Some random factoids about Lois Lerner, the gal who was the head of the IRS exempt organization’s division

Lois Lerner

A little more than a week ago, no one had heard of Lois Lerner.  Now she is the poster child for government machinery run amok.  She first thrust herself into our awareness with her clumsily staged revelation that, “Oh, by the way, the IRS persecuted conservatives, but really, there’s nothing to worry about….”  Since then, it’s only gotten worse, with Lois being exposed as a serial liar.  Finally, today, she announced in advance that, if called before Congress, she would plead the Fifth, so please don’t embarrass her by calling her.  I say “Call away” and, so far, Committee Head Issa agrees.

Now that Lois has emblazoned herself as a household name, people are starting to look at her very closely.  It turns out that her hostility towards conservatives predates her tenure at the IRS, and goes back to her FEC days.  She may have failed math, but she gets an “A” in harassment.

Conservatives are doing the logical thing, which is to try to link her to Obama.  As Walter Olson at Overlawyered points out, however, the only linkage currently available is truly a link bridge to far — it’s so tenuous as to be silly.

One of my friends, who does not want to be known as a conspiracy theorist (and I can vouch that this friend wouldn’t be seen near a tin-foil hat), wondered if Lois’ anti-conservative propensities put her in an orbit other than the Obama’s.  My friend sent me this email, and assures me, as I assure you, that it’s idle speculation rather than a breaking story:

Listening to Michael Savage the other day, he brought up the intriguing questions about the IRS scandal: “Why now?” and “Who leaked it?”

One caller raised the possible theory that Hillary Clinton was behind it trying to deflect Benghazi criticism that was beginning to zoom in on her, to an Obama-centric scandal.

I was intrigued.  Here is what a quick Google search has taught me so far:

  1. The official who brought up the scandal is Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS Exempt Organizations unit
  2. Lois Lerner husband, is Michael R. Miles, a partner at the law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.
  3. I saw some articles linking Sutherland Asbill & Brennan to hosting an Obama campaign event, but…
  4. What has not been reported is that in 1993 Bill Clinton appointed Hillary’s good friend, Margaret “Peggy” Richardon, as IRS Commissioner ( 
  5. This is where it gets a bit interesting.  Peggy Richardson was also a partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.  (Oddly enough, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan had one other partner as IRS Commissioner – Randolph Thrower, appointed by Nixon…).
  6. Peggy Richardson, is (allegedly) no stranger to quashing inconvenient investigations against the Clintons (
  7. This is where it turns highly speculative.  I could not find, in the limited time I searched, a link between Peggy Richardson and Lois Lerner or her husband.  But one would think that partners in the same very illustrious law firm would know each other and would know a lot about each other.
  8. This is all capped by the just breaking news that Lois Lerner is going to take the Fifth in her ( and choose not to testify before the House Oversight Committee.

Conspiracy theories or not my favorites, but when it comes to the Clintons I am less reluctant to explore them.

No answers, but some awfully good questions.

I also have a little (a very little) of my own information to add.  Since my brain instantly shuts down even at the word “taxes,” I have no idea if I’ve found smoking guns or death rays of irrelevant boredom.  Nevertheless, here are my two contributions to the Lois Lerner saga:

Item The First is a transcript of the prepared remarks Lois Lerner gave in April 12 at Georgetown University Law School.  It makes no sense to me (tax stuff, you know), but some of you may be able to glean some pearls of wisdom.

Item The Second is a lawyer’s analysis of a question-and-answer period with Lerner at the ABA’s Tax Section meeting in September 2012.  The lawyer who asked the questions posted the transcript on his firm’s website, along with his interlineations.  Again, I would be delighted if the tax savvy amongst you could translate it into normal people talk.  (Incidentally, I came across that transcript at the website for The Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch website.  The Center for Media and Democracy is, as you may know, a very Left activist organization, fat with George Soros funds.)

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  • jj

    I find myself wondering about the ‘why.’  I don’t trust any of our masters an inch, and I’m unable to overlook that this information about the IRS was not discovered, or leaked, or otherwise arrived at in any way.  The way we found about it was the IRS itself, clumsily or otherwise, told us about it in the course of conversation.  No pointed questions, no whistle blowers, no prompting.  They just sort of did it, in passing as it were.  Why?  Why, why, why?  What is the reason for them to step out and blow the whistle on themselves?  Are they hoping to deflect us from something even more heinous and ruinous for the concept of America?  Because – as noted – I don’t trust the government an inch, and I don’t believe this bunch does anything inadvertently.  Obama, though not as smart in his deviousness as Clinton (Bill, Hillary’s an idiot), nonetheless does not possess a straight bone in his body, and this revelation didn’t ‘just happen.’  Nobody was surprised into making it.  Like everything else these people reveal, it was orchestrated.  Something’s up, and we haven’t seen any part of it yet.  I’d look away from this a bit, and try to get a handle on what else may be up, that they’re trying to keep dark.  There’s something.     

  • Michael Adams

    So, she’s ho9lding out for an immunity deal.  Give it to her!  She’ll sing like a canary. Don’t y’all watch cop shows?

  • Sgt. Mom

    My daughter and I speculated on this very question last week, and I posted thusly:
    “It is curious that suddenly, all of this is breaking loose now. My daughter and I speculate that perhaps it is driven by the rivalry between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama which first broke into the open in the 2008 Dem convention. I referred to it the battle of Ebony and Ovary, back then, when I wasn’t calling them Her Inevitableness and the Fresh Prince of Chicago. Just suppose that she is using the IRS imbroglio against him, and he is using the Benghazi debacle against her – or vice versa. Suppose also that the more self-aware members of the mainstream press and the political establishment in Washington are just beginning to conclude that Obama is tainted goods – and it might be good to dust off Her Inevitableness again and present her as pure and pristine, while hanging on to some few pitiful remnants of their reputation as honest brokers…”
    (Rest of the essay here – )
    It is very curious, and my daughter and I are not particularly fond of tinfoil chapeaus, but when it comes to this administration, I’m starting to consider making an exception.

  • Libby

    I read Lerner’s speech as well an one by Ms. Ingram (Georgetown 6-23-2009: and they seem to have this “good governance” theory that if an organization is managed well then it is more likely to be tax compliant. Lerner mentions criteria such as having a clear, written mission statement and having procedures in place for the proper use of charitable assets as a good ways to measure “good governance.” To better determine whether or not an applicant’s organization is governed well, they revamped their Form 990 a few years ago to include a lot more questions about the organization’s governance.
    The other update Lerner mentions is organizational: they changed the process flow of new applications so that there is a quick, initial review where the application’s path is determined. There are four paths based on how much review and additional information is needed. I think this is where they weeded out the Tea Party, etc. type organizations and sent them to the group that handled cases that need much more information & scrutiny while the progressive organizations’ applications were sent to the group that handled cases that needed less or no additional scrutiny or information. 
    These changes may have led to more efficiency process and more useful data gathering in support of their good-governance=tax compliance analysis. However, it also likely facilitated the targeting of certain groups because they had a new Form 990 that provided more detail on each organization (it’s mission, etc.) and a process in place to quickly separate them from the other applications for more scrutiny (and delays).

  • JohnC

    I keep wondering about Drudge editor Joseph Curl’s tweet from this past Monday:
    “CIA source says Fox News scandal the “4th Shoe”; says it goes much deeper; says WH also sitting on “something” that has top aides terrified.”

    • InsideTheWHer

      God help America! Obvious deceptions, easily accepted by dumb-ed down voters, have worked wonders for the “Progressive-Socialist” agenda! From the Common Core educational curriculum to Obama-Care and EPA regulations, it’s all about control! The next move from POTUS will change everything. Change is in the air, so watch the other hand!

  • Ymarsakar

    I estimate that even the most well informed political analysts don’t know more than 10% of what the Left’s been doing. The true nature of evil is yet hidden still. Rationality and intelligence isn’t enough to pierce it, only emotions and instinct are strong enough in truth to bypass the barrier of illusion. First listen to your heart and your nerves connected to your spine, before listening to the tv propaganda, the facebook propaganda, or the government propaganda with your logicked brain.

    • InsideTheWHer

      Excellent observation! Rationality and intelligence have gone the way of common sense in our society. Common-Core and the elitist regulatory agenda have replaced them. Unfortunate as that is, it’s going to get much worst real soon!

  • Michael Adams

    Rivalry between Hillary and the Won is a an open secret, of course. The intentional distraction from Benghazi is clearly to Hill’s advantage. However, the IRS scandal absolutely must be seen in another  light.   When the late Jane Jacobs describes “Display prowess,” as one of the fourteen virtues in the Guardians’ “System of Survival” she does NOT mean “Display competence.” Rather, prowess is power, used to intimidate, and thereby to obtain more power. Remember that egregious forgery of a birth certificate. It was not supposed to convince anyone of anything.  Rather, it was the internet equivalent of “Yeah, punk, it’s a forgery.  You wanna make something of it?” The more obvious the forgery, the more effective would be the intimidation.  This mess with the IRS MUST be seen in the same light.  “Yeah, we did it.  Do you really believe we have stopped?”
    A half-hour ago, while you Left-Coasties were just making the coffee, *  I watched history being made, as Lois Lerner made a sworn statement, proclaiming her innocence, and then took the Fifth, before she could be crossed.  There is vastly more strategy at work here than is being acknowledged. Even I can see that IRS is a [squirrel!] distraction from Benghazi, and an intimidation.  Keep your eyes on these excrescences as if you loved them. They are not merely up to something.  They are up to many things.
    *OK, Book, I realize that you’d been up for hours, getting kids and husband off to school and work, and living out your insomniac’s dream. (Do insomniacs dream, or is that the real heart of the problem?)

  • Bookworm

    “OK, Book, I realize that you’d been up for hours, getting kids and husband off to school and work, and living out your insomniac’s dream. (Do insomniacs dream, or is that the real heart of the problem?)”

    I tend to dream that I’m awake with insomnia.  In the morning, I can’t always tell if I really didn’t sleep, or if I just dreamed that I didn’t sleep.

  • JohnC

    Lerner should have been hammered with questions for at least half an hour. Instead she got to make her statement for the cameras and then just walk away. You know what will be on the news tonight? Video of her saying she’s innocent. And that’s all! No video of her being asked pointed questions and then repeatedly telling the hearing to go pound sand.
    Thanks Issa!


    “….WH also sitting on “something” that has top aides terrified.”
    JohnC: Thanks, I was looking for that Curl quote. My gut tells me, it begins with an “I” and ends with “slam”. They’re throwing lots of shiny objects in the air to take our eyes off of the dead on the ground. I could begin with Nidal Hasan and “workplace” violence (FBI is denying they ever referred to the mass murders as such) and the Boston Marathon murders, which are likely tied-in to the triple murder of three Jews in the Boston area. An additional suspect, was shot and killed today while being interviewed by Boston PD and the FBI today.
    Q.When do you question a suspect without searching him for weapons?
    A. NEVER


  • Michael Adams

    O’Boy is not helped by the fact that a majority of Patriots have been glued to NCIS every Tuesday night for years.  SADIE, I would not be terribly surprised to hear you answer the ‘phone with, “Yeah, Gibbs.” Yeah, sure, you want to be Ziva, who is, I readily admit, hot, but for shrewdness and cynicism, can’t beat Gibbs, and he is you!


    I am taking your observations, Michael Adams, as a compliment (wish I had watched more than a couple of episodes) because I had to search Gibbs and Ziva.
    I am sticking to my theory ….
    In a speech at National Defense University on Thursday, Obama will lay out his case for closing Guantánamo, which he has said it no longer necessary and hurts U.S. interests abroad.

    Read more:

  • Nickman

    The first article you post in this set is merely a canned, “Here’s our official process, the way we want you to think its run as opposed to the way its actually run.” Her comments don’t offer anything of significant note. She basically explains that the IRS risk model (the engine they use to determine need for audit) is largely reliant on the supposition that non-profits which have good governing bodies running them are less likely to get audited than those with not so good governing bodies. When she talks about the 4 buckets that non-profit returns are placed in to determine how they’re handled (e.g immediate approval, minimal work required, lots of work required, WTF????) it gives an answer to how easy it was to target Conservative groups. The “Senior” Revenue Agent simply looks at the filing request and puts it in the “5th” pile which is the one where Conservative groups go to for inquisition.

    In the second article you have a lot of info available but nothing that can really be hard hitting other than the fact that the answers given make Lerner look like she has no clue what she’s talking about. The basic idea in this piece is that the IRS has released 2 Revenue Rulings which deal with the same topic: What kind of political activities can a non-profit (in this case referring to 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), and 501(c)(6) ) engage in during an election cycle without losing its 501(c) status. Under code section 527(f) certain political functions by these organizations can subject them to tax on their expenditures. The reason this is focused on (c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(6) is because they can publicly advocate positions on public policy issues. The problem in these organizations is where is the line drawn between public policy advocation and  supporting specific candidates for public office (which would be a non exempt expenditure).
    So Revenue Ruling 2004-6 basically says that if you have any of the first 6 items in a communication you may be setting yourself up to have your expenditures taxed. However if your communications have any of the bottom 5 items, you may be avoiding having your expenditures taxed.

    Revenue Ruling 2007-41 basically says for a 501(c)(3) the list of 7 bullet points are factors which can determine whether or not you are taxed on your expenditures (or can have your status revoked since you are interjecting yourself into a political campaign which is a big no no for a (c)(3) org).
    The author’s question is attempting to determine if the items in 2004 and 2007 are the same (e.g. you can apply the items from both rulings to any of the (c)(3)-(c)(6) orgs (which the author believes is true since they lead to the same outcome as written) or if they are indeed different for the different 501(c) organizations. If they are the same, the author questions why a single updated 501(c) Revenue Ruling is not issued to clear up any confusion. 
    Needless to say Lerner was not about to answer the question but did mention about falling into a safe harbor (which is idiotic since no safe harbors exist for this topic nor have any been explicitly provided) which made the author scratch his head. At the end of the day they didnt answer his question, but rather a question no one asked.

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  • Ymarsakar

    Lerner and the IRS is now connected to some top Democrats in DC. Good enough, right?

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  • Ron19

    Woody Allen back in the sixties had a routine about mechanical objects and the problems he had with them.   One part I especially remember was that he had gotten a tape recorder (not even cassettes back then!) and when he tried to talk into it, it said “I know, I know.”  It starts about 2:15 in the clip below:

    Today on The Mellow Jihadi website, Ex-Bootneck presents a clip from Afterburner with Bill Whittle, called Disarming the Warriors:

    Watching it, I kept wanting to say “I know, I know!”
    I’m beginning to feel this way about all the offensive, inane, destructive things coming from the left, Democrats, elite, etc.  I want to stop going to my favorite blogs and news sites anymore.

  • InsideTheWHer

    My money says Obama’s throws her under the bus before the mid-term elections. She’ll go down as a loose gun, lying control freak and the media will report it as such, completely ignoring logic! Chicago politics at work!