Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

Defiant IRS head and skeptical GOP interrogators

WASHINGTON — Defiant before skeptical Republicans, the head of the IRS refused to apologize Friday for lost emails that might shed light on the tax agency's targeting of tea party and other groups before the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Instead, Commissioner John Koskinen accused the chairman of a powerful House committee of misleading the public by making false statements based on incomplete information.

The contentious back-and-forth didn't end there. Later in the hearing, Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republicans' vice presidential nominee two years ago, told Koskinen bluntly that "nobody believes you."

"I have a long career. That's the first time anybody has said they do not believe me," said Koskinen, who came out of retirement in December to take over the IRS. Previously, he served in other positions under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The hearing showed that emotions are running hotter than ever in the dispute over the IRS and political fundraising.

Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, asked Koskinen to testify a week after the IRS disclosed that it had lost an untold number of emails to and from Lois Lerner. Lerner headed the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status during a time when, the IRS has acknowledged, agents improperly scrutinized applications from tea party and other conservative groups.

Camp was clearly expecting Koskinen to be more contrite.

"What I didn't hear in that was an apology to this committee," Camp said after Koskinen's opening statement.

"I don't think an apology is owed," replied Koskinen.

The IRS commissioner also dismissed Camp's call for a special prosecutor to investigate, saying it would be "a monumental waste of taxpayer funds."

The IRS says it lost Lerner's emails when her computer crashed in June 2011. The IRS was able to generate 24,000 Lerner emails from the 2009 to 2011 period because she had copied in other IRS employees. Overall, the IRS said it is producing 67,000 emails to and from Lerner, covering the period from 2009 to 2013

The Justice Department and three congressional committees, including Ways and Means, are investigating the IRS.

Comments
Physician seeks Pasco Times building for rehab center

Physician seeks Pasco Times building for rehab center

PORT RICHEY — A Hudson physician hopes to acquire the Times Publishing Co. west Pasco office and convert it into an inpatient center for substance abuse rehabilitation and mental health care. Estaban Alfonzon Ruiz, a doctor of internal medicine, file...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
CareerSource jobs chief Edward Peachey could soon be out of work

CareerSource jobs chief Edward Peachey could soon be out of work

CLEARWATER — The heads of the Pinellas and Hillsborough jobs boards will hold emergency meetings in the coming days to consider firing president and CEO Edward Peachey. Jack Geller, board chairman of CareerSource Pinellas, and Dick Peck, chairman of ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Former Florida Rep. Robert Wallace jumps from Tampa overpass

Former Florida Rep. Robert Wallace jumps from Tampa overpass

TAMPA — Former Florida state Rep. Robert Wallace ended his life Monday night by jumping from a Dale Mabry Highway overpass, records show. He was 65.At least one witness saw Wallace plunge 40 to 50 feet onto Gunn Highway, according to a Hillsborough C...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Toymakers dive into toilet for poospiration; Rev. Billy Graham dies at 99; MS-13 sweep keeps most basic details secret; more in U.S. news

Toymakers dive into toilet for poospiration; Rev. Billy Graham dies at 99; MS-13 sweep keeps most basic details secret; more in U.S. news

New YorkDiving into toilet for poospirationToymakers have gone to the toilet for their latest creations. Mattel’s upcoming Flushin’ Frenzy game sends a brown plastic poop flying into the air. And its rival, Hasbro stuck with the potty humor after its...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Time line1918: Born into a strict Presbyterian family near Charlotte, N.C.1934: Accepts Christ at Charlotte revival by traveling evangelist Mordecai Ham.1936: Enrolls in Bob Jones College, Cleveland, Tenn.1937: Unhappy at Bob Jones, he enrolls in Flo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
At presidents’ sides

At presidents’ sides

Updated: 2 hours ago
Meet the Andean god of prosperity; U.K. top court finds police liable for failings in massive rapist case; more in world news

Meet the Andean god of prosperity; U.K. top court finds police liable for failings in massive rapist case; more in world news

BoliviaThis year’s god of prosperity is ...Juan Ricaldi may not yet be rich, but he’s the very image of the god of prosperity and abundance in the eyes of celebrating devotees in La Paz. Ekeko is rendered as a short, pudgy, mustached man who wears tr...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: They value guns, not kids

Editorial: They value guns, not kids

They value guns over kidsSix days after 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High by a teen-ager firing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the Florida House refused to even debate a bill banning the sale of assault weapons. The vote, 71 to 36, wasn...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Shuttle service planned for BMX Gator Nationals in Oldsmar

OLDSMAR — The city has partnered with the PSTA and IS offering a free shuttle during this weekend’s USA BMX Gator Nationals at the Oldsmar Sports Complex.Public parking will be available in the east parking lot at City Hall, 100 State Street W. Other...
Updated: 4 hours ago