May 13, 2013, 11:26 am EDT
In congressional testimony last year, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman denied accusations that the agency was targeting conservative groups for political reasons.
On Friday, IRS officials conceded that the agency had in fact subjected tax-exempt status applications from conservative and Tea Party-related organizations to greater scrutiny. The officials said that the agency had flagged groups that used the words “patriot” or “tea party” and that managers had sent out memos telling agency workers to give additional attention to Tea Party-affiliated local organizations, CNN notes.
The admissions come as the IRS inspector General prepares to release a report this week that indicates that IRS scrutiny of conservative groups began in 2010. In addition to the Tea Party, IRS officials singled out groups who criticized the size of the national debt and government spending. Read
May 9, 2013, 11:48 am EDT
On July 1, same-sex couples in Delaware will be able to get married.
On Tuesday, Governor Jack Markell — just minutes after the bill passed the legislature — signed the bill into law, the Associated Press reports.
Markell was on hand for the vote and told cheering supporters, “I do not intend to make any of you wait one moment longer.” The Delaware Senate passed the bill 12-9 following passage in the House 23-18. Read
May 7, 2013, 12:17 pm EDT
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act that requires online retailers to collect state sales taxes.
The measure — which passed the Senate 69-27 — gives the individual states the authority to require online retailers to collect and pass along state sales taxes, Bloomberg reports.
Previously, online stores were only required to collect sales taxes in states where they had a physical location. Therefore, the majority of companies collected — and passed on to the states — only a small fraction of possible taxes. This has drawn protests for years from brick-and-mortar retailers who argue that it places them at a pricing disadvantage against their online rivals. Read
May 7, 2013, 11:43 am EDT
New Jersey Governor Christ Christie had weight-loss surgery last February.
Christie had the surgery — in which a band was placed around his stomach to restrict the amount he could eat — at the urging of his family, the Associated Press is reporting.
Christie has long been the butt of jokes about his weight. While he’s never disclosed how much he actually weighs, he’s always held that the subject was fair game for comedians. However, he did take exception when a former White House physician, Dr. Connie Mariano, commented that she worried about him dying in office. Read