May 17, 2013

Failures at the IRS & Shining a Light on Campaign Spending

People in New Mexico and all across America feel a sense of outrage over what happened at the IRS - and they should. I'm outraged too. Partisan bias and abuse by the IRS cannot be tolerated.

IRS employees failed to carryout their duties impartially and I believe calling for and accepting the resignation of the IRS's top official was the right thing to do.

But another failure of the IRS is the failure to stop front groups from filing false statements and engaging in illegal amounts of political activity. It's wrong whether the group may be liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican.

I have long argued that any group seeking to influence elections should not get tax-exempt status.

And I continue to believe New Mexicans have a right to know who is trying to influence their vote, and who is paying for all those negative ads on television.

That's why I wrote to the IRS in 2012 asking for better transparency and enforcement under the law. I also followed up with the IRS to propose three substantive rules to make it easier for them to apply the rules fairly to everybody. These common sense reforms will prevent shadowy groups from breaking the law and help increase transparency in elections.

As I said on the Senate floor this week - we need clear rules that apply to all groups across the board on all sides of the political spectrum.

This is one of the ways we can change the way we do business in Washington.

Watch my remarks, and view my letters below.

February 2012 - Letter to IRS on Campaign Finance

March 2012 - Letter to IRS on Campaign Finance