Now cue sleaze ball opportunist Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. KY):The Internal Revenue Service said Friday that while "mistakes were made" when the agency inappropriately targeted conservative groups for additional reviews between 2010 and 2012, its actions were not motivated by partisan politics.
The agency explained that employees in its Cincinnati, Ohio office faced an increased influx of 501(c)(4) nonprofit applications by organizations during the election period and sought to "centralize" and better the efficiency of the system.
"While centralizing cases for consistency made sense, the way we initially centralized them did not," Dean J Patterson, a spokesman for the IRS, said in a statement obtained by TPM. "Mistakes were made initially, but they were in no way due to any political or partisan rationale. We fixed the situation last year and have made significant progress in moving the centralized cases through our system.
He added: "To date, more than half of the cases have been approved or withdrawn. It is important to recognize that all centralized applications received the same, even-handed treatment, and the majority of cases centralized were not based on a specific name. In addition, new procedures also were implemented last year to ensure that these mistakes won’t be made in the future. The IRS also stresses that our employees - all career civil servants -- will continue to be guided by tax law and not partisan issues." - TPM, 5/10/13
Here's McConnell's statement:Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is calling on the Obama administration to conduct a government-wide probe in the wake of an admission by the Internal Revenue Service that it targeted conservative groups.
The IRS apologized on Friday for inappropriately flagging conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.
Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt groups, said organizations that included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status were singled out for additional reviews.
Lerner said the practice, initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati, was wrong and she apologized while speaking at a conference in Washington.
McConnell says the admission is proof that his earlier concerns were well founded, adding the White House needs to review the agency's actions. - WFPL 89.3, 5/10/13
Just a pathetic attempt for McConnell to get in good with the Tea Party base so they can spare him an embarrassing defeat in the GOP primary. By the way, McConnell's also going up with a new ad reminding Kentucky voters how much he hates Obamacare:“Today’s acknowledgement by the Obama administration that the IRS did in fact target conservative groups in the heat of last year’s national election is not enough. Today, I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not underway at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views. Last year, amid reports that the Obama administration was using the levers of executive power to harass conservative political groups in Kentucky and elsewhere, I issued a very public warning to the administration that the targeting of private citizens on the basis of their political views would not be tolerated. Today’s apology by the IRS is proof that those concerns were well founded. But make no mistake, an apology won’t put this issue to rest. Now more than ever we need to send a clear message to the Obama Administration that the First Amendment is non-negotiable, and that apologies after an election year are not an sufficient response to what we now know took place at the IRS. This kind of political thuggery has absolutely no place in our politics.” - TPM, 5/10/13
Politics is like great comedy where timing is everything and McConnell's timing couldn't be more perfect, especially after this happened yesterday:
The super PAC supporting Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell’s reelection is going up with its first commercial Friday, touting the Kentucky Republican’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
“On health care, Mitch McConnell’s stood with Kentuckians from Day One,” says an announcer in the spot, aired by the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition. “Tell him keep fighting to stop Obamacare in its tracks.”
The 30-second ad will air on Louisville and Lexington stations for a week and cost $109,000.
The commercial comes amid reports on the difficulty of implementing the health care law and the much-buzzed-about comment by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) that it could be a “huge train wreck” if the Obama administration doesn’t bolster its public outreach about the legislation.
The spot features Baucus’s comments and a clip of McConnell also predicting a “train wreck.” - Politico, 5/10/13
McConnell truly is a pathetic opportunist who will do anything to win.Gov. Steve Beshear (D) announced Kentucky would participate in a key element of President Barack Obama's health care plan to enroll more people in Medicaid.
Beshear tweeted the news Thursday afternoon:Beshear is one of the last governors in the country to announce his position on Medicaid expansion, a plan that has faced difficulty thanks to Republican infighting. - Huffington Post, 5/9/13