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November 26, 2014

FEC Commissioner Links FEC to IRS Inquiry

McGahn 445x295 FEC Commissioner Links FEC to IRS Inquiry

FEC Commissioner Donald McGahn

 

A federal agency that regulates campaign finance of federal elections is getting tangled up in more political issues, some fueled by one of its own commissioners.

Republican Commissioner Donald McGahn, who is expected to depart soon, has been battling other Federal Election Commission members , in public, over the relationship between the FEC Office of General Counsel and the Internal Revenue Service. He feels the cooperation and working relationship should be limited to those times it has been specifically authorized by a vote of the commissioners. With the commission short one Democratic commissioner, voting on the matter is at a standstill.

McGahn has used the example of current FEC staff communication with another former FEC staff person who is now at the IRS. The former FEC staff person is Lois Lerner, who worked as assistant general counsel for enforcement at the FEC from 1981 to 2001. She is now the director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Rulings and Agreements Division at the IRS and deeply involved with inquiries about improper handling of  requests for tax exemptions.

Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, yesterday requested documents, including emails between staff, about the “inappropriate coordination” about tax-exempt applications of various groups, such as ‘tea party’ and ‘conservative’ organizations.

Democrat Ellen Weintraub, the chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission, has stated she has asked the FEC inspector general for an immediate impartial, independent review.

Last week, Rep. Candice Miller, chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, had requested documents related to communications between the FEC and IRS during the last five years.

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