We the People: Americans deserve accurate info, quick resolution

If the Fox News spin doctors are successful, Americans will believe that scandals are overwhelming the Obama administration. This conclusion is completely untrue.

The American people deserve reliable information and swift action about the Benghazi incident, the IRS targeting allegations and the Justice Department’s “leak” investigation which led to seizures of telephone records.

The leak allegedly occurred when the AP Press reported about a Yemen-based terror cell plotting to blow up an airliner. The Department of Justice said a sensitive intelligence operation had not yet concluded when the AP released its story.

The right wing media take these issues and make them opportunities to try to keep a dark cloud over the president until the next election. The State Department, IRS and Department of Justice should be fully investigated but investigated in proportion to the alleged misconduct. An intense witch-hunt accompanied by speculation and sensationalism will not help the nation.

The allegation that the IRS targeted conservative groups for slow processing of tax exempt status is extremely troubling. The IRS is a federal agency with considerable intimidation power.

The possibility that policy-making officials knew or should have known about political discrimination must be fully investigated. All responsible persons should be fired and punished. However, we need to remember the economic, fiscal, educational, immigration and security issues that Congress would like us to forget.

The NorCal Tea Party Patriots is a conservative group that said it was unfairly singled out by the IRS. It is complaining the IRS slow-tracked its tax-exempt status application. The fact is that, before any investigation or lawsuit, the group received its tax exempt status. The 15-month process may have been too long but in the end it received what it wanted.

The amount of applications that may have been unfairly treated is estimated to be between 250 and 300 and, in the end, no conservative group was denied tax exempt status due to political discrimination.

In the last election cycle, conservative groups outspent liberal ones so even if a few more groups had the advantage of a tax -exempt status, Mitt Romney would not have averted his landslide defeat.

Our freedoms of speech, association and of the press protect what is good in our society. We must pay close attention to anything that may threaten them. We must balance our energy and attention appropriately on every issue.

The nation must take care of the people of Oklahoma, and see to it that Affordable Health Care is implemented properly, and New York must change the ethically-challenged atmosphere in Albany. These things will not get the proper attention unless we can maintain our priorities.

Keeping that in mind, I will answer a question from John Quaglione, Conservative candidate for City Council in Bay Ridge, and a loyal reader. He complained, in a letter to the editor, after I suggested he had the same position on speed cameras as State Senator Golden, that, “Mr. Kiernan sees my recent attempts to improve services …as not a priority.”

True. I believe pedestrian safety has priority over sanitation improvement. The candidate went on to accuse me of “political self-gain” and of being “factually inaccurate.” He is wrong on both counts. His letter confirmed that he adopts the identical position on speed cameras as Senator Golden, his boss. The candidate compounded his inaccuracy when he misspelled my last name, Kieran, four times in the letter. I’m surprised that he couldn’t copy it correctly since it was correctly spelled in the column that caused him such consternation. I am sure he is more careful with his press releases for Marty Golden.

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