Lois Lerner’s hard drive may still be missing, but what emails they could glean from the results of her technological ineptitude tell, at least, an interesting story.
In 1.5 million separate emails – poured over by Senate officials looking for evidence that Lerner had targeted conservative groups in an effort to unearth a network of “dark money” the IRS apparently seemed convinced existed – we learn that Lois Lerner thought Citizens United was the “worst thing to happen to this country,” and that she really did not like President Lincoln (“He should have let the South go”) or Sarah Palin’s higher-profile daughter, Bristol. Concerned that Bristol was violating the IRS rule that a charity could not benefit a private individual, Lerner openly debated whether to call out her dogs on a non-profit organization that paid Bristol to talk about teen pregnancy.
Lois Lerner, the key figure in the controversy over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups for added scrutiny, once considered opening up an audit into Bristol Palin’s compensation from a teen pregnancy charity, according to a new Senate report…
One email, cited by Chairman Orrin Hatch as an “example of Lerner’s interest in conservative organizations,” asked whether the IRS should open an audit of Candie’s Foundation, which paid Palin $332,500 in compensation to be a celebrity spokesperson. Lerner was concerned that the salary figure could violate IRS rules against charitable groups being for the private benefit of individuals.
She apparently resisted the urge to open an audit, possibly after considering that Palin Derangement Syndrome is far too public a symptom of liberal bias. Once you go after Palin or her family, that’s prima facie evidence that you have it in for the rest of the conservative movement. Plus, since nearly every high-profile charity has a celebrity spokesperson these days, and I highly doubt people like Sarah MacLachlan let the ASPCA use their morose 1990s hits to tug at people’s heartstrings for free, it would have been hard to make the case that Bristol Palin’s arrangement was somehow different. Candie’s Foundation has a bevvy of celebrity spokespeople, anyway, from Lea Michele to the band Fall Out Boy and beyond.
The Senate report has hit bookshelves everywhere, but it seems unlikely much will be done about it. Dems and Republicans can’t agree on exactly how desperate Lerner was to uncover the vast right-wing conspiracy, so most have just let the issue slide.
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