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Thursday, June 06, 2013

 

Who made the IRS toxic?

Steven Law who heads Crossroads GPS exposes the ultimate culprits. He compares the IRS scandal to what happened and why at Enron.

Any good CEO will tell you that ethical meltdowns like the IRS political-targeting scandal are rarely the work of a few rogue employees. Such messes are the result of a toxic culture that has been allowed to fester.

When I was chief of staff at the Labor Department, we investigated the ethical and financial disintegration of Enron in connection with the collapse of its pension funds in 2001. What we found was a small circle of certifiably bad actors who acted without regard for the law or for anyone else. Surrounding this inner circle was a culture that gave these employees tacit permission to run roughshod over others and break the law.


So who is responsible for IRS employees illegally and unethically targeting the Obama's - and Democrats' - opponents? It really isn't much of a puzzle.
At the very top the IRS got the green light to target Conservative groups from Barack Obama.
What the Enron scandal teaches is that such implicit permission can be communicated by a toxic culture fostered by the company's top brass.

Consider the tone that has been set by the person at the very top of the government the IRS serves. President Obama is the first president since Nixon to refer to political opponents as "enemies," in October 2010, apologizing only after a week of intense criticism. Around the same time, he assailed conservative advocacy groups as a "threat to democracy." As the nation's top law enforcer, Mr. Obama singled out groups such as Americans for Prosperity by name and suggested they What could be taking illegal foreign funds. That's toxic culture from the C-Suite.
What was Obama's evidence for this? Absolutely none. We suspect that when he disabled verification on credit card contributions in his first campaign, he may have gotten lots of foreign money. We'll never know. He may have simply been projecting.

Then there are hyper partisan Democrats like Dick Durbin calling for partisan harassment:
Next, at least 10 Democratic senators publicly pressured the IRS to do precisely what it is now being excoriated for: harassing center-right groups for conducting the same spirited advocacy that environmental groups and labor unions have done for years. I know something about this: A month before the 2010 election, Sen. Dick Durbin sent a letter urging the IRS to investigate the advocacy group I head, Crossroads GPS. Why us and not scores of liberal groups that do exactly what we do? Mr. Durbin claims he singled us out because we were raising so much money.

And let's not overlook Democrat Carl Levin:
Now that we see how ugly ideological profiling by the IRS looks, some of these senators are in full damage control. On May 23, Michigan Sen. Carl Levin dropped the bombshell that his subcommittee has been in constant contact with the overseers of the IRS political-targeting scandal since it started, and even discussed the applications of "certain" specific groups. Mr. Levin now says he had an "incomplete account" of what was going on under his subcommittee's nose. Does he mean he had no idea the IRS was targeting conservative groups? If senators and their staffs were leaning on the IRS to go after specific advocacy groups, then Congress is responsible for helping to feed this culture.

And then there's the National Treasury Employees Union, avowed enemy of the Tea party folks:

Finally, it's important to focus on the political stew that many IRS employees marinate in as members of the National Treasury Employees Union, which is headed by Colleen Kelley. Ms. Kelley has publicly vilified "extreme Tea Party elements," portraying their agenda as a threat to the IRS workers her union represents. In 2011, Ms. Kelley mobilized IRS employees to "lean on" members of Congress against tea-party-backed spending cuts, boasting that "anywhere there's an IRS service center, we have four to eight thousand" union members. When you have a union boss who demonizes private citizens and conscripts front-line IRS employees as boots-on-the-ground activists, you've got toxic culture from the ground up.
There has been a great deal of discussion about an increase in partisan rancor and much of the blame has been cast on the Internet. After all, you can go on-line and say just about anything, anonymously if you like. It is becoming evident that the hyper partisanship on the Internet is not the cause, but the result of an unprecedented level of Washington politicians creating a culture of lawlessness and take-no-prisoners partisanship. Team Obama and congressional Democrats are not content with holding offices that can be lost in the next election; they are working to destroy the opposition so that they don’t have to worry about the next election. That's creating a "culture of corruption" that the media for some reason will never attach to the Obama administration despite evidence to the contrary. There's a word for one-party rule and it's not Democracy .


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