Report: IRS employees promoted Obama during the 2012 election

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The IRS certainly likes Democrats — especially President Barack Obama.

An IRS customer service representative repeatedly chanted a pro-Obama message to taxpayers who called the line, encouraging them to vote for Obama in 2012, according to a government watchdog.

According to the Office of Special Counsel, which enforces the Hatch Act, a law prohibiting government employees from political activity while at work, this employee could be facing “significant disciplinary action” for his behavior, encouraging taxpayers who called the IRS for assistance to vote for Obama.

The OSC also revealed a tax advisory specialist in Kentucky will be serving a 14-day suspension for promoting Obama during the 2012 election cycle. In a recorded phone conversation the employee — who was informed of the Hatch Act’s prohibitions on political activity weeks before — told a taxpayer that Republicans were, in effect, bad.

“Republicans already [sic] trying to cap my pension and… they’re going to take women back 40 years,” OSC quoted from the conversation, explaining her mother always said, “‘If you vote for a Republican, the rich are going to get richer and the poor are going to get poorer.’ And I went, ‘You’re right.’ I found that out.”

At one point the employee acknowledged that she knew she was not supposed to express a political viewpoint.

“I’m not supposed to voice my opinion, so you didn’t hear me saying that,” she said.

According to OSC, the employee entered a settlement for her violations this month.

OSC also charges that employees at the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in Dallas, Texas violated the Hatch Act by wearing pro-Obama stickers, buttons and clothing at work, and displaying pro-Obama screensavers.

“It could not be determined whether these materials were displayed prior to the November 2012 election or only afterwards,” OSC reports. “However, since the information OSC received alleged that these items were commonplace throughout the office, OSC issued cautionary guidance to all IRS employees in the Dallas Taxpayer Assistance Center that they cannot wear or display any items advocating for or against a political party, partisan political group, or partisan candidate in the workplace.”

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