When the IRS Does It, It’s Not illegal
We have a government of laws. The rule of law must guide our bureaucracy down to the last email — and yes, the federal government’s national archivist has testified that the IRS “did not follow the law” in how emails were “lost” amidst Lois Lerner’s computer “crash” in 2011.
DATA Act roots out abuse
The DATA Act is a major bipartisan accomplishment, a technological leap for government, and one of the most significant government transparency bills to pass Congress. It gives lawmakers and watchdog groups powerful tools to identify, and root out, fraud, waste and abuse.
Federal bureaucrats go after tree trimmer
Federal bureaucrats too often escape prosecution for willful and egregious abuses of public trust: accepting thousands in illegal gifts from lobbyists, consistently lying on timesheets to collect a bigger salary, operating private businesses from their cubicle, and spending outrageous sums of taxpayer money on extravagant conventions in Las Vegas. But private citizens who find themselves on the wrong side of a regulation enforced by one of these bureaucrats may not be so lucky.
A digital revolution in government spending
The democratic character of self government rests on the people’s right to know how their government spends the tax dollars it takes from them. As government has exponentially grown, accountability has eroded – but technology can reverse this troubling trend with the passage of bipartisan legislation called the DATA Act. Imagine if all 32 Major League Baseball teams calculated batting averages differently, used varying definitions for what constituted a fielding error, and didn’t even ...
ATF needs to get its act together
In 2011, B. Todd Jones took over as head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – first as Acting Director and later as Director. The Bureau was in need of new leadership in the wake of Operation Fast and Furious, and his mission was to help the agency recover from that humiliating and dangerous scandal. Just over a year ago, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Operation Fearless, an undercover storefront operation that took place in Milwaukee, ...
Sunshine Week illuminates need for FOIA reform
Six years into what President Obama had pledged would be “the most transparent administration in history,” transparency advocates are giving the president mixed reviews. Last week, lawmakers, reporters, and government watchdog organizations on both sides of the aisle came together for Sunshine Week, an annual celebration of government transparency laws like the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Several watchdog groups released new reports for Sunshine Week highlighting problems with FOIA ...
Another View: There is plenty of evidence that an al-Qaida affiliate was involved in Benghazi attack
With a New York Times story on the Benghazi terrorist attack fresh off the press, The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board quickly took issue with a factual assertion I have made many times and repeated the morning the story ran: “There was a group that was involved that claims an affiliation with al-Qaida.” The editorial
Pete Sessions and Darrell Issa: Who are these Obamacare navigators?
To help the American people navigate the onerous and confusing requirements of signing up for Obamacare exchanges, the administration spent millions of taxpayer dollars to create the navigator program. Disturbingly, news reports from the last four weeks have highlighted numerous examples of fraudulent activity related to health navigators in Texas. So — who are these navigators and what is their role in Obamacare? To help answer that question, the House Committee on Oversight and Government ...
The IRS Scandal’s Inconsistencies
By Darrell Issa and Dave Camp Just three months ago, Lois G. Lerner, a senior official in the IRS’s tax-exempt organizations division, publicly admitted that the agency targeted taxpayers because of their political beliefs. Until that point, despite years of inquiries ...