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Kaine on IRS scandal: ‘People need to be sacked’

Tim Kaine says the tax powers of the government cannot be used, as they were by former President Richard Nixon, to target enemies. He says a credible investigation into the IRS scandal should be bipartisan. (Patrick McDermott Getty Images News/Getty Images)
IRS scandal goes against the First Amendment

Colleen Kelleher | November 14, 2014 6:46 pm

WASHINGTON – A Democratic senator from Virginia says people who work at the Internal Revenue Service need to be fired for targeting conservative political groups.

“This really is inexcusable, and it raises the question, ‘What does it take to get fired in this town?'” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., asked on WTOP Wednesday morning.

“People need to be sacked because of this IRS scandal.”

The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the IRS. Three congressional committees also initiated investigations, and President Barack Obama has directed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to look into the matter.

The IRS improperly targeted tea party groups for more than 18 months, according to a report released Tuesday by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration that blamed ineffective IRS management.

“Anybody who was aware of this, and either participated or allowed it to happen, without throwing on the emergency brake or pulling the fire alarm, they’re really not fit to continue to serve,” Kaine says.

“They ought to be losing their jobs.”

Kaine called the targeting of conservative groups, who applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 congressional elections and the 2012 presidential election, “outrageous.”

“The allegations suggest it was politics, that there was political favoritism,” Kaine says. “You cannot punish or prefer people based on the political views.”

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