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Congress should do its job

Chicago Teachers Unipresident Karen Lewis during Board Educatimeeting Wednesday August 22 2012. | John H. White~Sun-Times

Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis during Board of Education meeting Wednesday, August 22, 2012. | John H. White~Sun-Times

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Updated: June 18, 2013 8:12AM

Congress should do its job

Scandal! Impeach! This is how a Republican Congress deals with a president from the Democratic Party.

Scandal No. 1: Benghazi. The Congress can fully fund the security forces guarding our embassies and consulates around the world. This Congress cut the security budget, and four Americans died.

Scandal No. 2: IRS targets conservative groups that seek tax-exempt status. After the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court, the IRS was inundated with applications for this tax-exempt status. It was the IRS’ responsibility to question the organizations to find out if they qualified, and were not mostly political organizations. John Boehner wants to know who is going to jail over this scandal. Policy may have been breached, but no laws were broken. The Tea Party, since its inception, has had an anti-tax ideology. They should be flagged for increased scrutiny. Liberal groups should be flagged, also. Congress can fix this by improving the tax code and clarifying who qualifies for tax exempt status.

Scandal No. 3: Government sweeps Associated Press’ phone records looking for a security leak. Again, Congress, not the Constitution, gave the executive branch enormous power when it passed the Patriot Act after 9/11. If Congress doesn’t want the executive branch to exercise these powers, repeal the Patriot Act.

Congress can fix all these so-called scandals by exercising its duties as the legislative branch of the government. That would require that the Congress actually governs. This is Congress’ job, and it’s not doing its job.

Diane Niesman, Wheaton

Forced to live in city

One of the concerns Karen Lewis and the CTU has failed to address is if 54 CPS schools are to be closed and nearly 1,000 teachers will be out of jobs, what will happen to all the teachers and staffers left in the system allowed to live outside Chicago because they work in need-basis subject areas? Will there really be a “need” when there are going to be lines twisting around city blocks of unemployed CPS staffers looking for work? Currently, many CPS employees hired before Nov. 20, 1996, and those who work in “special-need areas” are allowed to live outside Chicago. If waivers are continued to be given to CPS employees without a “need” anymore, then why will members of the police and fire department and all other city departments still be forced to live in the city?

Walter Brzeski, Montclare

Parking competition

Hey mayor, how about giving the parking meter company some competition? Take some of the property you own and build city-owned parking garages and play the old game of cut-throat!

Steven Solomon, Merrillville, Ind.

DePaul move a mistake

Rick Telander’s column plus Tuesday’s Page 2 and Page 3 stories made me sit down and write this letter.

First I would like to say have been going to the DePaul games in Rosemont since they moved to this arena some 30-plus years ago. Crowds were then capacity of 16,000-17,000 most every game, so, yes, they can draw fans with a winning program. It would take 30-45 minutes just to clear the parking lot. Now we just zip right out.

Rick’s remark that attendance is averaging around 10,000 is a misnomer. How about mid-7,000 at best. I have been to games of late where the crowd was maybe 3,000 to 4,000. DePaul wishes it were 10,000.

If they move to 23rd Street and the Outer Drive, they will have less attendance than now. Have they done there homework to find out where those attending now live? Doubt it. Most live in the western and northwest suburbs. Either way the proximity for the student body is a good distance from the campus. I can just imagine what the parking fee and also the ticket prices would be compared with what we have been paying of late. I wonder what the DePaul administration is dreaming of.

Irwin Krimke, Buffalo Grove

IRS just doing its job

The Sun-Times does readers a grave disservice by echoing the inane GOP meme that Cincinnati IRS agents “violated people’s constitutional rights” when they questioned whether specific groups qualified for a 501(c)4 tax exemption. No one has a constitutional right to a 501(c)4 tax exemption!

Tax law grants certain “social welfare organizations” a tax exemption under Section 501(c)4. These groups CAN do SOME lobbying and electoral activity but, if lobbying and electoral activity are their main PURPOSE, they lose their tax exemption.

THAT’s why the IRS asked the questions they asked. And I bet most Sun-Times readers don’t know that the IRS asked liberal groups the same questions it asked Tea Party groups!

(Frankly, I’m much more upset that the IRS still HASN’T asked Crossroads GPS what ITS “social welfare” purpose is (other than keeping Karl Rove rich and pompous) than I am that it’s asking new 501(c)4 applicants exactly what they’re doing that makes them eligible for a very valuable tax exemption.)

The FACT is that NOTHING the IRS did prevented ANY Tea Party activist from voting or writing a letter to the editor or staging a demonstration. Those activities ARE constitutional rights; being approved for a tax exemption ISN’T!

Mary A Carroll, Lake View

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