[VIDEO] SMIDGEN REPORT UPDATE: Politico Sat on Allegations Lois Lerner Had Prior History of Targeting Conservatives

Politico is not the only news organization to ignore Salvi’s story

T. Becket Adams writes: Politico scored a journalistic coup with its exclusive 2014 profile on Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.Al-Salvi

But a former Illinois lawmaker who said Politico contacted him repeatedly that year with questions regarding claims he was targeted by Lerner in the mid-1990s has been left wondering why the news group chose to ignore his documented dealings with the former federal official.

“I spent something like an hour and a half talking to Politico about this,” said Salvi, whose dealings with the FEC are well documented by the federal agency. “And I’m nowhere in the story. They had no intention of using anything I said.”

“I was shocked,” Al Salvi told the Washington Examiner‘s media desk, describing what he characterizes as several “lengthy” interviews with Politico reporter Rachael Bade.

Lerner went after his 1996 Senate campaign with a lawsuit totaling $1.1 million — an enforcement action that was eventually thrown out of court — when she was working at the Federal Election Commission, according to Salvi.smdg-tv2

“Every interview I had, the first thing people would say is: Tell us about your investigation. People thought I was going to jail!”

— Al Salvi, whose dealings with the FEC are well documented by the federal agency.

“I spent something like an hour and a half talking to Politico about this,” said Salvi, whose dealings with the FEC are well documented by the federal agency. “And I’m nowhere in the story. They had no intention of using anything I said.”

With its Lerner profile, titled “Exclusive: Lois Lerner breaks silence,” Politico became the first news group to gain access to the embattled former bureaucrat, who resigned from the Internal Revenue Service after bombshell revelations in 2013 that the IRS had singled out Tea Party and other conservative nonprofits for exceptional scrutiny and slow-walking of applications for tax exemptions.

Lerner headed the tax agency’s exempt organizations division at the time.

In 1996, Salvi, a representative in the Illinois state house, ran for an open U.S. Senate seat against then-Rep. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. His campaign attracted powerful scrutiny from the Federal Election Commission’s enforcement division, creating a scandal that Salvi said cost him the race.

031215Lerner-letter

The FEC was responding to a complaint lodged by Gary LaPaille, the Democratic Party’s state chairman. And the commission’s enforcement division was headed at the time by none other than Lois Lerner.

On Oct. 22, 1996, Lerner’s FEC division found”reason to believe” Salvi misreported nearly $1.1 million in contributions and O-SMDGE-CONDENSEDloans, the agency said in a court filing. Later, in an letter dated Oct. 29, 1996, addressed to Salvi’s legal representative at the time, Bobby Burchfield, which shows that Salvi did have some form of contact with Lerner, the FEC announced it had closed its file against the Republican candidate.

And although the FEC’s case was eventually dismissed that year on technical grounds, Salvi ended up losing to Durbin, who is now a powerful senator. Salvi continues to blame the FEC scrutiny and the negative press it brought his campaign for souring voters in the Prairie State.

“Every interview I had, the first thing people would say is: Tell us about your investigation,” Salvi told the Examiner. “People thought I was going to jail!”

Later, after losing his Senate bid, Salvi announced he would run for Illinois secretary of state. But the charges of financial wrongdoing continued to dog Salvi, even after he secured the nomination of the state’s Republican Party. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Reality Check: Memo Reveals IRS Focusing on Targeting Conservatives in 2012

smidgen-lie

YouTube

Read the rest of this entry »


The Real Voter Suppression of 2012

Voter ID didn’t reduce turnout, but the IRS may have.

By  John Fund

The 2012 election season was filled with angry cries of voter suppression,” almost all of them regarding attempts by states to require voter ID and otherwise improve ballot integrity. Bill Clinton warned that “there has never been, in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the other Jim Crow burdens on voting” the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.” Democratic-party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said “photo-ID laws, we think, are very similar to a poll tax.

All of this proved to be twaddle. An August 2012 Washington Post poll showed nearly two-thirds of African-Americans and Hispanics backing photo ID. The Census Bureau has found that the rate of voter turnout for blacks exceeded that of whites for the first time in the 2012 election.

But it now turns out there may have suppression of the vote after all. “It looks like a lot of tea-party groups were less active or never got off the ground because of the IRS actions, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker told me. Sure seems like people were discouraged by it.

Indeed, several conservative groups I talked with said they were directly impacted by having their non-profit status delayed by either IRS inaction or burdensome and intrusive questioning. At least two donors told me they didn’t contribute to True the Vote, a group formed to combat voter fraud, because after three years of waiting the group still didn’t have its status granted at the time of the 2012 election. (While many of the targeted tea-party groups were seeking to become 501(c)(4)s, donations to which are not tax-deductible, True the Vote sought to become a 501(c)(3).) This week, True the Vote sued the IRS in federal court, asking a judge to enjoin the agency from targeting anyone in the future.

Cleta Mitchell, True the Vote’s lawyer, says we’ll never know just how much political activity was curtailed by the IRS targeting. She has one client who wanted to promote reading of the Constitution, but who didn’t even hear back from the IRS for three years – until last Monday, when the IRS informed this client that some questions would be sent.

“I was about to file with the IRS when other tea-party groups started to get harassed,” Pennsylvania activist Jennifer Stefano told Time magazine. “I remember checking with the IRS to see if they wanted the group [Facebook] page or my personal page, and they said ‘All of it.’”

The IRS claims that all of the delays and information demands were rooted in mere mismanagement and misjudgment, a stance that began to look even shakier yesterday when Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS’s exempt-organization division, took the Fifth Amendment before a House committee.

Read the rest of this entry »