Lois Lerner’s Department Complained About Constant ‘Distractions’ During Conservative Targeting

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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The staff of former IRS exempt organizations (EO) division director Lois Lerner were angry in the early days of her conservative targeting program because their pared-down office environment reminded people of “flying coach.”

Top-level employees of the division were routinely subjected to “constant interruptions and distractions” during this prime phase of the tea party targeting.

As The Daily Caller exclusively reported, Lerner and her underling Nikole Flax, a frequent White House visitor, announced the new program scrutinizing tax-exempt applicants at a conference at Washington’s Grand Hyatt Hotel in February 2010. Lerner and Flax, whose computer crashes allegedly deleted both of their emails, looked at conservative donor information as part of a “secret research project” approved by then-IRS commissioner Steven T. Miller.

Sources from inside Lerner’s department in Washington, D.C. complained to a writer for the subscription-only tax industry publication EO Tax Journal in an Aug. 11, 2010 post. The publication was trying to figure out reasons for “the inability of practitioners to get through to someone at the National Office or, if a phone or email is returned, to get a substantive answer out of anyone in the EO Division.”

The employees were unhappy with their new office cubicles.

“According to my informants, cubicle existence — at 1750 Pennsylvania Avenue, home of the EO Division — is a bummer, along with no library, no nothing. It’s flying coach in a plane full of unhappy passengers. JetBlue, anyone?” wrote Paul Streckfus for the publication.

“As one former IRSer has noted, ‘Cubicles are: ‘space efficient, personnel and work inefficient.’ The government wasted the money it saved on cubicles by wasting the time of very expensive personnel through constant interruptions and distractions. Why return a phone call when you are supposed to be quiet?'”

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