IRS Chief Campaigned With Tax Cheat Rangel
As allegations of tax fraud swirled around Rep. Charlie Rangel, then-IRS Commissioner appeared with him at a campaign-style event in Harlem. The PR event at a local food bank was ostensibly to discuss tax credits for low-income workers, but the presence of Shulman gave a powerful boost to Rangel, just months after the New York Times called for him to step down.
In 2008, the Washington Post reported a story on Rangel soliciting donations and federal funds for an academic center bearing his name. It launched a swirl of stories questioning the Congressman's ethics and tax compliance. It ultimately turned out he had hidden income from the IRS for 17 years and was censured by the House.
The problems were so manifest, in fact, that the New York Times editorialized in September of that year that he should step down as Chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. The editorial came in the wake of Rangel's admission that he had failed to disclose $75,000 in rental income and failed to pay taxes on property he owed in the Dominican Republic.
These were not allegations at this point, but illegal activity that Rep. Rangel admitted.
Yet, just 4 months later, Shulman, Commissioner of the IRS, appeared at an event with the Congressman who was an admitted tax cheat. "He's one of the leaders in this country on tax policy issues," Shulman told the New Rork Post at the time. "I work closely with him every day, and I'm honored to be on this stage with him." Rangel would go on to win a competitive 5-way primary for his seat.
Shulman certainly carved out an interesting portfolio as IRS Commissioner, a position which usually completely removed from politics. In the context of his 157 visits to the White House, including meeting with Obama political strategist Stephanie Cutter and the targeting of Tea Party organizations under his watch, his attending a campaign-like event for Rangel fits into a pattern.
Add in the fact that his wife was an organizer of OccupyWallStreet protests and worked at an idealogical activist group and he emerges as anything but the non-partisan official meant to occupy his position. The American Spectator has a deep-dive into Shulman's connections with various parts of the left-wing nomenclature. Read the whole thing, as they say. I think we're going to learn a lot more about Mr. Shulman over the coming weeks.