Story Summary

IRS scandal

The federal agency faced criticism for its reported screening practices that appeared to target particular groups and organizations.

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SEATTLE — The U.S. Senate had its chance Tuesday to grill Internal Revenue Service leaders about the targeting of conservative organizations. It coincided with protests around the country from Tea Party groups, including several in our area.

irsIn downtown Seattle, there were members of the leftist Occupy Movement standing alongside conservative protesters to express their outrage as well.

“Once the genie’s out of the bottle, you can’t get it back in, and that’s the problem,” said Sean Walsh, an active member of the Occupy Seattle protest group. “So, that’s why I’m down here. That’s why the Occupy Movement is represented here.”

Another protester, Tricia Blevins, who was there as a conservative, expressed her anger at the recent scandal.

“This administration wants to shut everybody up, and they are using and abusing their power through the IRS to do it,” she said.

In Washington, D.C., Tuesday, senators expressed anger at former IRS Commissioner Douglas Schulman.

“How did this happen?” asked Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

“I can’t say that I know that answer,” responded Schulman.

Baucus was neither pleased nor convinced.

“I’m kind of disappointed,” Baucus said. “You’ve had time to think about this, and you certainly have more thoughts than that.”

Also on the hot seat was recently fired acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, who denied the agency engaged in biased behavior.

“Foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection,” Miller said. “The listing described in the report, while intolerable, was a mistake and not an act of partisanship.”

Despite the controversy, despite all the recent controversies involving the administration, President Barack Obama’s poll numbers have not been dented, at least not yet.  All major news organizations show Obama holding steady since early April.

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Photo courtesy of

WASHINGTON – Continuing to move quickly to try to put the IRS controversy behind him, President Obama named a new acting commissioner Thursday to replace the one he ousted the day before.

Daniel Werfel, current controller of the Office of Management and Budget, will replace Steven Miller, who has been the acting commissioner since November 2012. Miller came under fire for his role in the scandal over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative advocacy groups.

“The American people deserve to have the utmost confidence and trust in their government, and as we work to get to the bottom of what happened and restore confidence in the IRS, Danny has the experience and management ability necessary to lead the agency at this important time,” Obama said in a statement.

–For the complete Los Angeles Times story, go here.


Washington (CNN)[Breaking news update at 6:30 p.m.]

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the “misconduct” detailed in a report about the Internal Revenue Service’s handling of requests from conservative groups is “inexcusable.”

“Americans have a right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it,” he said.

In the wake of the uproar, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew requested — and has accepted — the resignation of the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, according to Obama.

The president also said his administration will work to enact “new safeguards to make sure that this kind of behavior cannot happen again.”

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Courtesy of Fox News

[Original story published at 5:51 p.m.]

(CNN) — The Internal Revenue Service has identified two “rogue” employees in the agency’s Cincinnati office as being principally responsible for “overly aggressive” handling of requests by conservative groups for tax-exempt status, a congressional source told CNN.

In a meeting on Capitol Hill, acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller described the employees as being “off the reservation,” according to the source. It was not clear precisely what the alleged behavior involved.

For the complete CNN story, go here.