IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is in the spotlight as he is set to further testify to Congress regarding the IRS targeting of conservative groups. It is important to remember that Koskinen has shelled out nearly $100,000 to Democratic candidates and groups.
Koskinen has been contributing to Democrats for four decades, starting with a $1000 contribution to Democratic candidate for Colorado Senate candidate Gary Hart in 1979.
Koskinen has been a reliable donor over the years, contributing a total of $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008. He has made a contribution to the Democratic candidate for president in each election since 1980, including $2,300 to Obama in 2008, and $5000 to Obama in 2012.
Koskinen’s most recent contribution was $2,500 to Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) in February of 2013.
Koskinen was appointed IRS commissioner later that year, and was tasked with revamping the tax agency in the wake of criticism that it was allowing partisanship dictate which groups applying for tax-exempt status would receive extra scrutiny.
“John is an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform,” Obama said in the statement announcing Koskinen’s appointment. “With decades of experience, in both the private and public sectors, John knows how to lead in difficult times, whether that means ensuring new management or implementing new checks and balances.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) said at the time that he was “more than a little mystified” at the partisan appointment in a time that the agency was under fire for just that.
At a House Ways and Means Committee hearing last week, Koskinen was berated by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) over his claim that IRS email records have been permanently lost.
“I’m sitting here, listening to this testimony, I don’t believe it,” Ryan told Koskinen. “That’s your problem. Nobody believes you.”
Koskinen will face congressional hearings again this week. He will testify Monday evening for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and then face the same committee for a follow-up hearing on Tuesday.