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Turning the tables: Investigating the Cold Case Posse

CBS 5 Investigates logo

Morgan Loew and the CBS 5 TV investigation team in Phoenix have been digging into the Cold Case Posse and the money trail. Tonight their story aired and it opens with a shocker:

After two years of denying he personally profited from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the validity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, the head of the sheriff’s Cold Case Posse [Mike Zullo] admitted to CBS 5 Investigates that he accepted a large monetary gift from one of the sources in the investigation.

If Zullo had been a real law enforcement officer and someone related to an investigation gave him $10,000 for his personal use, I think most people would call it a bribe. But then Mike Zullo is not a real law enforcement officer and he is not bound by any legal or ethical rules in his attempts to get some dirt on President Obama. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office declined comment on whether they thought such a gift was proper.

The $10,000 came from someone whose name I didn’t immediately recognize, Bill Wolf, but it turns out that Wolf supplied not only money to Zullo, but was also a major source for investigative material. (Wolf was also a plaintiff in a 2011 lawsuit against Loretta Fuddy and the Hawaii Department of Health.) Zullo finally came clean about the money in a series of emails, linked from their story. Wolf is deceased, so we can’t ask him about any of this.

I thought the Morgan Loew story was very effective. Footage from the Joe Show corroborates Reilly’s claim on camera that this the birther investigation was all about getting campaign donations. It shows Zullo denying accepting money one day, and admitting it the next. It brings in the IRS loophole (what Reilly calls a “black hole’) that keeps their money off the books. It points out that even after Secretary of State Bennett authenticated the birth certificate, WorldNetDaily and the Cold Case Posse are still soliciting donations. For someone like me, the story had almost nothing new, but the report makes a strong case and this package on a major local news outlet must have appeared shocking to some folks in Phoenix.

Here’s the video:

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Congressman questions IRS Commissioner about Obama’s birth certificate

Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas questions IRS Commissioner John Koskinen about the lost Lois Lerner emails and other things:

Doggett: I believe that there has been a long-term commitment to hamstring, to encumber, to underfund the Internal Revenue Service, and discredit it, and the whole concept of progressive taxation in this country. Now let me ask you, to the seriousness of this investigation, and sir, have you ever been in Benghazi?

Koskinen: No.

Doggett: Do you know if you or Ms. Lerner have ever had any responsibility for anything having to do with Benghazi and our embassy there?

Koskinen: No.

Doggett: How about Area 51 out in Roswell, New Mexico, where all those space aliens allegedly came. Have you ever had any responsibility for that?

Koskinen: No.

Doggett: Have you ever had custody of the President’s birth certificate?

Koskinen: No.

Doggett: Well, Commissioner, I believe one of the mistakes you’ve made in dealing with the Committee today is that you did assume professionally this was a serious inquiry. I believe it is an endless conspiracy theory that’s involved here that is being exploited solely for political purposes. I don’t approve of Ms. Lerner. I don’t approve of the way the IRS handled all these matters. But I think there is a much larger cover-up issue here. And it is the desire of our Republican colleagues cover up these purported social welfare organizations that don’t want to disclose the secret corporate campaign contributions that they rely on to pollute our democracy.

H/t to Birther Report.


You use that word “archive,” but I don’t think it means what you think it does.

A couple of things have led me to think about archiving this week. The first is the brouhaha about a crashed hard drive at the IRS, and the IRS claim that all the backups are overwritten after 6 months. When is an email a record? What are the retention policies at the IRS? I lack the motivation and the stamina to examine this question in detail, but for the brave souls that might want to dig deeper, I offer these documents:

There is, of course, the occasional variance between policy and practice in the real world.

The other thing that made me think about archiving is the recent going offline of the Orly Taitz ESQ web site. Naturally, when such a site goes offline for a while, there is something on it needed. The Wayback Machine is a great source to find old web pages, but a fair portion of Orly’s site is not in the Wayback Machine for some reason. The Google Cache captures some things, and some sites, including Orly’s site and this one, get republished by Before It’s News. BIN provides us a copy of Orly’s article that some suggest is the reason her web site has been taken down. Here is the advice of “Attorney Orly Taitz” from the article:

Now there are a lot of lost Mexican children, who wandered into the US territory. Well, it is time for every American to become a good Samaritan and help the lost Mexican children by driving them to the border and taking them to thecustody of Mexican border patrol, so that Mexican border patrol that speaks Spanish, can reunite them with their families in Mexico.

Bizarre! Attorney Taitz is giving advice that could result in anyone who follows it ending up in federal prison.

What hit home for me is that over 700 articles on my own web site are not in the Wayback Machine for some reason. Some missing articles are current, but many date back as early as 2010. Ouch! I have been busy coding software yesterday and today to deal with this problem. What I did was to use the WordPress API to download the URLs of all the posts on this blog into a database. I then used the Wayback Machine API to determine which of them were not in the Wayback Machine archive. I then developed a system for adding them. Right now, I have to push a couple of buttons to scroll to the next missing page and add it. I’ll automate that shortly. I just have to be careful not to add to fast, or I’ll get kicked off as an attacker. A 5-second delay seems to work pretty well.

Cold Case Posse plays fast and loose with the law

Despite dubious claims of being “law enforcement,” the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse doesn’t act like law enforcement, but more like someone trying to evade the law.

Case in point is their obligation under federal law to provide certain information regarding their IRS tax-exempt status. When I asked for the legally required information in a registered letter, they refused delivery (didn’t sign for the letter at their PO Box) and when they finally responded to someone else, they redacted parts of the filing, not complying fully with the law. Here are some of the redactions:



At least two complaints have been filed with the IRS regarding the CCP tax exempt status, one documenting that their primary activity is political, and one filed by me that their independent status conflicts with their exemption from filing financial disclosure forms.

A second matter is the recent discovery that those county government “G” license plates on Posse cars are not registered to the county, but to the Posse itself. Irregularities with the Posse and it’s vehicles have been referred to the state auditor.

Now a third complaint has been filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission. The full story appears in an April 22 article at Arizona’s Politics. The complaint was filed by former Posse member Brian Reilly, well-known to readers of this blog. Reilly alleges that filings with the Corporation Commission were altered around the time the Posse went into the Evil Obama business (my phrase) to obscure the current addresses of those who run the Posse.

Arizona law requires the street address be provided for a corporate address, and the 2011 filing does contain a street address of sorts (and the same address is listed for all corporate officers and directors).


Here’s what is located at that street address:

Photo of post office

It’s the Daisy Mountain post office at 44047 N 43rd Ave.

The only real address on the form is the “physical address” of Mike Zullo, in his capacity as registered agent, and that address belongs to the Sheriff’s Office, where Zullo has box where he can pick up mail without signing for it. It appears that this exercise in obstruction might be to prevent delivery of registered mail to him, or maybe Zullo is acting paranoid.

Happy President’s Day (*)

I had a visceral dislike for George W. Bush, going back to when he was Governor of Texas. I think he was a bad president. I even think that if all the votes were fairly counted, he might have even lost to Al Gore. But Bush was certified by the Congress as elected, and he was the president. For good or ill, he will forever be listed as the 43rd president of the United States.

Opponents of Barack Obama, however, went one step further. They didn’t even want him to be a candidate for president, and filed lawsuits to prevent it. Once elected, they continued to litigate and to deny that he was eligible, and to this day work to erase his presidency, to place an asterisk next to his name in the history books as not actually being the president. Some refer to Obama as the “putative president” or “the pResident.”

A May 2013 article in the Wall Street Journal1 by James Taranto titled “President Asterisk” is not quite the birther denialist story, but I think it runs parallel. The subject was the IRS use of certain keywords like “tea party” to trigger special scrutiny of groups applying for 501(c)(4) social welfare organization tax exempt status. Taranto writes:

No one can deny that Lance Armstrong and Mark McGwire were highly skilled athletes. But their accomplishments are forever tainted by their use of banned performance-enhancing drugs. The use of the Internal Revenue Service’s coercive power to suppress dissent against Obama is the political equivalent of steroids. The history books should record Obama’s re-election with an asterisk to indicate that it was achieved with the help of illicit means.

At best this is a gross exaggeration. Hundreds of millions of dollars went into anti-Obama Super PACs in the 2012 election. Organizations that the IRS didn’t approve in a timely fashion were still free to raise and spend money – IRS pre-approval is not necessary. Nothing was “suppressed.” Obama won in an electoral landslide and I cannot imagine any legitimate argument that IRS actions made a wit of difference.

Personally, the whole targeting business didn’t bother me. A 501(c)(4) social welfare organization has to promise that their primary activity isn’t political, and an organization named “Tea Party” claiming not to be primarily political ought to raise a red flag!

Orly Taitz picked up some recent news on this theme in her latest troll for plaintiffs in the title,

BREAKING: 100% of the 501(c)(4) Groups Audited by IRS Were Conservative. If you are a conservative and your equal protection rights were violated by IRS and Obama regime and you want to be a part of a class action legal action to originate in CA, contact Attorney Orly Taitz, and send a short paragraph with specifics of discrimination

I wondered if it was true. Taitz didn’t provide any source, as usual, but I found that the charge comes from Republican House Ways and Means Chairman David Camp  who said on February 11 of this year:

At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.

Source: Wall Street Journal blogs

Rather than blaming the IRS, perhaps there really was abuse of tax exempt status by conservatives. Progressives say that there is rampant abuse among conservative social welfare organizations, and that they provide the main channel for large anonymous donors to give towards political activity (source NPR).

These numbers have a context: there were far more right-leaning 501(c) (4) applications in the last election cycle. The IRS targeted the keywords “Conservative,” “Tea Party,” “Patriot” and “Progressive” in applications, but of the 111 applications that matched that list, only 7 were “Progressive” (source NPR)! What was also ignored is the conservative keyword list was just one of the keyword lists the IRS used.

A bill currently working its way through Congress earmarks $200,000 in the IRS budget for training on 501(C)(4). The Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI says it is not likely to file any criminal charges, but the FBI says officially their investigation is still in ongoing. Congressional investigations continue. I’ll wait and see.

1The Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp, the same Rupert Murdoch company that owns Fox News. They are being hypocritical when they complain of anti-conservative bias at the IRS, when they practice blatant anti-Democrat bias under Murdoch’s ownership. According to the Wikipedia:

The [Wall Street Journal] op-ed section routinely publishes articles by scientists skeptical of the theory of global warming, including several essays by Richard Lindzen of MIT. Similarly, the Journal has refused to publish opinions of prominent scientists with opposing conclusions.[43]

Karma is a bitch

Orly Taitz, personally responsible for publishing President Obama’s social-security number on the Internet, now finds herself the victim of identity theft with her SSN being used to file for a fraudulent tax refund, so reports Taitz along with a heavily-redacted letter from the IRS.

Taitz, of course, wants copies of the fraudulent return, I suppose so she can unleash her hoard of volunteer investigators on the case. The IRS has declined.

Taitz was somewhat stingy with the details, but here’s an article about tax refund identity theft from the IRS.