We’ve been told that Lois “I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong, but I Take the 5th” Lerner was an apolitical public servant, Last week Illinois Review exposed how ridiculous that assertion was when they revealed her atrocious bullying of U.S. Senate candidate Al Salvi back in 1996. There were more revelations about this episode over the weekend. From IR:
Former GOP U.S. Senate candidate Al Salvi’s (photo right) revelation this week that IRS official Lois Lerner offered to drop the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) 1996 case against him if he promised to never run for office again was the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
“Before Lois Lerner (photo right) took us before the federal judge, her last offer was for me to promise to never run for office again. That was always part of their demands,” Salvi said. “Before that last offer, another FEC representative that reported to Lerner wanted $200,000 and a promise not to run.”
Knowing his $1.1 million campaign loan to himself was legal, Salvi rejected the initial settlement offer from FEC attorney Colleen Sealander. In later conversations, Sealander lowered the amount to $100,000, then $40,000, but always with the additional promise to never run for office again.
The FEC case against Mr. Salvi was dismissed in 2000, much to the chagrin and displeasure of Ms. Lerner. Also from the IR piece:
And Salvi said when he thinks of that, he recalls the shock on Lerner’s face when the judge dismissed his case. “We never lose!” Lerner said, and then, he said she distinctly threatened, “We’ll get you!”
Salvi said he told his wife right away to get ready for an IRS audit – that it would be coming. He instructed his firm’s accountants to err on the conservative side when filing tax returns, just in case.
But after the May 2000 dismissal, there was no contact from the FEC or from the IRS. However, there was from the FBI. In the fall of 2000, FBI agents knocked on the door of the Salvis’ home and said they wanted to ask him about his mother’s $2000 donation to his 1996 U.S. Senate campaign.
“That visit from the FBI was significant,” Salvi said. “That meant a criminal investigation, not a civil disagreement with the elections commission. And, if a person lies to the FBI, they can go to jail.”
Salvi said he reviewed the situation with the agents, and told them they were being used for political purposes. The two agents visited with his elderly mother and soon after, notified Salvi they were terminating the investigation.
“It was a nightmare,” Salvi said. “People ask me today why I’ve never run for office again after being a state representative for two terms, winning a GOP primary against the sitting lieutenant governor to run for U.S. Senate, and then finally losing an intense campaign against Durbin. All the time this long FEC ordeal continued while I ran for Secretary of State in 1998 and beyond. Why would anyone run for office again after all that? I’m very happy now, representing clients and raising my family. Never been happier.”
Kudos to Mr. Salvi for coming forward, and for the terrific journalism at Illinois Review. I’d like to see him testify before one of the congressional committees investigating this IRS targeting.
I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that these are the people who Barack Obama and the democrats think should be in charge of your health care.