House committee ramps up Spock testimony with embarrassing video mashup

Tim Cavanaugh Contributor
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Republicans on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have put together a video featuring the official at the center of the Internal Revenue Service’s conference-spending scandal, and they find it highly illogical.

The video stars the commissioner who played Spock in a “Star Trek” parody video made by IRS employees. The Oversight Committee’s mashup uses clips from that video and a dance video that together cost the taxpayers about $50,000 to make.

The commissioner, who has the vaguely treknophilic name Faris Fink, heads the Small Business and Self-Employed Division.

Fink has been placed on administrative leave, but not before his role at the center of the two videos made him the pointy-eared face of the taxman’s latest scandal. A recent report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that the IRS had spent $49 million on conferences between 2010-2012, the same time that the IRS was targeting conservative nonprofits for abuse and delays.

Among other events, IRS employees spent $4.1 million of the taxpayers’ money on a conference in Anaheim, California that featured a $17,000 keynote speaker who painted portraits of celebrities onstage.

“Taxpayer money meant to pay for a core agency mission, the hiring of more enforcement personnel, was instead spent on a lavish party,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, a California Republican, said in a statement.

Fink is scheduled testify Thursday, in an appearance that is expected to be as painful and stress-filled as the seven-year Vulcan ordeal of Pon Farr. He will be joined by recently named acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel. Werfel’s feelings on “Star Trek” are unknown, but he does appear to be a Howard Stern fan.

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