Dems Fawn Over IRS Commissioner Who Contributed Over $85,000 to Their Committees, Candidates

Barbara Boland | June 24, 2014 | 3:35pm EDT
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IRS Commissioner John Koskinen contributed more than $85,000 to Democratic candidates and committees, MRCTV research has discovered - with a $5,000 donation to President Obama in 2012 and $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008. This may explain the fawning "thank yous" Koskinen received for his public service from many Democrats last night on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"You know when you've got a person who's given what you've given and been brought into difficult circumstances..." said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to Koskinen during last night's hearing. "You know, at my age, I began to stop and think about my own mortality, and think about my reputation. I want to thank you for being who you are. I want to thank you for giving a damn and caring about our country."

Warming to his subject as if he was speaking about the sacrifice of veterans, Cummings went on, "Some of the statements that have been made here today make it look like you're just coming up here, trying to fool people, when under Republican and Democratic administrations you have been highly regarded."

Listening to Cummings, those watching at home may have thought that Koskinen had served a long and storied civil service career "under Republican and Democratic administrations" - but as a matter of fact, prior to his appointment to the IRS six months ago, Koskinen worked as non-executive chairman of publicly-traded Freddie Mac (from 2008 to 2012.)

Koskinen was CEO at Freddie Mac in 2009 (He earned a cool $550,713 for his "service" that year). Before working at Freddie Mac, Koskinen was President of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of Washington D.C. and "assistant to the President and Chair of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion and Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Koskinen also spent 21 years in the private sector in various leadership positions with the Palmieri Company, including President and Chief Executive Officer," according to his biography on the website.

None of that reads as the long-suffering civil servant Democrats described and showered with accolades last night.

According to Open Secrets records, the IRS Commissioner that so many described as "arrogant" contributed to every Democratic nominee for president since 1980. He gave $2,300 to Obama's first run for president in 2009 and $5,000 in 2012.

Hillary Clinton has received $3,800 from Koskinen.

Koskinen has never contributed to a Republican, a search of records shows.

"This is about theater," said Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA). "Fair play, presumption of innocence, civility...are out the window. Because there's an agenda that presupposes some guilt, that is based in part on supposition, on paranoia, on conspiracy theory."

"Badgering witnesses is inappropriate and shameful for this Committee to conduct itself in that manner," Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said in Koskinen's defense during last night's testimony. "I want this committee to be run as it should be run, with respect and decorum. And badgering this Commissioner as virtually every member on the Republican side has done [tonight] is shameful. And it's gotta stop. Or I'm telling you, one member here is going to walk out and not return."

Nowhere in their impassioned defenses of Koskinen (or his noble public service) did Democrats mention that he has contributed almost $100,000 to their party.

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