Christine O'Donnell Tax Records Breached, Wonders About Targeting

Image: Christine O'Donnell Tax Records Breached, Wonders About Targeting

Friday, 19 Jul 2013 03:31 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Former Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, contacted by IRS agents saying her records had been tampered with, is wondering if she was targeted by the Internal Revenue Service during her campaign two years ago.

The IRS has been under scrutiny lately after reportedly targeting conservative groups.

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"I don’t know. And I’d like to know," O'Donnell told The Washington Times, wanting to know if the IRS targeted conservative individuals as well as groups. "Because whether it’s one, eight or 80 (cases), it’s an abuse of power at the IRS. It’s using the IRS as a political weapon, and that shouldn’t be done."

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley has complained about the IRS officials' inaction in identifying and punishing agents who have illegally accessed records and targeted individuals and groups. He told The Washington Times that the IRS informed him at least four politicians or political donors have had their information improperly accessed since 2006.

"Taxpayer confidentiality laws are important. The purpose of those laws is to prevent and deter inappropriate uses of taxpayer information, not to prevent public scrutiny when that confidentiality has been breached or keep the victim in the dark," Grassley said to the Washington Times.

"A taxpayer should be able to know whether someone breached his or her confidentiality, whether any investigation resulted, and the outcome of that investigation. … I look forward to whether the Justice Department sheds any light on its decision not to prosecute what the inspector general called inappropriate and in one case willfully inappropriate access to taxpayer records," Grassley added.

O'Donnell said that her tax records were accessed the same day that the IRS erroneously filed an $11,744 tax lien on a home she no longer owned in Wilmington, Del. She told The News Journal that her 2005 taxes had been the subject of a three-year audit that continued when she ran for office in 2010. She said she was contacted by the IRS in 2010 and informed her tax records may have been "compromised."

In September of 2010, O'Donnell upset favorite Mike Castle in the Delaware Republican primary before losing in the general election to Democrat Chris Coons.

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Related stories:

IRS Workers in Tea Party Ruckus to Face House Panel

IRS Official: Political Appointee's Office Involved in Tea Party Screening

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