Dusty Rhodes says IRS probe is an 'assault on our democracy'

Cincinnati auditor believes targeting 'came from the top'


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 13, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile, to the other storm hitting the nation right now, this one involving the IRS. Now one Democrat in Cincinnati, ring a bell, telling Democrats in D.C. to stop scapegoating his city and start owning the blame.

Dusty Rhodes is the county auditor in the Cincinnati area.

Mr. Rhodes, very good to have you.

I think the gist of it, you were tired of everyone sort of dumping on Cincinnati, blaming the local Cincinnati personnel and leaving it at that, right?


We were taking the hit on this thing, and it just is offensive after a while when all the inside-the-Beltway types are trying to palm this off as being done by some kind of a rogue agent in Cincinnati.

This thing requires more than a rogue agent, I would think. It requires an evil genius, and I don't think there's any around here, the last time I looked.

CAVUTO: Well, there are a lot of geniuses in Cincinnati.

RHODES: Well...

CAVUTO: And there are a lot of very smart, shrewd folks in Cincinnati. Some of them might even do bad things. Why are you so sure that it doesn't stop rights there?

RHODES: Well, anybody that has run an administrative office for any period of time knows that something of this magnitude has to come from the top.

Local FOX 19 reporter Ben Swann did an investigative report that indicated that. And, of course, I don't know for sure that it didn't start here, but my bet is that it didn't. It came from the top. And it's the kind of thing just is an assault on our democracy. It's outrageous.


So, when Elijah Cummings, the Maryland Democratic congressman, was trying to sort of tempt Darrell Issa to go ahead and just say, look, the investigation, as far as it's gone is as far as it's gone, that no proof of sort of a Washington connection or a White House connection -- he didn't more or less say that it stops at the doors of Cincinnati, but he clearly implied that.

What do you think?

RHODES: Well, I think it's strains credulity.

They went after that businessman in Idaho. And he got the first audit in 30 years. And it cost him $80,000 to fight it off, simply because he gave money to Romney. This is a bad situation from the get-go. And it doesn't do the country any good and it doesn't do the Democratic Party any good to try to sell this line, because most thoughtful people are going to look at it and say, get real.

CAVUTO: When we had -- you were talking about that Romney donor, VanderSloot, who had been audited by no less -- no less than three times by two different agencies. And he did spend all that money to defend his good name. He did defend his good name, but did have to spend a lot of money to do that. But he did say in the course of talking to me that others were cited and audited and spied on as well and pressured.

Do you think that this is wider than we know, apart from what might or might not have been coming out of Cincinnati, that this is involving far more organizations or individuals than we know?

RHODES: Well, I think Mr. VanderSloot's case, as you have been documenting, kind of indicated that that is the way to go.

And I would tend to think that that is probably a very good possibility. I just think Congress needs to get into this. It's not a partisan issue. It strikes at the very heart of our democracy, and it's an assault on our democracy. And they have got to stop it.

CAVUTO: Well, what do you think the president should do? What do you think the president should do?

RHODES: Well, I think the president should do the same thing that I did when I make -- when I have made a mistake, is fess up and say, look, this is -- we screwed up. We shouldn't have done it. Hopefully, it didn't cost the taxpayers any money and we're going to fix and be open and transparent.

That's what government has got to be. People have lost faith in government at all levels, county, state, national. And it's up to us. We have an obligation to be open about this. And were the president to ask somebody like me, I would say, Mr. President, I really you ought to come clean on all of this.

CAVUTO: All right, Dusty Rhodes, you're way too much of a straight shooter. So, I don't know where your career is going. But...


CAVUTO: I'm kidding. Dusty, thank you very, very much. Very good having you.

RHODES: Great being with you, Neil. Thank you.

CAVUTO: All right.

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