Wall Street Journal: IRS Scandal: Republicans Seek Details on Lerner Interview
By John D. McKinnon
House Republicans on Thursday asked the Justice Department to turn over information concerning an interview a former top Internal Revenue Service official gave to prosecutors in recent months, while she was declining to answer GOP lawmakers’ questions.
The official, Lois Lerner, is at the center of a controversy over IRS targeting of conservative tea party groups for special scrutiny.
Republicans are unhappy that Ms. Lerner gave Justice Department prosecutors a full interview on the matter while refusing to answer lawmakers’ questions.
Washington Post: Eric Holder declines Ted Cruz’s request for special prosecutor in IRS case
By JOSH HICKS
Holder announced the decision in aletter last week to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), saying that ”such an appointment is not warranted” because the case does not present a conflict of interest. Cruz had requested an independent investigation in January.
The attorney general said in his response to the senator that “career prosecutors and law-enforcement professionals” were conducting the Justice Department probe. “The Department remains committed to integrity and fairness in all of its law-enforcement efforts, without regard to politics,” Holder said.
Cruz criticized the decision on Thursday, saying in a statement that Holder “has chosen to reject the bipartisan tradition of the Department of Justice of putting rule of law above political allegiance.” He cited past examples in which attorneys general appointed special prosecutors to investigate Watergate under President Richard Nixon and the Monica Lewinsky scandal under President Bill Clinton.
Washington Examiner: Harry Reid lets Obama, Eric Holder cover up IRS scandal
Nobody was surprised when Attorney General Eric Holder decided the special prosecutor requested by Sen. Ted Cruz to investigate the IRS scandal isn’t needed. Why? Because Holder and his boss in the Oval Office refuse to make the same mistake that led to Richard Nixon’s undoing in the Watergate scandal. Nixon allowed his attorney general to name a special prosecutor to investigate Watergate, confident that his Justice Department loyalists could contain any ensuing damage.
But Nixon miscalculated and it ended disastrously for him with the infamous Saturday Night Massacre. Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox, thus precipitating resignations from Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckleshaus. The massacre made it clear that Nixon was covering something up, prompting the public to turn against him and support his impeachment.
NPR: Is Organizing For Action Too Close To The White House?
By Peter Overby
Organizing for Action, the social welfare group formed out of President Obama’s campaign organization, has stumbled over its own fundraising rules. Now it’s trying to clean things up.
LA Times: Supreme Court faces wave of free-speech cases from conservatives
By David G. Savage
Citing the campaign funding case, which seeks to knock out aggregate limits on how much wealthy donors can give congressional candidates and political parties, Carvin accused liberals of abandoning “the idea of assuring all voices can participate freely because they don’t like rich people and corporations.”
Defenders of existing campaign funding limits counter that their aim is to prevent those with great wealth, including corporations, from dominating the airwaves during election season.
The trend may also reflect the shifting ideological leanings of the high court. Five of the nine justices are Republican appointees, and conservatives are betting that they will be more receptive to appeals from the right, especially on matters of free speech.
Candidates, Politicians, Campaigns, and Parties
AP: Parties Spend Heavily to Help States Hire Staff
By PHILIP ELLIOTT
Republicans are hiring operatives from California to Maine and building databases that track voters’ habits, preferences and interests.
Democrats are spending just as heavily to keep their political machinery humming going into November’s elections, which will determine House and Senate control, and ahead of the 2016 presidential contest, according to a review of campaign finance reports.
State and Local
Hawaii –– AP: Bill for public campaign financing in Hawaii dies
By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
HONOLULU (AP) — A bill that would have changed campaign finance laws for state elections in Hawaii died in the state Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, halting its progress unless the group decides to hear the bill again this session.
The bill (HB 2533) would have provided public funding for campaigns for elections to the state House of Representatives and would have changed spending limits and the maximum amount of contributions made to candidates for other offices.