The IRS Mafia: Hush Money and Politics - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The IRS Mafia: Hush Money and Politics
by

It wasn’t an accident.

And the IRS has used hush money.

A former IRS employee — that would be IRS employee-turned-whistle blower Stanley Welli — tells The American Spectator that the IRS targeting of Delaware Republican U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, a Tea Party favorite, was neither “isolated” nor “an aberration.”

O’Donnell was recently notified by the IRS that the agency had “received information that your personal federal tax info may have been compromised and may have been misused by an individual…”

Well, a 34-year IRS employee who ran afoul of the IRS culture way back in 1983 and continued to fight it all the way through his retirement in 1996, also accuses the IRS of offering him $15,000 in hush money if Welli would drop an internal grievance filing that came about after Welli and two fellow IRS managers “reported that the executive to whom we reported was associating with organized crime-linked individuals in Chicago and Milwaukee.”

In short, Welli and his two colleagues believed the IRS had in its midst a mobbed-up IRS supervisor. As it were, the Mafia had infiltrated the IRS. 

The O’Donnell targeting, says Welli today, “well illustrates the corrupt mentality that has been so prevalent in the IRS.” Welli adds:

 “Some may say that the tax snooping on Christine O’Donnell is isolated, an aberration. Not so! With the IRS, all the rules go out the window ‘when necessary.’ Anything and anyone is fair game.”

Welli contacted The American Spectator after reading a number of articles in this space about the internal culture of the IRS, the role of its powerful liberal union — the National Treasury Employees Union — as well as the role of the current IRS Chief Counsel, William Wilkins. Wilkins is one of only two Obama political appointees in the IRS.

The targeting of Christine O’Donnell specifically caught Welli’s eye. Why? Because Welli says that when he came forward to report corruption in the agency in the 1980s and 1990s, the agency’s career bureaucracy promptly threatened him by “tax browsing,” an IRS term of art that meant the agency was “snooping in my tax files.” Tax browsing, Welli notes, was enough of a problem within the IRS that Congress finally banned it in 1997.

Which would make the snooping into O’Donnell’s taxes a federal crime.

Of particular note here is that Welli, a 34-year career IRS employee who worked as an internal IRS inspector, had his run-in with the IRS bureaucracy — of which he was a part — in the 1980s and a second-time in the 1990s. So appalled was he at the arrogance of the IRS bureaucracy, that in addition to testifying before Congress he wrote about his experience in 1997 for Insight, a magazine published by the Washington Times. Welli has sent the article to The American Spectator, pointing out that the charges he made against the IRS in 1997 are essentially the same charges that are surfacing in 2013 as a result of House investigations. Which is to say — the agency bureaucracy is both heavily politicized and incurably arrogant.

Welli in 1997  began his tale in The Washington Times this way: 

In late 1983, two coworkers and I learned that an individual to whom we reported was being “cultivated” by the Chicago mob. We discovered this while working with a criminal investigator who was one of the best ever to serve in federal law enforcement. Among other things, we had evidence that our superior was accepting gratuities from, and doing tax favors for, individuals linked to organized-crime families. In this situation, we had a legal duty to report what we knew.
As this startling event proceeded, unwinding over a period of twelve years from 1984-1996 with what Welli describes as “varying intensity,” Welli and his fellow IRS whistleblowers George Ecola and Ron Koperniak were “harassed, ostracized, scorned and threatened” by their IRS colleagues.
 
The episode launched Welli on an endless professional journey inside the IRS, ending at Welli’s retirement when he described the IRS as:

….an arrogant and self-protecting bureaucracy. I observed misuse of power, abuse of authority, fraud, lies, cover-ups, payoffs, hush money, spying on, whistle-blowers, punitive tax reviews, whitewashed grievance complaints, trumped-up criminal charges, retaliatory investigations, happy-face congressional testimony designed to deflect reform — and systematic denial.

When Welli and his two colleagues reported the misdeeds of the allegedly mobbed-up IRS employee, an IRS colleague snarled: “The organization will get you, you whores.”

The “organization” being the IRS. Welli notes that when his accusations proved true, “We also were given a clue as to how the land lay when several of the executives above us took up a collection for the superior we had reported, to reduce the impact of the brief suspension imposed on him when our allegations proved true.”

Prophetically, Welli was writing in 1997, a year after his retirement, of exactly what House investigators have had to deal with in 2013.

There are certain classic IRS responses to criticism — it practices outright denial, it belittles the problems with misleading statistics and it glosses over executive-level misconduct with elaborate announcements about how many working-level employees receive ethics training. The IRS repeatedly has dealt with congressional scrutiny by saying, in effect: “We’re really much better than our critics paint us. Besides, we have a five-year plan to make us even better. That plan is included with our written statement for the record.”

Adds Welli today: “After watching the recent hearings it’s obvious that there’s been no improvement in the agency’s willingness to accept criticism — they still play dirty.”

Welli notes that he read the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report when it was issued earlier this year. Explains Welli:

In going through it I found myself wondering whatever happened to Condition, Criteria, Cause and Effect? Under the government auditing standards (prescribed by GAO) these are key elements of proper audit reporting. 

Condition — What is.

Criteria — What should be, as prescribed by law, regulation or written procedures.

Cause — What was the cause of the problem? (This is critical in order to develop meaningful corrective action in order to prevent reoccurrences of problems.)

Effect — The adverse results of the problem, for example: out-raged taxpayers, loss of tax revenue, waste of staff time, etc.

In the TIGTA report there’s precious little meaningful detail on Condition and ZERO information on Cause. It reads like a report of an audit done by conversation in which no effort was made to verify what the auditor(s) were told.

As you point out in your May 16 article, the TIGTA report has nothing regarding the NTEU influence. It’s also void of any information regarding management oversight reviews and other actions by Sara Hall Ingram or Lois Lerner. Information on these topics would be critical in showing the cause of the problems.

What Welli is describing in acute detail is an IRS that operates in an almost incestuously politicized culture. A culture designed first and foremost to protect itself, but, as we have discussed in this space previously, a culture that is highly attuned to seeking out conservatives that actively oppose the agenda of the IRS union — the NTEU — that represents all those IRS employees.

As a prominent Tea Party leader and a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Christine O’Donnell was a highly visible, and in retrospect, an inevitable target in this environment.

And now that the news is out that she was in fact targeted by the IRS? With an official in the Delaware Revenue agency confessing that he was called into the office on a Saturday by his boss — for the specific purpose of accessing Ms. O’Donnell’s IRS tax records?

You guessed it.

Senator Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee who is investigating the O’Donnell case, says that he has been informed the records of that “tax browsing,” tax snooping, have — wait for it — disappeared.

Vanished.

Reports the Washington Times:

Delaware state officials have told Congress that they likely destroyed the computer records that would show when and how often they accessed Christine O’Donnell’s personal tax records and acknowledged that a newspaper article was used as the sole justification for snooping into the former GOP Senate candidate’s tax history.

The revelations to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office came Tuesday as the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, the government’s chief watchdog for the Internal Revenue Service, formally reopened its investigation into the matter by re-interviewing Ms. O’Donnell.

At this point, is there anyone out there who doesn’t understand that this incredibly powerful agency — an agency that Congress has decided to involve in the intricacies of managing of Obamacare — has no business coming even close to the medical records of millions of Americans?

Well, yes. 

Yesterday President Obama hit the trail to accuse Republicans of ginning up “phony scandals.” Picking up the line from his press secretary Jay Carney.

But fear not.

Also yesterday, Texas Senator John Cornyn and Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson began the process of getting the IRS out of Obamacare by that most simple of methods: cutting off the money.

Politico wrote it up this way:

Republican senators are pushing separate amendments on a spending bill this week that would choke off funding to the IRS to implement Obamacare and suggests that President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, White House staff and others participate in the insurance exchanges.

The IRS amendment to the transportation appropriations bill comes from Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who say that IRS targeting of conservative groups could affect the organization’s impartiality in implementing the healthcare law. Their amendment would deny any money to the Treasury to implement the health law.

Denying funding to Obamacare as part of a government funding bill expected in September has become a new rallying cry for Senate conservatives such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida.

What we have here is best summed up by 34-year IRS employee Stan Welli.

Let’s end where we began, with Welli’s assessment of the IRS. What the American people have on their hands, what Congressman Darrell Issa and his colleagues have been investigating, is:

….an arrogant and self-protecting bureaucracy. I observed misuse of power, abuse of authority, fraud, lies, cover-ups, payoffs, hush money, spying on, whistle-blowers, punitive tax reviews, whitewashed grievance complaints, trumped-up criminal charges, retaliatory investigations, happy-face congressional testimony designed to deflect reform — and systematic denial.

And this is an agency — an agency that longtime IRS inspector Stan Welli believed had been infiltrated by the mob — the Mafia — that is to be entrusted with enforcing ObamaCare? An agency that in its treatment of Welli as well as in this current scandal acts not unlike the Mafia itself?

It doesn’t take a wizard to realize that when some future Tea Party candidate — a future Christine O’Donnell — runs for office and is opposed by the IRS union and the employees they represent that the next step in this sordid agency’s history is inevitable.

As sure as God makes little green apples, that candidate will wake up one fine morning to read their confidential medical history on every liberal blog in America.

Courtesy of the IRS.

Unless, of course, they paid the hush money.

Photo: IRS

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