July 23, 2014

PRESS RELEASE – AFF Responds To IRS’ Outrageous Decision To Halt Its Internal Investigation

DES MOINES, IA – The American Future Fund, one the first and largest non-profit groups to be targeted by IRS, issued the following statement following comments by the IRS’ Commissioner claiming that the agency had effectively halted its internal probe into the scandal.

Nick Ryan, Founder of the American Future Fund, said: “Today’s statements by Commissioner Koskinen are appalling. It is time to stop the games and appoint a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this infringement on taxpayer rights. To do otherwise would be to sweep the criminal acts of public officials under the rug, and would be nothing short of hypocritical by an Administration that boasts of transparency.”

“I am sickened by the Commissioner’s statements. The IRS, the Justice Department, and dare I say the President, are clearly not serious about protecting taxpayers – they are only concerned with circling the wagons to protect their power. The only way to hold those officials accountable would be to appoint a special prosecutor – and that time is now,” concluded Ryan.

July 23, 2014

Associated Press – Agents get subsidized ‘Obamacare’ using fake IDs

Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law, congressional investigators said Wednesday.

The weak link seemed to be call centers that handled applications for frazzled consumers unable to get through online.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office told a House committee that its investigators were able to get subsidized health care under fake names in 11 out of 18 attempts — even after HealthCare.gov’s much maligned online system flagged some applications as problematic.

The GAO is still paying premiums for the policies, even as the Obama administration attempts to verify phony documentation.

Those follow-up verification checks also appeared to need tightening; the GAO said parts of the fake documentation it submitted for two applications actually got through the process.

Read the full article here: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/agents-get-subsidized-obamacare-using-fake-ids

July 22, 2014

PRESS RELEASE: AFF Renews Call For IRS Special Prosecutor

DES MOINES, IA – The American Future Fund today renewed its call for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS’ targeting of conservative non-profit organizations. This call comes after new reports surfaced showing additional IRS officials involved in the scandal also had their computers crash.

Nick Ryan, Founder of the American Future Fund, said: “The more we learn, the more disturbing this scandal becomes. Not only are key emails from the lead IRS official in this scandal unavailable, but now we learn that others on her team had their hard drives crash. This is unacceptable. It is clear that there is more than meets the eye in this scandal, and Attorney General Holder is doing absolutely nothing to get to the bottom of it. Taxpayers need to know who in this Administration was involved, what they did, and those individuals must be held accountable for their unlawful actions – no matter how senior those officials are. The time for an independent, special prosecutor to be appointed is now.”

The American Future Fund was among the first, and largest, conservative organizations to be targeted by the IRS in this ongoing national scandal.

July 21, 2014

Tampa Bay Times – She has insurance under Affordable Care Act, but can’t find a doctor

By: Jodie Tillman

Charlene Lake thought she got a decent deal through the Affordable Care Act marketplace: a Humana HMO that included a family doctor a few miles from her home.

Five months later, Lake wonders if she can even use the insurance she bought…

Read the full article here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/she-has-insurance-under-affordable-care-act-but-cant-find-a-doctor/2189287

July 20, 2014

Associated Press – Republicans Criticize Handling of IRS Inquiry

By: Eric Tucker

Republicans chastised the Justice Department on Thursday for failing to share information with Congress about its investigation into the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service. Lawmakers called anew for a special prosecutor to look into the matter.

The criticism during a House subcommittee meeting came as Deputy Attorney General James Cole, the Justice Department’s No. 2 official, said the investigation has been broadened to include the disappearance of emails from the computer of Lois Lerner, who formerly headed the IRS division that deals with tax-exempt organizations.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs, told Cole that he had “serious concerns” about the investigation and asked what it would take for an independent prosecutor to be appointed. He also demanded that prosecutors investigate why it took the IRS two months to publicly report the missing emails…

Read the full article here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/justice-dept-investigating-missing-irs-emails-24590758

July 18, 2014

Harrisburg Patriot News – PA’s Obamacare Future Looks Pretty Bleak

By Stephen Parente

Buckle up, Pennsylvanians. Over the next few months, you’ll learn how much your health insurance premiums will go up for next year. The early evidence isn’t good—the percentage increase could be in the double digits.

But that’s nothing compared to what you’ll face in 2017…
Read the full article here: http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2014/07/pas_obamacare_future_looks_pre.html

July 17, 2014

Daily Caller – Furious over scandals, House guts IRS budget, blocks performance bonuses

By: Trystin Bloom

The House voted to block performance bonuses for senior Internal Revenue Service executives Wednesday, The Hill reported.

“Giving out bonuses is ludicrous and amounts to a slap in the face to the American public,” said Rep. Paul Gosar, who introduced the amendment. “They should not be given performance awards in the wake of one of the largest scandals in recent history.”

The amendment passed by a vote of 282-138-1, with only Democrats voting against it…

Read entire article here: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/16/furious-over-scandals-house-guts-irs-budget-blocks-performance-bonuses/#ixzz37jfsYNrR

July 16, 2014

AFF’s Ryan Pens Roll Call Op-Ed Calling For Special Prosecutor

A Special Prosecutor is Needed Now

By Nick Ryan

http://www.rollcall.com/news/a_special_prosecutor_is_needed_now_commentary-234720-1.html?pg=1&dczone=opinion

For months, the president and his administration have called the bipartisan uproar over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative non-profits a “phony” scandal. The Attorney General has done absolutely nothing to pursue those responsible for this infringement of taxpayer rights. And now they are writing off the disappearance of emails by the lead perpetrator of this scandal as a computer glitch.

As the founder of the American Future Fund, one of the social welfare groups targeted by the IRS, few could blame me for being shocked — and yes, infuriated — by the latest revelation that potentially key emails have disappeared.

Let’s be clear — there is nothing “phony” about a taxpayer being targeted by the government agency that can directly impact the survival of your organization. This harassment was real. We were targeted simply because we did not walk lockstep with the ideology of this administration. And it was through their continuing investigation, the House of Representatives found emails between Lois Lerner and her associates that raise the specter of politically motivated targeting to an even higher level…

… This entire debacle is reminiscent of the movie “Zoolander,” the satire of the male modeling industry where moronic supermodels Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson need to save a foreign leader from the evil designer Will Ferrell.

Near the climax of the movie, Wilson claims he has the evidence to put the guilty Ferrell in prison — which he claims are literally IN the computer. When Wilson breaks the computer open, there is a collective sigh in the movie, with Ferrell’s character exasperatedly asking if he’s on crazy pills.

This was comedy. No one, even the most computer illiterate, believes emails are stored in a computer like a filing cabinet. And neither did the Obama Administration.

As reports have confirmed, the IRS used an email-storage contractor named Sonasoft for this very purpose. Sonasoft even bragged that “if the IRS uses Sonasoft products to back-up their servers why wouldn’t you choose them?” So if the Obama administration did back-up their emails systems, what happened to Lois Lerner’s emails?…

The American public, specifically American taxpayers, cannot sit by and simply accept this administration’s excuses. They have tried time and again to sweep this infringement of constitutionally guaranteed rights under a rug, mocking anyone who attempts to shine a light on the Obama administration’s overreach.

That is why it is time for a special prosecutor be named and empowered to follow the evidence wherever it leads. This scandal has proven to be anything but “phony.” Only an independent, special prosecutor authorized to fully investigate the actions of government officials — whether at the IRS, the Treasury Department, or even the White House — can give American taxpayers the assurance that such targeting will never happen again.

To do otherwise would simply be taking our daily dose of crazy pills.

July 14, 2014

Nick Ryan Op-Ed: A Special Prosecutor is Needed Now

by Nick Ryan, Roll Call

For months, the president and his administration have called the bipartisan uproar over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative non-profits a “phony” scandal. The Attorney General has done absolutely nothing to pursue those responsible for this infringement of taxpayer rights. And now they are writing off the disappearance of emails by the lead perpetrator of this scandal as a computer glitch.

As the founder of the American Future Fund, one of the social welfare groups targeted by the IRS, few could blame me for being shocked — and yes, infuriated — by the latest revelation that potentially key emails have disappeared.

Let’s be clear — there is nothing “phony” about a taxpayer being targeted by the government agency that can directly impact the survival of your organization. This harassment was real. We were targeted simply because we did not walk lockstep with the ideology of this administration. And it was through their continuing investigation, the House of Representatives found emails between Lois Lerner and her associates that raise the specter of politically motivated targeting to an even higher level.

June 30, 2014

Minneapolis Star Tribune – Appoint a special prosecutor in IRS imbroglio

By: Editorial Board

“The old caution against ascribing to malice what can be explained by incompetence is worth keeping in mind when evaluating a high-profile blunder in either the private or public sector, such as the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

But the latest twist in the long-running controversy — the eye-rollingly convenient loss of IRS e-mails — moves the needle from ineptitude and toward the other, more troubling end of the spectrum. While the lost e-mails aren’t definitive proof of an orchestrated effort by the IRS or the Obama administration, the recent news that thousands of e-mails were obliterated in a computer hard-drive crash in 2011 is tough to swallow, not only for technology professionals, but also for an increasingly tech-savvy public.

Americans deserve better answers than the current bitterly partisan political process is likely to yield, especially when such a powerful agency has come under suspicion. Congressional Republicans including Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen, along with some Democrats, have called for a special prosecutor to investigate how the IRS handled petitions from conservative groups for tax-exempt status…”

Read the entire editorial here: http://m.startribune.com/?id=264985911