Daily Media Links 6/20: Why Liberals Should Care about the IRS Scandal, Moving a Washington scandal out of town, and more…

June 20, 2013   •  By Joe Trotter   •  
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Why Liberals Should Care about the IRS Scandal

By Luke Wachob

The scandal is that government power was being used by the IRS to discriminate against people based on their political beliefs. Whether or not 501(c)(4)’s have one political leaning or another, the IRS must treat them all equally, and it clearly failed to do so. Government discrimination is an issue everyone should be interested in; after all, who controls the government now is not who will control it forever. Under a Democratic White House, the IRS targeted conservative-leaning groups for extra scrutiny. Who’s to say that under a Republican White House, the IRS won’t start going after liberal groups? If we tolerate discrimination against one group, we’re more likely to tolerate discrimination against other groups in the future. Everyone, if only for self-interested reasons, should be invested in preventing discrimination based on an individual or organization’s political beliefs. 
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Independent Groups

Washington Times: Moving a Washington scandal out of town

By Jay Seklow
The declaration that it is time for Congress and the public to “move on” from the coordinated and chilling effort to silence the voices of American citizens by one of the government’s most powerful and supposedly impartial agencies is not only an insult to the targeted groups, but also a total violation of public trust.  

Billings Gazette: Tester, Udall roll out constitutional amendments to allow campaign-finance regulation   
By Mike Dennison
Montana’s Sen. Jon Tester on Tuesday proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that says corporations don’t have constitutional rights – an attempt to restrict corporate campaign spending and overturn a landmark 2010 court ruling that expanded such spending.
Bloomberg: IRS Scandal’s Origins Become Clearer Amid Other Questions
By Richard Rubin
Internal Revenue Service employees flagged a Tea Party case to their bosses in 2010 because they thought it might receive media attention. They couldn’t have known just how right they would be.  
The IRS didn’t turn that concern in its Cincinnati office into an efficient process for handling the applications by politically oriented nonprofit groups for tax-exempt status, agency officials say. Instead, the case ballooned into a controversy that has led to resignations, congressional inquiries and a criminal probe.

Reason: Federal Employees Overwhelmingly Contributed to Obama Campaign

The analysis also showed the Department of Education and the National Labor Relations Board did not report a single dollar in contributions to Romney from its lawyers.
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Roll Call: Senators Touting Transparency Should Look in the Mirror
By Eliza Newlin Carney
Senators on both sides of the aisle have demanded transparency lately from a growing list of government agencies: the State Department, the Justice Department, the IRS, the National Security Agency.  
Yet when it comes to their own dealings, most notably their campaign fundraising and spending, senators don’t look so keen on transparency after all. 

Candidates, Politicians and Parties

Wall Street Journal: Issa, Cummings Fight Publicly Over Interview Transcript 
By Siobhan Hughes
WASHINGTON –- The uneasy relationship between the top Democrat and Republican on the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee took a turn for the worse on Tuesday after the Democrat published a transcript of an interview with an Internal Revenue Service manager who had suggested that he wasn’t directed by the White House to target applications from conservative groups seeking non-profit status.  

State and Local

New York –– Times Union: Tactics hot and cold 
By Casey Seiler
Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week introduced a bill that would tighten those standards and create a public financing system for statewide elections. But the governor has admitted that the bill is almost certainly dead, primarily due to opposition from Senate Republicans. Instead, Cuomo is preparing to launch a Moreland Act investigation into the nexus of money and politics.  
Article continues: A much hotter protest a few hours later ended with 21 people being arrested on disorderly conduct charges after they blocked entrances to the office of state Sen. Jeff Klein, leader of the Independent Democratic Conference. 
North Carolina –– AP: NC House votes along party lines to repeal public campaign financing through tax returns 
Republicans argued the state has no business giving public money to individual political parties and public financing for political campaigns is unnecessary. Democrats said the program was put in place to balance the scales between poorer people and larger contributors to political parties. 

Joe Trotter

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