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Geithner to visit IRS workers in Austin today

By Ed O'Keefe

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Internal Revenue Service Commission Douglas Shulman will travel to Austin on Monday to meet with IRS employees that worked in the building hit by a small plane last Thursday. (The Post's Dan Balz spotted Geithner this morning on a Southwest Airlines flight bound to Austin from Thurgood Marshall Baltimore Washington International Airport.)

Geithner and Shulman will meet privately with agency employees who worked in the building and tour the crash site, the Treasury Department announced Sunday night.

IRS collections manager Vernon Hunter, 67, was the only person other than pilot Joseph Stack killed in the crash. He spent 27 years with the IRS, according to the National Treasury Employees Union. Hunter's wife, Valerie, is an IRS revenue officer, the union said.

"This act of violence has taken the life of a dedicated federal employee, a beloved husband, father and grandfather, a mentor and a friend to IRS employees," NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley said in a statement over the weekend. She is also in Austin today meeting with colleagues and union members after last week calling on the Obama administration and lawmakers to provide more security for federal workers in the wake of the crash.

Hunter's son, Ken, criticized media coverage of Stack's motivations in a local news interview.

"They don't need to talk about him. Talk about my dad," Ken Hunter said. "You know, some people are trying to make this guy out to be a hero, a patriot. My dad served two terms in Vietnam. This guy never served at all. My dad wasn't responsible for his tax problems."

Stack's daughter told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday that her father is a hero for standing up to "the system," but said his plane attack was inappropriate and wrong.

Thirteen other people were injured by the crash, a tally kept so low by a local fire crew that was training Thursday morning in a nearby parking lot. A federal crash investigation continues and the highway that runs in front of the building remains closed indefinitely due to structural concerns with the building.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 22, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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Comments

Joe Stack is a terrorist & traitor.

Mr. Hunter was the 2 time soldier & public servant that was brutally murdered by Joe Stacks actions. The guy survives 2 tours in Vietnam, only to be killed by some whack job in the US, while he was at work..

Joe Stacks lame daughter calls her dad a hero, and appluads his action in taking a stand against the govenment. All while living in NORWAY.

My deepest sympathies go out to the family of Veron Hunter.

The US as now received its first act of domestic terrorism from a born agian member of the White Tea Terrorist Party.

Bringing assault rifles and handguns to town hall meetings, has now evolved into flying planes into a government building.

Posted by: -CMAC- | February 22, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

CMAC, I second your comments.

Posted by: free-donny | February 22, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I third CMAC. It's interesting that she lives in Norway, a social democratic nation where the top tax rate is 75%. In the US it's 35%. The top 400 tax payers in the U.S pay an average of 16.6%. Oh those tea baggers are so oppressed.

Stack had a problem with a part of the tax code concerning his employment as an independent contractor.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | February 22, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

You don't need to go to halfway across the world to find terrorists. Joe Stack was a terrorist, plain and simple, killing innocent people to make a political point. And his reason for doing it was so shallow - he didn't want to pay his taxes!

If the Tea Party backs his actions, it should be considered a terrorist organization.

Joe Stack: Tea Party Terrorist.

Posted by: sasmontagova | February 22, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Its hard to see how this guy was so abused, he had a nice house, a Private plane and time to waste on anti-tax groups. He apparently tried to declare himself a religion to avoid taxes, and then was pissed that the IRS penalized him for this balant attempt at fraud.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | February 22, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Obviously just as much of a nut case as her father. Deepest sympathies to Mr. Hunter's family, friends and colleagues. It could have been any of us.

Posted by: seaduck2001 | February 22, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Based on the pilot Stack's daughter's comments, she (and others in agreement with her) probably think Stack is in paradise now surrounded by a plentitude of virgins and other heavenly delights.

Posted by: Spectator | February 22, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

While the commenters here are busy teabagging each other, tt is good to know that Geithner did not support Mr. Stack. We can all be relieved now.

Posted by: member5 | February 22, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Stack's actions are deplorable, nut case or not.

Have you ever tried to call the IRS with a question? If not, give 'em a call some Friday afternoon. After wading through a series of decision tree voice mails make sure you hit "ask to speak to a customer service representative". I guarantee you will be treated to an experience of a lifetime.

Someone will answer the phone mumbling an ID number, presumably their identifier, and then ask you if you can hold. In a flash, you will be transferred to another number where someone will answer and you will be treated to the same routine. Depending upon how much time you have to waste, this depraved game will play out until you eventually hang up. Such is the arrogance, disregard and contempt that this "Service" has for the people who pay their salary.

Posted by: magellan1 | February 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Such is the arrogance, disregard and contempt. Well the I.R.S. is one branch of the government but as a student at Haskell Indian Nations University (the only 4 year university ran by the U.S. government) you will be treated the same way. Native American people who travel there and enroll actually think they are going to get an education, one that will reflect well on them when they leave. Well let me tell you they are not. Haskell Indian Nations University, in Lawrence, Kansas is an Indian boarding school at its worst. Mr.Larry Echohawk you need to get rid of Stephanie Birdwell-bighorn, Venida Chenault and Julia Goodfox just to name a few before Haskell is destroyed by them and while you are at it say you are sorry to Dr. Linda Sue Warner for the way you let her get treated and see if you can get her to come back. ASAP!

Posted by: zooami1 | February 22, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I am glad to know that with a tax evader at the head of the IRS, Americans can feel comfortable filing their taxes this year knowing if they do anything wrong they can just hope for a cabinet appointment.

Posted by: fireball72 | February 24, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

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