It’s totally not about that

State Senator Julianne Ortman held a press conference today to try and finger U.S. Senator Al Franken for playing a role in the current controversy over the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) giving unwarranted scrutiny to certain conservative 501(c)(4) groups.

In 2012, Franken and a group of other Democratic Senators sent two letters to the IRS, requesting that they give added scrutiny to 501(c)(4) groups.  Both progressive and conservative organizations had been setting such groups up because they are tax-exempt and not subject to campaign finance disclosures.

You can see the letters at the links below:

February 2012 letter

March 2012 letter

In each, the Senators in question ask the IRS to scrutinize all 501(c)(4)s.  Ideology doesn’t come up in either letter.

So, let’s sum up the argument here.  Ortman is asking us to believe that the letters from 2012 which called for additional scrutiny to be applied to all 501(c)(4)s are significantly responsible for IRS misbehavior that began in 2010 and was actually uncovered and stopped after the letter was sent.  Not even the reliable conservatives at Powerline are buying that one.

Why, then, would Ortman go to the trouble of calling a press conference to highlight this non-news with no real relation to her role as a State Senator?  Oh, yeah:

When asked about such a thing, Ortman played the “who me?” card.

Uh-huh.  It’s totally not about that.

And let’s not forget that Ortman has never exactly been shy about sending letters of her own demanding action by other parts of government.  Earlier this session, she asked Attorney General Lori Swanson to break from usual practice and preemptively give a ruling on whether legislation was constitutional or not.  Last session, Ortman demanded that the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court investigate the handling of family cases in the First District.

So it seems that Ortman’s outrage over legislative letter-writing is rather subjective.  Just remember, though, about those 2014 rumors:  it’s totally not about that.


15 Responses to “It’s totally not about that”

  1. As slimy as the Obama administration has been proven to be over the past few weeks especially, I wouldn’t put it past them that they used folks like Franken as cover to get this nonsense rolling. Benghazi has shown us that the administration will use any means to avoid the “transparency” that was claimed would occur.

    And Al Franken writing letters about 501c’s and the link? I wonder how many he wrote to have unions investigated for their campaign finance support? You see in his twisted mind, it’s OK for organization to donate as much as they wish, as long as they are unions. And he rails against other organizations, corporations, and the like?

    So basically, Al was asking the IRS to be a partisan arm of the administration through back channels. And now we see that all sorts of IRS auditors got the message. Mess with Obama, get an an audit. People critical of Obama. Audited. Writers critical. Audited. PACs against Obama. Audited. Pro Israel groups critical of Obama. Audited. Information from audits drifted into the hands of groups attacking Romney. Are we really to believe it’s just a coincidence that any group, PAC, organization, author, etc., that was against this man, just so happened to be audited? Smells like conspiracy to me. And now it smells like Al might have helped to fire this off. I know if I were running against him, I’d make the link to this slimy administration as often as possible.

    Whether Ortman’s running against him or not, I’m just glad she’s shedding some light on Al’s role in this, whether he was intentionally getting these slimy practices rolling or not. I certainly bears learning more about what went on regarding this massive government scandal. Given his extremely narrow victory last time, if he’s proven tied to this mess, he’s done. Right now, Democrats from state to federal are looking pretty bad right now. Your party is laying itself to waste before our very eyes, all by it’s own actions. It’s fun to watch, if not expensive. For now.

    • Did the Franken letters from 2012 visit Doc Brown, hop in the DeLorean and go back to 2010? Because Franken’s letters to the IRS came essentially at the end of the IRS’s mistakes, not the beginning. And, yet again, it should be pointed out that the letters Franken wrote called for scrutiny of all 501(c)(4)s, not just conservative ones. Plenty of liberal groups, including unions, use 501(c)(4)s for doing political activities.

      There’s no evidence in any of these scandals of White House involvement or malfeasance. This is hardly the first time lower-level IRS officials have gone on stupid diversions, likely thinking it will curry favor with the Administration in power. A similar corollary would be how the IRS handled investigations of churches accused of political activity in the Bush Administration. Liberal churches, such as All Saints Episcopal in California, received much harsher scrutiny than conservative churches like Minnesota’s Living Word Christian Center when complaints were filed. (Not to mention the spurious investigations that Bush’s IRS put the NAACP and Greenpeace through.)

      And based on the e-mail chains released a few days ago, the Benghazi “cover-up” allegations have fizzled. The White House was stupid not to release those months ago.

      • 2010? There are lots of events that occurred related to the IRS scandal that occurred in 2012. While the Tea Party targeting might have started then, there is evidence that this expanded to any enemy of Obama throughout 2012.

        Beghazi fizzled? Maybe some see it that way. The American public was misled to assist an election campaign. That’s a big issue. This is far from over.

        • There’s nothing in that article that indicates “Franken urged IRS to target tea party in 2012”.

          • Not by name. But certainly targeted these types of organizations. Note the lack of bi-partisanship on the letters. Signed by Democrats only, but targeted non-Conservative 501(c)4’s as well? Not so much. Want some land?

            • Franken’s letters only targeted by type of organization, not by ideology. The NYT article cited in one of the letters pointed out prominent progressive and conservative groups using these organizations for political activity. This is the thinnest of political gruel here.

              • Perhaps with the rosy glasses on it is. Think about it. 4 Democrats pen a letter telling the IRS to look into these groups, and now look at the partisanship of DC. Thin as it may be, conservative 501(c)4’s were hit with audits. And their data was passed on for other use which was also illegal. We’re there a few progressive’s hit, or are they just keeping quiet. The coincindences are to strark to ignore. According to Democrats, there is more to be revealed on this. This is the beginning. And growing every day. We’re approaching Nixonian, unless you believe that’s it mostly conservite groups that warranted such extra scrutiny on normal merits. It’s like flipping a coin 100 times and coming up heads only once. Possible, certainly. Unlikely, extremely.

                • It only works if you read into the letter something that isn’t there.

                  It’s only “Nixonian” if we find out that Obama was directing this activity or the cover-up from the Oval Office — as Nixon did in his scandals.

                  • The only thing missing is which groups to target, which is implicit by the party members on the letter.

                    2010 was the test market. 2012 was the expanded version of the plan. Watch what is coming next.

  2. If I were a Democrat like you, I’d get as far away from this story as possible. You are at best bringing attention to this scandal, and to Al Franken. As we begin to look deeper, this is a HUGE scandal for the administration.


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