Home  >  National  >  White House, IRS show interest in Watchdog in December

White House, IRS show interest in Watchdog in December

By and   /   May 15, 2013  /   News  /   31 Comments

AP photo

The White House and IRS seem interested in the Watchdog.org site. Maybe they’re just big fans of the free market news site’s government waste, fraud and abuse coverage.


By Will Swaim and Ryan Ekvall | Watchdog.org

President Barack Obama’s executive staff reviewed Watchdog’s news website in record numbers at precisely the moment when Internal Revenue Service visits to the same site spiked, Watchdog.org’s analytics show.

A similar report reveals that the Executive Office of the President and IRS were the source of a similar December traffic spike on the website of Watchdog.org, the online news network of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. (Updated: an earlier version of this incorrectly reported that traffic spiked in January.)

The White House has said that IRS reviews of conservative nonprofits were procedurally “inappropriate on the part of fairly low-level agents.”

This new data suggests at least a coincidence of interests in Watchdog.

According to Google analytics, the IRS generated 456 unique visitors, between January 2009 and May 2013. The report notes 552 visits and 709 page views from the IRS. Most of the traffic occurred between the second half of 2012 and this week.

One day in December, watchdog.org received more than 100 visits from the tax agency.

The analytics show 60 unique visitors and 84 page views to Watchdog.org from eop.gov, the Executive Office of the President, between December 2009 and May 2013.

The IRS has apologized in recent days for targeting conservative organizations applying for tax-exempt status. Republicans are calling for criminal prosecutions, and the FBI is now investigating.

The source of White House visits, eop.gov, redirects visitors to the official White House website. A message on that redirect reads, “You have requested a page on EOP.gov and have been redirected here. EOP.gov is a domain operated by the Executive Office of the President. WhiteHouse.gov is the public-facing website for the EOP.”

Watchdog.org is a free-market oriented news organization with reporters in several state capitals, each focused on waste, fraud and abuse in local government. The news site’s parent Franklin Center, its site says, focuses its efforts on “driving a conversation about transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility at the grassroots level and putting a human face on public policy.”

M.D. Kittle contributed

Will Swaim is managing editor of Watchdog.org. Contact Swaim at [email protected]



Will is the vice president of journalism at the Franklin Center and editor of Watchdog.org. You can reach him at [email protected]

  • Transparency? Where does your funding come from?

  • melanerpes

    I suggest a bar-graph graphic showing daily hits from IRS and Whitehouse in parallel. Do it.

  • gus

    I’m sure they’ve been furloughed because of the sequester by now.

  • Rocks

    Yes, I think we need to know the distribution of eop.gov visits. Was there a spike in January as with the IRS?

  • Really? You didn’t read the story?

  • Hey Will.

    What stories ran on those days? Might be relevant …

  • Given the dates of hits from both sites, I can do a statistical analysis to check the likelihood this is accidental, if you like. DM me.

  • Peter Smith

    This president really is a tyrannical president …and people complained about W? WOW THE CONDUCT of this so called administration ….regime is a better word…is like Reagan said…we are one generation from losing out liberty …and I believe that has come true to life right now. I also believe independent agents should he doing the investigation.

  • HarrietHT2

    Lois Lerner, the IRS official in charge of making these determinations, received a whopping $740,931.00 from 2009-2012; this is their idea of a “low-level” employee?

  • Communism is a helluva drug.

  • RightWired

    Block them.

  • Obama admin has so much evidence that they systematically crushed Romney supporters to win the election. Obama need to be impeached for multiple scandals.

  • gail

    Obama has put spies throughout agencies in the government and in the private sector – this has to come to light and soon – they all deserve to go to jail.

  • Barack Milhous Nixon

  • timbo44

    There are hundreds of voter fraud cases being investigated including the black woman on Youtube who admitte to voting for Obama 6 times but ‘I donts consider that fraud”. Voter fraud cases are being examined in michigan, Phily, Colorado, and Boston where in those locations between 110 and 140% of registered Democrats turned out which is a mathematical impossibility.

    The Cold Case Posse has irrefutably proven that the birth certificate and draft card are phonies, and that every Obama document is problematic. Obama himself told his literary agent he was born in Kenya. Obama’s own Grandmother said she was in the room in Kenya when he was born. Obama’s own brother lives in a grass hut on $10 per month, what makes any of you 50 million people on Food Stamps thinks he cares about you?

  • k8EEEEEE

    Well Lois isn’t good at math…..so I guess she is low level and didn’t know what a quarter of 300 was………….Hopefully when she finally gets her degrees she will know how to multiply and divide gooder.

  • The IRS has committed a crime, and the acting dir whose term is up in June will leave in June. That’s accountability,Really?

  • I too call for a color graphic, if my Facebook timeline is any indicator, no quoting of sources or proof of any basis of fact is required to get the voting masses to believe it.

  • What Dumbasses!

  • Obama has committed a crime! Valarie Jarret admitted that this would happen to their “enemies” if they won the election too! Pretty damning!

  • She’s also the DIRECTOR of the damn Exemption office, and the IG’s Report directly points her out for ignoring their corrections and going back to her political hit list just 6 months after telling her not to do it again! She was only a few heads away from the WH, she was getting orders without a shadow of a doubt!

  • You’re an idiot! Go find out where Media Matters funding comes from! Try Billionaire George Soros

  • Amazing coincidence that the White House and the independent IRS should both be interested in your site at the very same time.

  • As a control, show non-IRS-WH traffic as a 3rd line.

  • xerocky

    yeah, they’ll buy pretty much anything holder/obama say right?

  • I dont think hate groups should get tax exempt status. dont give anyone tax exempt status, including churches.

  • me

    I wonder if Lois uses Turbo Tax?

  • B. W. Wright

    We the People have the POWER to end this to BIG TO GOVERN government.
    All know it has failed in every possible way – it uses the majority to
    win elections and powers and then misuses the powers to persecute the
    minorities – manufactures, miners, energy production, energy
    distribution, auto emissions, pipe line construction, Tea Party,
    Constitutional groups, conservatives. they have usurped the constitution
    in the courts, Congress and the Executive acts like it does not limit
    his ability to make EO as he pleases.

    Congress uses income money to bribe voter blocks like teacher Unions,
    Auto Union, SEIU, Big Business special tax treatments, – yes to big to
    fail is a problem in the private section but to BIG TO GOVERN is a more
    serious problem. It take our Constitutional protections [limits on the
    Federal powers to article I section 8 enumerated powers]. It take we the
    people forcing our State legislatures to amend the Constitution to
    restore Liberty and Freedoms stolen [usurped].


  • outoftowner321

    this makes no sense. that’s not a way of measuring traffic.

  • jammie

    it would be justice if w.h. was ran by a republican. oh i forgot….. they knew nothing! this should have gone before a prosecutor… oh yea… i forgot…. they said they didn’t need one. how many scandals’ … i forgot 3 well in all 57 staes said … they are none… these guy’s are getting gooder and gooder.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Has it occurred to anyone else that all the (unethical and probably illegal) interrogative questions and data gathering from the IRS
    on conservative applicants may have been the surface of a larger data mining effort to channel that info to White House aids and advisers, hence the numerous Whitehouse visits? Just saying.