IRS, AP scandals smell like Rahm

What did Rahm know? Photo: AP

CHICAGO, May 15, 2013 — The Chicago Way is alive and not-so-well in the nation’s capital as scandal after scandal deals body blows to the Obama Administration’s credibility. Scandals borne of deceit, secret seizures of phone records, and abuse of power.

Smells like Rahm.

SEE RELATED: Mr. President, release the Benghazi emails

The IRS’ practice of targeting Tea Party, Patriot, and other conservative-sounding groups for “special scrutiny” began in March/April of 2010. At that time, Rahm “Deadfish” Emanuel was still presiding as White House chief of staff with his steak knives and F-bombs in tow.

Emanuel resigned as chief of staff on October 1, 2010 to run for Mayor of Chicago. But he left behind the ruthless tactics and mores of the Chicago political machine.

In September 2012, Emanuel stepped down as the Obama campaign’s co-chairman so he would be freed up to raise unlimited cash for the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA from Chicago. It was as if Emanuel never left the White House.

Maybe it’s because he didn’t.

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Does anything take place in the Obama White House without Rahm knowing about it?

So what, if anything, did Rahm know?

Newly released documents show IRS Chief Steve Miller knew about the agency’s practices as early as May 2012 and that other high-ranking IRS officials knew in mid-2011 that conservative groups were being targeted.

In 2012, IRS Commission Douglas Shulman testified before Congress that the IRS was not targeting Tea Party groups.  Like the latest Benghazi revelations, this is another instance in which the Obama Administration has been caught misleading the public.

SEE RELATED: Bill Ayers: Rahm Emanuel is a one-term mayor (VIDEO)

Low-level IRS employees didn’t spontaneously target conservative groups for “special scrutiny.”

Justice Department officials didn’t act independently when they gathered the phone records of more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to the AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. Their activity was sanctioned by their superiors. So who sanctioned the sanctioners?

How long has the targeting of Republican-leaning groups and the surveillance of reporters really been going on? Who ordered it? And how high up the political food chain does this go?

Threats and intimidation, investigating political enemies, secretly recording reporters – that is Emanuel’s modus operandi – and it is a practice that he has continued in Chicago.

In March 2012, Emanuel said he was in the final stages of talks with the Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs, to finalize a public-private partnership to renovate a deteriorating Wrigley Field.  By May 2013, the talks were off the table when the Mayor discovered that family patriarch Joe Ricketts was considering a plan to give $10 million for a Super PAC ad campaign against President Obama.

Emanuel had a public temper tantrum and refused to speak to Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. The ad campaign was never approved.

When Rahm said, “The First Amendment is highly overrated,” he wasn’t kidding.

In July 2012, Emanuel declared that Chick-Fil-A did not represent “Chicago values” and suggested the proudly Christian-owned company invest its dollars elsewhere. Ald. Joe Merino had attempted to block the company from opening a restaurant in his ward and Emanuel supported the plan.

Back in November 2012, the Chicago Tribune reported that staffers for Mayor Emanuel were caught secretly recording Tribune reporters during interviews without their consent in October and September 2011. Emanuel said it was “much ado about nothing.”

Illinois is one of 12 states where recording conversations without consent is a felony.

Emanuel and his staff also have a history of attempting to threaten and intimidate members of the media – including this reporter.  

In January, Buzzfeed’s Michael Hastings alleged that Emanuel “crossed the line” by physically assaulting him during an interview.

In July 2011, Emanuel’s temper got the best of him during an interview with veteran NBC Chicago political reporter Mary Ann Ahern when she asked him about his children attending private schools.

Irritated, the interview was cut short and Emanuel got up to leave.

 Ahern’s account from the NBC5 website:

 “I look forward to our future interview,” he said before unclipping his lanyard microphone and dropping it to the floor, and walking out of his office. I asked my camera man to stop rolling. As I tried to explain further, Emanuel doubled back. He looked directly at my two college interns, and said, “You are my witnesses.”

Then, the Mayor of Chicago positioned himself inches from my face and pointed his finger directly at my head. He raised his voice and admonished me. How dare I ask where his children would go to school!”

That’s Rahm’s Chicago.

Is it Rahm’s White House too?

Read more from Chicago with Bill Kelly’s Truth Squad

William J. Kelly is an Emmy award-winning TV producer and conservative columnist. He is also a contributor to the American Spectator and He is a native from Chicago’s Southside.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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William Kelly


Conservative commentator, satirist, and radio talk show host William J. Kelly pens the “Kelly Truth Squad” and “The Tea Party Report” for the Washington Times Communities and is a contributor to the American Spectator and Kelly is also a producer of Emmy award-winning TV and received an Emmy nomination himself for outstanding achievement on-camera. He was previously the Executive Director of the National Taxpayers United of Illinois, a taxpayer watchdog group. He is a native of Chicago’s South side. For more information, visit

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