Area congressional members condemn IRS targeting of conservative groups

May 21, 2013

Congressmen representing central and northern New York all agree that the recent IRS profiling of conservative organizations, including tea party groups, is wrong.

Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei says any kind of profiling is wrong. And at this point, the Democrat says it's time to find out what happened, but, he says, the important thing is to keep politics out of any investigation.

"We've really got to take a sober bipartisan look and not try to make political points every ten minutes on this. I'm hoping that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle settle down a bit, and look at this and say, this is clearly wrong and it can't happen again, but this isn't about making points against President Obama or anyone else. This is about making sure everyone is fairly served," said Maffei.

Fellow Democrat Rep. Bill Owens, who represents the North Country, is also supporting a bipartisan investigation of the IRS.  And in a statement from his office, says that if anyone intentionally targeted conservative groups, they should be fired.

The only Republican in the group, Rep. Richard Hanna from the Utica area, wrote in an op-ed in the Utica Observer-Dispatch over the weekend, calling the situation a reckless abuse of power. He also goes on to say this incident helps makes the case for a smaller, more accountable and transparent government.  He wrote that the profiling shows that government at any level can go rogue if there aren't certain checks and balances in place. He supports the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination and Protection Act that would fine anyone involved in such actions.