianapolis as Temple Baptist Church, and its Sunday congregation of nearly 1,000 people, vow to defy a court order to vacate their house of worship. The 7th Circuit Court has reversed its original decision and ordered the Christian group to vacate and allow the government to confiscate the church on April 10, as a result of failure to pay / withhold federal taxes. The church does not have a 501(c)3 tax exempt status and has not registered with the government as a church or school, yet has continued to operate, offering spiritual and educational services. Upon receiving the court order, the Indiana militia began to look into the matter. Recently, it was announced that the Kentucky and Ohio militia will join with the Indiana Militia to "defend the church." Then, on the Alex Jones talk radio show, there were suggestions that the Tennessee and Michigan militias would also join the effort. Pastor Greg Dixon said that the congregation would not leave their church voluntarily. He stated that they plan to "defend God's church" to the best of their means. He did state that the church did not have any weapons and was not insisting a violent confrontation with government agents. ….."
austin american-statesman 3/12/00 "……More than three years ago, federal tax auditors began an audit of the Heritage Foundation that the research center says has cost it $200,000 in legal fees and expenses and generated a stack of documents 75 feet tall. Citizens Against Government Waste received a similar visit from the Internal Revenue Service that has cost the Washington-based private watchdog group more than $50,000 without reaching a conclusion. Pointing to these and about a dozen other examples, conservatives say the IRS scrutiny amounts to retaliation against some of the Clinton administration's toughest critics. An IRS spokesman denied that politics influences audit decisions. Three years after congressional leaders from both parties directed the Joint Tax Committee of the House and Senate to review the issue "as expeditiously as possible," aides say the conclusions will be released in about 10 days. The committee was charged with examining whether political bias influenced the IRS in its choices of what nonprofit groups to audit. All the groups have tax exemptions that require them to limit their political activity. ……"
CNSNews.com 5/16/00 Scott Hogenson "…….The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is distancing itself from the so-called 'Million Mom March' because of the gun control group's stated intention of supporting political candidates. The ELCA had urged its more than five million members to work "in support of gun control legislation," and to support the May 14 gun control march on Washington, DC……..But a spokeswoman for the church's government affairs office in Washington said now that the MMM organization is becoming a political entity supporting and opposing candidates for office based on their gun control positions, the ELCA will likely stop encouraging Lutherans to participate in MMM activities……… Church officials also said they were not aware that MMM organizers planned to become politically active regarding candidates for office, and would have preferred knowing the organization's plans before the event……MMM organizer Donna Dees-Thomases said Monday that the group was likely to support Vice President Al Gore in his bid for the White House, saying that if Gore were to "give us clear (gun control) policy - not compromise policy, but clear policy - I think you can count on our support."….."
WorldNetDaily 5/13/00 Julie Foster "……Yesterday, a federal appeals court upheld the Internal Revenue Service's decision to revoke the tax-exempt status of a church that had paid for newspaper ads against then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton in 1992. ...... The revocation is the first in the history of the IRS and serves as a warning from the federal judiciary that churches may not fund partisan activity. U.S. law granting tax-exempt status also forbids tax-exempt organizations from involvement in "any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office." …….. The Landmark Church, formerly know as the Church at Pierce Creek, in Binghamton, N.Y., requested and received tax-exempt status from the IRS in 1983. But on Oct. 30, 1992, just four days before the presidential election, the church placed full-page ads in USA Today and the Washington Times warning Christians about Clinton. ……"
WorldNetDaily 5/13/00 Julie Foster "……According to the court's decision, the church may also reapply for tax-exempt status as long as it does not engage in campaign speech regarding a particular candidate. And, it does not have to pay taxes on donations given to the church despite the fact that its tax-exempt status had been previously revoked. "This is an important development in the area of protecting the First Amendment rights by clearly outlining the avenues available for churches to participate in the political process," Sekulow added. Friday's ruling could be appealed to the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, or the church could ask the Supreme Court for review. The American Center for Law and Justice said its client has not yet decided what further action it will take. ……."
Charisma News 6/9/00 Andy Butcher "……. A New York state congregation's battle with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over tax-exempt status has produced what is being hailed as a major breakthrough giving churches a political voice. Although Pierce Creek Church in Binghamton lost its appeal against the revocation of tax-exempt status that followed its running of a newspaper advertisement criticizing then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton, the recent court decision spelled out how churches can take political action without breaking the law. Tucked away in the Washington, D.C., appeals court verdict last month was the ruling that a church can establish an affiliate 501(c) (4) organization or civic league, which may in turn form a Political Action Committee (PAC) that can "promote political causes." The PAC has to raise money independently from its "parent" church. The income is tax-exempt, but contributions are not tax-deductible. ….."
AP 6/22/00 Larry Margasak "……The nation's largest teachers union, which reports to the IRS that it spends no union dues on politics, spent millions of dollars to help elect "pro-education candidates," produce political training guides and gather teachers' voting records, internal documents show. ...... The National Education Association documents reviewed by The Associated Press provide a rare window into the internal workings of one of the most powerful unions in the country. The union said Thursday it believes it complied with the law. ….. The documents state that the union since 1994 has budgeted or spent money from its general account - funded by about $200 million a year in teachers' dues - on activities ranging from recruiting teacher-friendly candidates to helping state affiliates raise political action committee funds. …… Two former top Internal Revenue Service officials said the documents raise questions about whether the group has properly accounted for political activities on its tax returns. ...... The NEA, which represents 2.5 million teachers, reported no political expenses on its returns for each year from 1993 through 1998…… "When you engage in assistance in the election of candidates, once you identify the kind of candidate you want to assist, then I think you're in the electioneering arena," said Milton Cerny, who headed IRS' tax-exempt organizations rulings division for 27 years. "Somewhere along the line, that should be reported." ......Marcus Owens, who just retired as director of the IRS tax-exempt organizations division, agreed. "Those do sound like political expenditures. The key is did they actually occur and did they actually occur in the way described," he said. ……The NEA has tax-exempt status as a union but must report political expenses "direct and indirect" on its tax return. Some of those expenses could be considered taxable by the IRS. ... The IRS defines a political expense as "one intended to influence the selection, nomination, election or appointment of anyone to a federal, state, or local public office." ……"
newsday.com 6/23/00 Anjetta McQueen "…..A conservative legal group complained to federal regulators and the IRS that National Education Association political activities violated election and tax laws. ….. The Landmark Legal Foundation, which said Friday it mailed formal complaints to the agencies, contends that money from the powerful union's treasury was used in a ''systematic political strategy ... to influence ... federal elections,'' contrary to the law. ……. In its complaint to the Federal Election Commission, Landmark said union affiliates in California, Florida, Illinois and Wisconsin improperly posted NEA political endorsements on their public Internet sites. ….."
St. Louis Post 8/1/00 Curt Anderson AP "…….The Internal Revenue Service should investigate the tax-exempt status of a Philadelphia church whose pastor is vocally endorsing George W. Bush for president, a church watchdog group says. The Rev. Herbert Lusk, pastor at Greater Exodus Baptist Church, appeared via video feed from inside the church Monday at the Republican National Convention to speak glowingly of the Texas governor. ……… Churches and other nonprofit groups that are exempt from federal taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code cannot endorse or oppose candidates for public office. They risk losing that status if they do so. Americans for Separation of Church and State, a watchdog group based in Washington, said in a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti that the comments may warrant an investigation. ……``These organizations cannot endorse any candidates, make donations to their campaigns, engage in fund raising, distribute statements or become involved in any other activities that may be beneficial or detrimental to any candidate,'' said that IRS statement. In practice, however, there are many gray areas, particularly in cases involving distinctions between individuals and the organizations they represent. ……"
AP 7/25/00 Sonja Barisic "……A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Internal Revenue Service to refund taxes paid by the Christian Coalition for 1990 after the IRS conceded the organization of religious conservatives was tax-exempt for that year. The order ended a lawsuit alleging that the IRS unfairly denied the coalition's application for tax-exempt status because the agency disagreed with the politics of the group, founded by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson. "Everything we asked for in the complaint we got today," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, which represented the Chesapeake-based coalition. ……"
Drudge Report 9/10/00 "….The NEW YORKER is set to report that Hsia feels she was convicted after refusing to testify under pressure from the Justice Department that Vice-President Al Gore knew the temple event was a fund-raiser and was perhaps illegal. Hsia has also been the subject of a criminal tax investigation, which ended in a mistrial last year. ……. Hsia makes it clear in her conversation with NEW YORKER's Jeff Toobin that she does not think Gore did anything wrong…….. The guests who would have been at the restaurant fund-raiser were invited instead to the rally at the temple. Toobin reports that the event itself took the shape of the original rally that was planned, but that it still raised legal questions about the campaign finance law. Hsia claims she was aware of the possible complications. "I asked John, 'Do you have to get permission from the D.N.C. to do this, because I know this is a religious facility?'" Hsia tells Toobin. "He said the legal people had told him that since all the politicians do events in the basements of black churches they don't see any problem with the temple. So the two events were combined."......"
Yahoo News 9/20/00 Randall Mikkelsen Reuters "…….Leaders of one of the nation's largest black churches saluted President Clinton on Wednesday as a ``black man masquerading in a white body,'' who absorbed political blows for championing African-Americans. ``A lot of the blows that he took were because he would not forsake us,'' said Bishop Chandler Owens of the Church of God in Christ, speaking at the church's annual bishops conference. …….. Owens introduced Clinton after a succession of bishops in the 8-million member church hailed the president for defending affirmative action, intervening in Haiti and working to advance blacks. ……. ``I told the president when he first got elected that he was a black man masquerading in a white body,'' Owens said, as Clinton roared with laughter. ``The president is laughing, but evidently he believes that.'' ……. But with his eye on the political ball, Clinton told the group the best way to extend his legacy would be to elect Democratic Vice President Al Gore to succeed him, and to elect first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and other Democrats to the U.S. Senate. ``All we've done for the last eight years is set the table. And the feast is still out there,'' he said……"
Boston Globe 10/22/00 Glen Johnson and Yvonne Abraham "……A black minister laid hands on Al Gore yesterday, as supporters prayed for help and ominously warned of the consequences should the vice president lose to George W. Bush. Everyone addressing the group of about 75 religious and social leaders agreed the outcome could hinge on voter turnout, particularly among African-Americans, so speaker after speaker urged the audience to inspire their followers to vote……"
10/24/00 Freeper Xgman "……. Mort Kondrake says he is outraged [NAACP ad against Bush]. Well Big Deal. Why is the NAACP not under IRS investigation ? Take a look at this material found at the NAACP web site. By the way, if the pickup truck with the chain dragging down the road isn't in absolute violation of the law, what the hell is? It's amazing how quick CHARLES ROSSOTTI--the Clinton IRS butt-boy--has been all over groups that may, or may not, be even remotely associated with the GOP--yet not a peep from the IRS Commissar in this case. ……….When you go to the NAACP web site atwww.naacp.org You won't find a link to this material. It's been buried. I got it off a search engine. …… It talks about the NAACP and the IRS CODE restrictions it must abide by to maintain its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. …..The link after this material (below) is active on the site, but omits any reference to the tax status or ramifications for political activity.
New York Times 10/28/00 David Firestone ".....On black radio stations and in newspapers, from pulpits to mailboxes to answering machines, Democrats and civil rights organizations have begun an effort of unprecedented size to increase the turnout of black voters in next month's presidential election. In several close states, Vice President Al Gore's chances may hinge on the effort's effectiveness....... Advertisements proclaiming "Lift every voice and vote!" have been placed on the screens of Magic Johnson Theaters before movies, and on Black Entertainment Television. Students at black colleges are being urged by entertainers to vote, and congregants at thousands of black churches will hear the same message on the Sunday before Nov. 7. Organizers for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have even registered more than 11,000 prisoners at county jails around the South....... One of the most promising tactics gets under way this week, when telephones in black neighborhoods will begin ringing with a recorded message from President Clinton, urging a vote for Mr. Gore. Similar calls by the president in 1998 on behalf of Democratic candidates in Georgia were considered an important reason black voters represented 29 percent of the total turnout, up from 19 percent in 1994........."
San Francisco Chronicle 10/24/00 Debra Saunders "........ WITH the $9 million ad campaign being waged by its National Voter Fund, the NAACP leaves no doubt that it operates as a de facto arm of the Democratic Party. ....... Consider a new NAACP ad that features Renee Mullins, daughter of James Byrd Jr., a black man who was tortured and murdered by three white racists. Mullins says in the ad, ``On June 7, 1998, my father was dragged three miles behind a truck until his life was taken from him because he was black. I went to Gov. George W. Bush and begged him to help pass a hate crimes bill in Texas. He just told me no.'' ....... The ad does not expressly tell people to vote for Al Gore. But in running radio and TV spots that trash his GOP rival in states where black turnout is crucial in the race for the White House, the NAACP's aim is clear. The fund's Andrea Pringle denies that the NAACP is anything but ``totally nonpartisan.'' ...... But if the NAACP is nonpartisan and not working for one candidate, why is this national organization advertising in the New York Times for the passage of a Texas hate crime bill? Why run this ad on TV and radio stations across the country when the Texas Legislature won't convene for two and a half months? Why push for passage of a bill that died before it made it to the governor's desk in 1999? ...... And why mislead black voters? As Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a think tank that opposes affirmative- action racial preferences, noted, ``It sounds a little misleading because the hate crime statute in Texas already covers racial hate crimes, which is what the James Byrd killing was.'' You'd never know that from the New York Times ad, which tells voters to tell Dubya ``we need hate crimes legislation.'' ........"
Hannity & Colmes, Fox News Channel 10/25/00 Freeper TommyDale "...... During the Hannity & Colmes program on Fox News Channel, former House Speaker Bob Livingston made the comment that the NAACP was supposed to be a non-partisan 501(3)c organization. By running the partisan anti-Bush commercial, they have broken the rules of the I.R.S. ....."
Newsmax 10/19/00 "……The IRS has promised to investigate charges that the Senate campaigns of New York Democrat Hillary Clinton and New Jersey Democrat John Corzine invited federal tax rules to be broken when they pitched for political support from black churches. The IRS does not comment on which matters it investigates, but the Catholic League, which urged the investigation, confirmed that the probe had been launched. It is illegal for religious leaders, who enjoy tax-exempt status from the IRS, under section 501 (c) (3) of the tax code, to allow their churches to be used for political purposes. …… However, according to the Catholic League, during Mrs. Clinton's visit to a black church in the Bronx last Sunday, she urged the congregation to sing a hymn in which the name of Clinton's opponent, Republican Rick Lazio, was substituted for a reference to Satan. ……. And according to the Catholic League, the Black Ministers Council of New Jersey endorsed Corzine's bid for the Senate earlier this year after Corzine had donated $25,000 to the council. ……."
CNSNews.com 10/18/00 Jason Pierce "…..The IRS has promised to investigate charges that the senate campaigns of New York Democrat Hillary Clinton and New Jersey Democrat John Corzine invited federal tax rules to be broken when they pitched for political support from black churches. ….. The IRS does not comment on which matters it investigates, but the Catholic League, which urged the investigation, confirmed that the probe had been launched….. It is illegal for religious leaders, who enjoy tax-exempt status from the IRS, under section 501 (c) (3) of the tax code, to allow their churches to be used for political purposes. ….."
New York Post 12/27/00 Michael Meyers "…… READING is not a fundamental tenet of the seven principles and days of Kwanzaa, the made-up "African-American" cultural holiday that began yesterday. So it's not surprising that the current regime of race leaders at the NAACP, under the guidance of one African-American named Kweisi Mfume, didn't bother to read much less heed its own policy against taking sides on candidates for office (elective or appointive) before rushing to oppose John Ashcroft, President-elect Bush's pick for attorney general. …….. Mfume claims that Ashcroft's selection is an insult to blacks and proof positive that black Americans were right to vote (in a Kwanzaa-like show of racial unity) 9 to l against presidential candidate George W. Bush. Ashcroft's sin, according to the gospel of the NAACP, is that while in the U.S. Senate he disagreed with the NAACP too many times on civil-rights issues, including on affirmative action and hate-crime legislation; he "voted to approve only three of 15 legislative issues supported by the NAACP . . ." That, says Kweisi, is "outrageous" - the same sentiment he had for the views of presidential candidate Bush, particularly on hate-crime laws, as was featured in a blatantly partisan NAACP ad during the campaign. ………… Neither Ashcroft nor Bush should worry. The Kwanzaa crows' racial rhetoric may convince TV producers to put them on to bellyache about a nomination, but few Americans will seek the truth about a nominee in an NAACP press release. …. Bush won the presidency, and he is entitled to have as his attorney general a guy who reflects his own philosophy, not the NAACP's. And it is simply reprehensible for the NAACPniks to imply that Bush's nominee is a racist or that he won't uphold the laws of the U.S. simply because they gave Ashcroft an F on their report card. ……Ashcroft is widely regarded as a man of integrity by his former colleagues in the Senate, including some liberals. And a man of integrity, whatever his personal views, knows that as attorney general he is obliged to uphold and to enforce the laws of the United States, and that it is Congress that makes those laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court that is the final arbiter of whether a law passes constitutional muster. No one man can nullify the laws of our democracy. …….."
ap via abc 11/15/00 "….. I N D I A N A P O L I S, Nov. 14 - Hundreds of parishioners whose church was ordered seized in a $6 million dispute with the IRS prayed and wept today as they awaited the arrival of federal marshals. Experts believe the U.S. government has never before seized a church in a dispute over taxes. Singing "Faith of our Fathers," members and supporters of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple worshipped for what they believed would be the last time inside the church. ..."
Fox News 11/15/00 "…… Dozens of parishioners whose Indianapolis church was ordered seized in a dispute over unpaid taxes huddled overnight inside its walls, awaiting the arrival of federal marshals. Federal marshals have seized the church parsonage but it is unclear when the authorities plan to seize the sanctuary and other property. The marshals seized the parsonage a few miles from the church on Tuesday afternoon. U.S. Marshal Frank Anderson declined to say when the Marshals Service plans to make a move in an effort to repossess the church. ….. "We do not want to jeopardize the safety of any of the members involved," he said. "We don't want any type of confrontation." ……An almost festive atmosphere prevailed late Tuesday night at the Indianapolis Baptist Temple, which experts believe could become the first church seized by the U.S. government in a quarrel over taxes. ….."
Newsmax 11/7/00 Carl Limbacher "..... In the last days of this year's campaign, Vice President Al Gore, Senate candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband have made regular appearances at African-American and Hispanic churches. .....Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., whose namesake is both a reverend and one of the Democratic Party's most vocal boosters, was challenged on the issue Monday during a Tennessee radio interview on WLAC-AM by "Nashville This Morning" hosts Steve Gill and Terry Hopkins.
GILL: Let me ask you about this. It's against IRS regulations for politicians to campaign from the pulpit. Why are these politicians campaigning in black churches?
JACKSON: I'm not totally convinced that's true in the African-American community. Certainly there's a separation of church and state. But in our community there's little distinction between our religion and our politics.... And so in many African-American churches born out of experience in this country, the role of the churches has evolved into a very, very active political institution which has been very effective for a number of causes in the black community.
HOPKINS: And that supercedes the law?
JACKSON: Absolutely. Oh, absolutely.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch 10/12/00 Patricia Rice "…… A group of clergy from Missouri mailed 3,000 letters this week to pastors, rabbis, imams and other spiritual leaders across the state asking them not to distribute the voters guides from the Christian Coalition of America. In previous elections, many area churches have folded the Washington-based conservative coalition's materials into church bulletins. Some churches had ushers distribute the guides at church doors or placed them on car windshields. Critics assert that the coalition's voters guide is aimed at encouraging churchgoers to support conservative candidates and issues. The coalition denies endorsing candidates...."
Americans United for Seperation of Church and State 11/5/00 "...... Americans United for Separation of Church and State today asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate two churches for possible violations of the federal tax law's ban on church politicking. Americans United asserted that the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va., and the Greater Grace Temple of the Apostolic Faith in Detroit, Mich., engaged in partisan politicking during yesterday's church services by encouraging support for Democratic candidates. ....... "Federal tax law clearly prohibits church intervention in a political campaign, but that appears to be exactly what these churches did," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "The election may be just days away, but houses of worship have no business trying to help rally support for specific candidates." ...... The Alfred Street Baptist Church appeared to cross the line by hosting a partisan speech delivered by President Bill Clinton on behalf of Vice President Al Gore and Virginia Sen. Chuck Robb. ........ As AU's Lynn said in his complaint to the IRS, "While efforts aimed at increasing voter turnout would not present a problem, this event appears to have been a campaign rally held during a church worship service that was designed to benefit certain candidates. ...... Americans United also reported today the political activities of the Greater Grace Temple of the Apostolic Faith in Detroit. Immediately before Gore was given an opportunity to deliver a campaign speech from the church's pulpit, Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, pastor of the congregation, offered a partisan introduction of the Democratic presidential candidate. ......."
The New York Times 11/6/00 Adam Nagourney "….. In a day of gospel and politics, Hillary Rodham Clinton preached and prayed her way through seven churches in seven hours yesterday, moving to close out her campaign by urging black parishioners in New York City to turn out to support her tomorrow. From the Bronx to Queens to Brooklyn, at churches large and small, famous and obscure, the first lady pleaded and cajoled churchgoers - almost all of them black, a group of New Yorkers that polls show overwhelmingly favor her candidacy - to vote the Democratic line, linking herself to both Al Gore and her husband at every chance. The same striking scene was replayed again and again throughout the day: the wife of the president of the United States sweeping into Baptist churches in some of the most impoverished neighborhoods of New York, to a rustle of excitement and raised hands and a swell of organ music and gospel song. ……"
Mpls (red)Star Tribune 11/4/00 Martha Sawyer Allen "…… Three days to go before election day and some religious groups are charging others of overstepping constitutional separation of church and state, while those they charge are saying that they're with in their constitutional rights. ……. In one corner are the liberals represented by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Interfaith Alliance. In another corner are the Christian conservatives, represented mostly by the Christian Coalition, the Liberty Alliance and the American Family Association. But also very much in the ring are Muslims, Jews and black Christians, all of whom are promoting using faith in the voting booth. ……. Despite their partisan differences the faith groups hold some things in common. They are all telling people to vote as if their faith depended on it. All sides also contend that they're not the partisan ones -- that the other guys are the ones being partisan. …….."
Rochester News 11/1/00 Jay Tokasz "…..The pastor of a local Roman Catholic church where U.S. Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton campaigned Sunday was admonished yesterday by Bishop Matthew H. Clark (pictured). Clinton's visit to St. Michael Church, following a service, infuriated several Catholics who said the stop inappropriately mixed religion and politics. Clark said the visit was a serious violation of diocesan policy and should not have happened. ..."
Newsmax 10/31/00 "......A spokesman for an upstate New York Catholic diocese confirmed to NewsMax.com Tuesday that its bishop has launched an investigation into who invited Senate candidate Hillary Clinton to speak at a local church this past Sunday -- despite a recent edict barring political events on church property. Several pro-life protestors who objected to Mrs. Clinton's appearance at Rochester's St. Michael's Church were removed by security. "I regret that this event took place and apologize for any confusion that may have resulted," Rochester Bishop Matthew Clark told the Associated Press Monday......"
Bob Lonsberry 10/31/00 "…… A decade ago I walked up to St. Michael's every week or so. Out of downtown and past the Innerloop and through the neighborhoods to the giant church at Clinton and Clifford. It was an island. An island of decency and beauty in a sea of squalor and rot. A vandalized and gloomy neighborhood of broken windows and broken dreams. Where once block after block of German and Polish families had toiled and scrubbed, Latinos and blacks now lived, the flower gardens replaced by filth and blowing garbage, the stench of sewer gas and decay hanging over the summer streets. I would walk up there and sometimes in the day I would hear gunshots. …….. The world has changed at Clinton and Clifford, in barely more than a generation. And the school is closed and collapsing, behind the big stately church, where weeds grow in the courtyard. This is where Hillary went. On Sunday, with a week til Election Day, with the protesters out front and the neighborhood people looking on in bemused confusion. …… The First Lady came. The cops and the Secret Service guys and the plain woman in the pants suit. To walk into the sanctuary and up to the lectern, with host in the Tabernacle, and give her speech. On Sunday. ….."
Mark Levin, Education Week 11/1/00 Jeff Archer "…..How much does the nation's largest teachers' organization spend on politics each year? According to forms that the National Education Association files with the Internal Revenue Service, not a penny. That's right. Nothing. Zilch. …….. But Mark R. Levin, the executive director of the Kansas City, Mo.-based Landmark Legal Foundation, doesn't buy it. How, he asks, can the NEA tell the IRS that it doesn't spend anything on politics when reams of internal NEA documents list scores of politically related expenditures and activities? "They are involved in political activities, and they're proud of it, and they brag about it," he said of the 2.5 million-member union. "But they just refuse to own up to it when it comes to filing their forms." ………For example, Landmark points to a $350,000 item in an NEA budget document for "training programs and materials designed, developed, and tested that strengthen organizational capacity to support the election of pro-public education candidates." Another item in the same document similarly describes expenditures of $872,000 over two years for developing "a comprehensive, state-specific campaign. ... aimed at electing bipartisan pro-education candidates." ……To Mr. Levin, the apparent inconsistencies show a clear attempt to play fast and loose with the law, and Landmark, a conservative group that has battled the NEA over school vouchers, has let the IRS know as much in a complaint it filed this summer.The NEA counters, however, that Landmark is keying in on legitimate, nontaxable expenditures and that the union's practices are both legal and appropriate. ……"
Charisma News 10/26/00 Andy Butcher "…… A country pastor has blasted the author of a nationwide warning to churches not to endorse any of the candidates in next month's presidential election. Raymond Rooney criticized the tactics of Barry Lynn in a letter to the director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS) for his "scare" that churches that do name their choice for the White House could lose their tax-exempt status. …….. Pastor of Verona United Methodist Church outside Tupelo, Miss., Rooney attacked Lynn's warning-contained in a letter sent to thousands of churches across the country-as "arrogant, misguided and offensive." Rooney's strongly worded response is being distributed to its supporters by the American Family Association (AFA), which says that is exposes the "secret agenda" of the AUSCS mailing. …….Sent out earlier this month, Lynn's "educational" letter-which identifies him as a minister and attorney--advises that tax-exempt laws bar churches from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. It says that the Christian Coalition's voter guides have "an obvious partisan goal" and that if churches pass them out they could get into trouble. The AFA says that the AUSCS letter was intended to "confuse our pastors and silence our pulpits on political issues." ……"
Nbc 10/29/00 Freeper steveh "...... Another (NBC) TV news late today (10/29/00) showed Gore speaking at another Black church. Gore seemed to be giving a typical stump speech about how we tried the old way of government, and that failed, and we won't do that again. Then the minister took the microphone and lead a chant which went something like "More with Gore! More with Gore! More With Gore!..." ...... I believe the church was in Michigan. ....... I believe this was at least the second week Gore was using a Black church for giving a campaign speech, where the first one was when Gore went to Texas for the weekend (Oct. 22, Dallas, Pentacostal church). ........ "
Freeper Aherald 10/16/00 "….
Express Powers that Cause Failure of Organizational Test
1. An organization does not meet the organizational test if its articles expressly empower it:
A. To devote more than an insubstantial part of its activities to influence legislation by propaganda or otherwise (Reg. 1.501(c)(3)-1(b)(3)(i));
B. Directly or indirectly to participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office (Reg. 1.501(c)(3)-1 (b)(3)(ii));
C. To have objectives and to engage in activities which characterize it as an "action" organization (Reg. 1.501(c)(3)-1 (b)(3)(iii));
D. To carry on any other activities (unless they are insubstantial) which are not in furtherance of one or more exempt purposes (Reg. 1.501(c)(3)-1(b)(1)(i)(a)).
New York Times 10/15/00 Katherine Seelye "……With the presidential election in a dead heat, Vice President Al Gore sought to mobilize his campaign's "get out the vote" drive today by imploring black preachers to push for his election from their pulpits. "I'm asking you in your sermons to do the work of the Lord here on earth," Mr. Gore declared in seeking vocal advocates for his candidacy. "I ask for your help in getting that message out urgently tomorrow."…… The vice president spoke to the black ministers in a telephone conference call from Air Force Two as he flew from Detroit to Washington. He also participated in a second conference call with Hispanic officials and volunteers in Gore campaign offices around the country, including Texas, Florida, California and New York…… Analysts have predicted an especially low turnout in the Nov. 7 elections, and the Gore campaign has already begun to "activate the base," political jargon for firing up its most loyal backers to make sure they vote and get others to the polls……."