Secret money is poisoning our democracy | July 12, 2013 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

Opinion - July 12, 2013

Secret money is poisoning our democracy

by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo

A "Star Trek" parody video, line dance lessons, and presidential hotel suites. These are just some of the outrageous things the Internal Revenue Service spent $49 million of taxpayer money on at more than 200 employee conferences from 2010 through 2012. The findings, presented at a recent Congressional oversight hearing, come amid revelations that the IRS inappropriately held up applications for tax-exempt status by groups with "Tea Party," "patriot," and "progressive" in their names.

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Posted by David Perrino
a resident of another community
on Jul 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Dear Congresswoman Eshoo, much of your work deserves respect and credit. Overall, you have served our region well.

Your editorial piece however is lost on me. You note, "The operative word in the law is that these organizations are required to function "exclusively" for the general public's benefit, meaning they are prohibited from engaging in political campaigns. But in a 1959 rule-making, the IRS turned this simple standard on its head, changing the word "exclusively" to "primarily."..." So, for over 53-years this "loophole" has been allowed to remain intact? And exactly how do you explain this half-century oversight?

You go on to note, "The burden of ridding our elections of secret money doesn't fall entirely on the IRS. " I would disagree, the burden of ridding our elections of secret money falls entirely on those who directly benefit from this "secret money" the individuals that comprise the Congress of the United States. This may be the precise reason NOTHING substantive has been done about it. Furthermore, while Congress howls from its "bully pulpit" about the "sins" of the IRS what is Congress doing? They are CUTTING the budget of the IRS making any reform within that organization virtually impossible.

I do however agree, "Our government is being bought and sold on the auction block by unlimited money from anonymous buyers. That is not a democracy, and the American people should not stand for it." We should not which is why we should be voting for a wholesale change in Congress at every opportunity...

No, Congresswoman Eshoo, when you point one finger of blame at the IRS, three fingers are pointing back at the collective "you", as in Congress.

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Posted by OneThought
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 16, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Right on

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