McClatchy blogs: Americans not paying that much attention to IRS, Benghazi stories

Published: Sunday, May. 19, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3E

Posts from McClatchy reporters and editors covering Washington, Jerusalem, Afghanistan and beyond. Go to http://blogs.mcclatchydc.com

Americans not paying that much attention to IRS, Benghazi stories

Posted by David Lightman

Planet Washington

The Internal Revenue Service and Benghazi stories may be consuming Washington, but in the rest of America, not so much.

"The amount of attention Americans are paying to the IRS and the Benghazi situations is well below the average for news stories Gallup has tracked over the years," a new Gallup poll found.

Democrats are not paying much attention, nor are independents, said the survey released Friday – though Republicans are paying a lot of attention.

"Republicans are also much more likely than Democrats to strongly agree that both situations are serious enough to require investigation," according to a Gallup analysis.

And, it noted, "this partisan gap is much larger on the Benghazi news than on the IRS issue. This may reflect that rank-and-file Democrats are following the administration's lead in putting greater emphasis on the importance of the IRS crisis, while downplaying the importance of continuing investigations into its handling of Benghazi."

Fifty-four percent said they're following the IRS story closely, and 53 percent said they're following Benghazi. The average for more than 200 news stories over several decades is 60 percent. The IRS is under fire for targeting conservative groups. In Benghazi, Libya, four Americans died during a September terror attack.

The survey was taken May 14-15.

Watchdog group wants IRS to target all groups that hide donors

Posted by Anita Kumar

Planet Washington

Here's another take on the IRS scandal.

Common Cause, the government watchdog group, urges the White House, Congress and the IRS to look into the "larger problem of political groups masquerading as tax-exempt social welfare groups to hide donors' identities."

"The scandal at the IRS cannot be permitted to serve as cover for those who want the right to funnel secret money into our elections and buy the corruption that goes with it," said Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause's senior vice president for strategy and programs.

Congress has launched hearings into why the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative organizations that asked for tax-exempt status.

Common Cause, which submitted testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, says the worst outcome would be to let groups use their tax-exempt status to hide the identity of their donors.

Obama calls on Congress to help him avoid another Benghazi

Posted by Lesley Clark

Planet Washington

Saying he wants to prevent another Benghazi, President Barack Obama on Thursday called on Congress to "support and fully fund" the administration's budget request to improve security at embassies around the world.

Obama said the administration is following the recommendations from an accountability review board that looked at the attack, including reviewing security at high-threat diplomatic posts, improving training for personnel headed to dangerous posts and increasing intelligence and warning capabilities.

And he said he's also directed the Defense Department "to ensure that our military can respond lightning quick in times of crisis."

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