The official at the center of the Internal Revenue Service tea party scandal once dismissed complaints that labor unions were not reporting millions of dollars in political activities on their tax forms, according to an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
In 2007, Lerner responded directly to a complaint that some major labor unions reported completely different amounts of political expenditures when filing with the IRS and the Department of Labor.
At the time of the email, Lerner was the Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS.
Lerner wrote, “We looked at the information you provided regarding organizations that report substantial amounts of political activity and lobbying expenditures on the DOL Form LM-2, but report little to no political expenditures on the Form 990 filed with the IRS.”
“We believe this difference in reporting does not necessarily indicate that the organization has incorrectly reported to either the DOL or the IRS,” Lerner concluded.
Don Todd, the deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) at the time the email was sent, confirmed seeing Lerner’s email and remembering similar complaints at the time. OLMS oversees labor union financial disclosures within the Department of Labor.
“The laws never been enforced,” Todd told TheDCNF. “The IRS was telling us it would cost more to enforce the law then they would collect.”
In 2006, the year leading up to Lerner’s email, the national headquarters for the AFL-CIO reported no direct or indirect political expenditures with the IRS on their 990 form, leaving the line 81a blank. That same year, the AFL-CIO reported $29,585,661 in political activities with the Department of Labor.
Also in 2006 the Teamsters Union reported no political expenditures with the IRS while at the same time reporting $7,081,965 with the Labor Department.
Again in 2006, Unite-Here reported no political activity with the IRS and $1,451,002 with the Labor Department.
In 2005, the National Education Association also reported no political expenditures with the IRS while at the same time reporting $24,985,250 with the Labor Department.
Labor union political spending overwhelmingly benefits Democrats. Todd told TheDNCF Lerner may have been playing favorites. Lerner has been accused of singling out tea party groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Lerner acknowledged in the 2007 email, “The definition of political campaign activity required to be reported on Form LM2 coincides with the definition of political campaign activity expenditures required to be reported on Form 990.”
But she did offer some possible reasons for the discrepancies. “The Form LM-2 does not separate this reporting from the reporting of lobbying expenditures,” she wrote. “Furthermore, even if section 501(c)(5) labor organizations were required to report their lobbying expenditures, the amount required to be reported on Form LM-2 includes activity, such as attempting to influence regulations, that is not required to be reported as lobbying, as the IRS limitations apply to legislative lobbying.”
Lerner conceded, “Having said that, we did see some instances that raised concerns and we referred that information to our Dallas office to determine whether examination is warranted.” It does not appear any further investigation was conducted.
The Bush administration mandated more detailed disclosure requirements for labor unions, but they were relaxed by the Obama administration’s Labor Department.
An IRS spokesman told TheDCNF the agency had no “immediate comment” on the matter.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expected to allow thousands of illegal immigrant deportees to return to the U.S., so long as they have ties to Southern California. Taxpayers will additionally fund a media campaign in Mexico, alerting deportees that they may be eligible to come back to the United States.
An agreement outlining the new settlement was announced in late August, according to the Los Angeles Times. The plan, which only applies to Southern California, was reportedly drawn up in response to a lawsuit that was filed last year by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) relating to the rights of illegal immigrants.
The Times reported that an unknown fraction of the some 250,000 previously-deported illegal immigrants will be allowed to come back to the country under the new plan.
Under the settlement, Border Patrol agents will be required to inform illegal immigrants of their right to fight deportation in the U.S. court system. Agents also must “provide them access to an informational hot line and a list of free legal service providers,” the Times reported.
A taxpayer-funded “outreach effort” will also be launched through Mexican media outlets. The ad campaigns will inform deportees that they might be eligible to come back to the United States.
Many believe the agreement will soon be adopted by areas around the nation.
The ACLU said in its lawsuit that illegal immigrants were being intimidated and threatened by federal agents. The group alleged that such treatment unfairly caused illegals to agree to leave the country, without informing them of their rights to challenge deportation in court.
The director of San Diego’s ACLU reportedly said, “This is a historic settlement that will end a practice that tears families apart.”
The DHS said in a statement, “In an effort to address the issues raised in this litigation, both agencies have agreed to supplement their existing procedures to ensure that foreign nationals fully comprehend the potential consequences of returning voluntarily to Mexico.”
Breitbart Texas Contributing Editor and border security expert Sylvia Longmire pointed out that “some of the concessions being made by the U.S. government in this agreement are appalling. The agreement is limited to voluntary removals that occurred only in Southern California for now, but as word of this agreement spreads – and as the concessions spread to removals made in other border sectors – the floodgates will open once more.”
“Some may say that justice is being served to the Border Patrol for using these tactics in the first place,” Longmire continued. “However, the overall negative impact of this agreement on our already floundering immigration system and morale of agents who have been doing things by-the-book will be hard to recover from.”
It is notable that what the ACLU asserted are mere allegations; according to the Times, some Border Patrol agents deny the alleged abuse. Many feel that the new settlement will undermine their National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) spokesperson Gabe Pacheco said to the Times, “At every turn, they’re tying our hands.”
Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.
Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.
Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source. “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.” An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.
The disturbing inside intelligence comes on the heels of news reports revealing that U.S. intelligence has picked up increased chatter among Islamist terror networks approaching the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. While these terrorists reportedly plan their attack just outside the U.S., President Obama admits that “we don’t have a strategy yet” to combat ISIS. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” the commander-in-chief said this week during a White House press briefing. “I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are getting a little further ahead of what we’re at than what we currently are.”
The administration has also covered up, or at the very least downplayed, a serious epidemic of crime along the Mexican border even as heavily armed drug cartels have taken over portions of the region. Judicial Watch has reported that the U.S. Border Patrol actually ordered officers to avoid the most crime-infested stretches because they’re “too dangerous” and patrolling them could result in an “international incident” of cross border shooting. In the meantime, who could forget the famous words of Obama’s first Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano; the southern border is “as secure as it has ever been.”
These new revelations are bound to impact the current debate about the border crisis and immigration policy.
Prime Minister David Cameron pledged Friday to plug gaps in Britain’s armory to combat terror, describing the extremist threat posed by the Islamic State group as being more dangerous than even that of al-Qaida.
Cameron’s remarks came just moments after authorities raised Britain’s terror threat level to severe, the second highest level. The decision was related to developments in Iraq and Syria, but there was no information to suggest an attack was imminent.
“What we are facing in Iraq now with ISIL is a greater threat to our security than we have seen before,” Cameron said, using an abbreviation for a longer name the Islamic State previously used: the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.
He told reporters that while the Taliban facilitated al-Qaida terrorism, the Islamic State group is “effectively a state run by terrorists.” He said the ambition to create an Islamist caliphate is not something that could be ignored.
“We could be facing a terrorist state on the shores of the Mediterranean and bordering a NATO member,” he said.
Intelligence and security services now believe some 500 Britons have gone to fight in Syria and potentially Iraq. Some of the plots are likely to involve fighters who have traveled from Britain and Europe to take part in fighting in the Middle East.
British police have appealed to the public to help identify aspiring terrorists after the killing of an American journalist focused attention on extremism in the U.K. The involvement of a person of British nationality in James Foley’s beheading underscored the need to identify those who might travel abroad to fight or are at risk of being radicalized.
The attack on a Jewish museum in Brussels also underscored the willingness of the members of the group to attack Europeans.
British authorities say around 70 arrests have been made in the first half of the year for a variety of offenses, including fundraising, preparing for terrorism acts and traveling abroad for terrorist training. The police say such arrests are being made at a rate five times greater than 2013.
One action Cameron outlined was the possibility that passports could be taken away. He said further measures would be described in the House of Commons on Monday.
Britain also wants to revive a directive to enable police and security services to share passenger records in the European Union. Concerns about civil liberties have stalled the measure in the European Parliament.
“The root cause of this threat to our security is quite clear,” Cameron said. “It is a poisonous ideology of Islamist extremism that is condemned by all faiths and faith leaders.”
Britain raised the country’s terror threat level from substantial to severe just before Cameron held his news conference. The threat level means a terrorist attack is considered highly likely.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the decision by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center was made on the basis of intelligence and independent of the Cameron and his Cabinet. “Severe” is the second-highest of five levels.
The last time the rate was raised to severe was in September 2010 – in response to the attempt to detonate a bomb on a U.S. passenger plane over Detroit. It was last raised to the highest level, or critical, in June 2007, after a car on fire was driven into the Glasgow Airport terminal building and – separately – two devices were found in cars in central London.
On July 7, 2005, four suicide bombers attacked the London transit system at rush hour and killed 52 commuters and injured hundreds.
As ISIS militants were bragging about their latest mass execution, President Obama admitted that he has no plan for combatting the bloodthirsty terrorists.
“We don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama said in a Thursday news conference.
The startling – and troubling – admission came hours after videos surfaced showing the militants marching at least 150 Syrian soldiers through the desert – stripped to their underwear and barefoot.
The troops were then executed, their bullet-riddled and slashed bodies arranged in a crescent moon that stretched across the desert.
“Yes, we have executed them all,” an ISIS fighter told Reuters.
Hours after the disturbing images were released, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the NYPD was keeping an eye on the Middle East. He was particularly concerned about American jihadists – some from our area – returning to wreak havoc back home.
“We are watching that very closely,” Bratton said, adding that more than 100 Americans are believed on the ground and with ties to terror groups abroad.
At least two Americans were killed in Syria last weekend, as they fought alongside ISIS militants.
The slain soldiers in the barbaric images released Thursday were captured while attempting to flee the Tabqa airfield after ISIS militants stormed the base, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The apparent death march, posted to an ISIS YouTube account, is believed to have led to the largest mass killing carried out by the terror group.
The sickening footage opens with the half-naked men walking single file with their hands behind their heads.
An ISIS fighter repeatedly shouts out, “Islamic State!”
The prisoners respond immediately.
“It shall remain!”
The video then fades to black, but the footage that appears seconds later is horrifying. The camera follows a pile of bodies lying face-down in the sand. A dozen fighters are seen standing over the corpses as the cameraman moves from body to body.
At least 150 corpses can be seen in the video. The jihadists boasted on Twitter that they killed 250 soldiers, but that figure couldn’t be verified. An earlier video appears to show the same men, still clad in their underwear, being marched through the desert at gunpoint.
They are seen being forced to to walk and run. Those at the back of the line are kicked and beaten.
The soldiers were rounded up in the arid countryside near the Tabqa airfield on Wednesday – three days after ISIS fighters seized the base.
The troops were among a large batch of soldiers who were trapped behind the front lines after the merciless militants overran the airfield.
Some 200 Syrian soldiers and 346 ISIS fighters died in the fight for the air base, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Hundreds more were wounded.
The Syrian government did not comment on the videos.
The stomach-churning footage marked the latest images released by a group that’s relied on a mix of bloody propaganda and brutal battlefield tactics to swallow up territory in Syria and Iraq. The Sunni extremists, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL, are said to control roughly a third of Syria.
Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was stunned by Obama’s “no strategy” admission.
“It was an odd press conference at the very best, but to have a press conference to say we don’t have a stategy was really shocking given the severity of the threat,” Rogers said on CNN.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R-Ken.) said Congress is ready to help the president form a strategy to defeat ISIS.
“But don’t forget, the threat from ISIL is real and it’s growing – and it is time for President Obama to exercise some leadership in launching a response,” McConnell said.
Following Obama’s press conference, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a chief critic of the White House’s foreign policy, tweeted, “ISIS is largest, richest terrorist group in history & 192,000 dead in #Syria.”
In other developments Thursday:
ISIS has more than $2 billion – more than other terror groups like the Taliban and Hezbollah, InTheCapital.com reported. While thought in January to have about 1,000 fighters, the number has ballooned to about 80,000.
-Sources revealed to the Washington Post that James Foley, the American journalist beheaded by Islamic fighters, was waterboarded while in captivity.
-Syrian rebel fighters captured more than 40 United Nations peacekeepers near the Israeli border Thursday.
-It was revealed that Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan, imprisoned for killing 13 people at the Texas Army base in 2009, wrote a letter to the leader of ISIS saying he wants to become a “citizen” of the caliphate.
The contents of an ISIS laptop seized by Syrian fighters were revealed. The laptop, found in January in the province of Idlib, contained manuals on how to make bombs, videos of Osama Bin Laden and lessons about biological weapons, according to Foreign Policy magazine.
“The advantage of biological weapons is that they do not cost a lot of money, while the human casualties can be huge,” states one of the laptop’s more than 35,000 files.
In his Thursday news conference, Obama said he’s planning to dispatch Secretary of State Kerry to the Middle East in a bid to persuade America’s allies in the region to confront the terror group.
But Obama cautioned that immediate military action in Syria was unlikely.
“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama said, noting that he would be meeting with the National Security Council later Thursday.
“We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans, that we’re developing them.”
Extortion: Radical Democrat activist groups stand to collect millions from Attorney General Eric Holder’s record $17 billion deal to settle alleged mortgage abuse charges against Bank of America.
Buried in the fine print of the deal, which includes $7 billion in soft-dollar consumer relief, are a raft of political payoffs to Obama constituency groups. In effect, the government has ordered the nation’s largest bank to create a massive slush fund for Democrat special interests.
Besides requiring billions in debt forgiveness payments to delinquent borrowers in Cleveland, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago and other Democrat strongholds – and up to $500 million to cover personal taxes owed on those checks – the deal requires BofA to make billions in new loans, while also building affordable low-income rental housing in those areas.
If there are leftover funds in four years, the settlement stipulates the money will go to Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA), which provides legal aid for the poor and supports left-wing causes, and NeighborWorks of America, which provides affordable housing and funds a national network of left-wing community organizers operating in the mold of Acorn.
In fact, in 2008 and 2009, NeighborWorks awarded a whopping $25 million to Acorn Housing.
In 2011 alone, NeighborWorks shelled out $35 million in “affordable housing grants” to 115 such groups, according to its website. Recipients included the radical Affordable Housing Alliance, which pressures banks to make high-risk loans in low-income neighborhoods and which happens to be the former employer of HUD’s chief “fair housing” enforcer.
BofA gets extra credit if it makes at least $100 million in direct donations to IOLTA and housing activist groups approved by HUD.
According to the list provided by Justice, those groups include come of the most radical bank shakedown organizations in the country, including:
• La Raza, which pressures banks to expand their credit box to qualify more low-income Latino immigrants for home loans;
• National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Washington’s most aggressive lobbyist for the disastrous Community Reinvestment Act;
• Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, whose director calls himself a “bank terrorist;”
• Operation Hope, a South Central Los Angeles group that’s pressuring banks to make “dignity mortgages” for deadbeats.
Worse, one group eligible for BofA slush funds is a spin-off of Acorn Housing’s branch in New York.
It’s now rebranded as Mutual Housing Association of New York, or MHANY. HUD lists MHANY’s contact as Ismene Speliotis, who previously served as New York director of Acorn Housing.
The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.
The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.
The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”
One G-man’s “social pollution” is another free man’s First Amendment right. The very term sounds like something out of a 1920s Italian fascist tract. And why is the federal government even deciding which ideas are “false and misleading,” let alone tracking them?
According to the project’s grant, the service “could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate.”
In 2004, dissent was “the highest form of patriotism.” A decade later, it’s called “subversive propaganda” and categorized as the lowest form of treason. Truthy would add a button to Twitter so that people could report their neighbors and family members for Thoughtcrime against the State.
Filippo Menczer (who sounds like an author of that 1920s Italian fascist tract) is Truthy’s lead investigator and closely affiliated with “non-partisan” groups like President Obama’s Organizing for Action, Moveon.org and Greenpeace. The software’s very name comes from ardent conservative hater Stephen Colbert.
It’s hard to denounce the more paranoid allegations of Obama’s opponents when his administration routinely goes beyond their wildest imaginings.
Judicial Watch announced the following developments in the IRS’ missing emails investigation. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton stated:
Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. The DOJ attorneys also acknowledged that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is investigating this back-up system.
We obviously disagree that disclosing the emails as required would be onerous, and plan to raise this new development with Judge Sullivan.
This is a jaw-dropping revelation. The Obama administration had been lying to the American people about Lois Lerner’s missing emails. There are no “missing” Lois Lerner emails – nor missing emails of any of the other top IRS or other government officials whose emails seem to be disappearing at increasingly alarming rate. All the focus on missing hard drives has been a diversion. The Obama administration has known all along where the email records could be – but dishonestly withheld this information. You can bet we are going to ask the court for immediate assistance in cutting through this massive obstruction of justice.
Here is the second set of sworn declarations by IRS officials in response to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s investigation into the missing emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials. The declarations were provided after close of business on Friday, August 22.
The first meeting was held this afternoon by Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola, who was appointed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to manage and assist in discussions between Judicial Watch and the IRS about how to obtain any missing records which have been the subject of longstanding Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. IRS (No. 1:13-cv-1559)).
Judge Sullivan has encouraged Judicial Watch to submit a request for limited discovery into the missing IRS records after September 10.