Skip to comments.IRS doubles down on lawbreaking with regulation to kill free speech
Posted on 03/17/2014 3:49:49 PM PDT by smoothsailing
Proposed regulations from the IRS for 501(c)(4) "social welfare organizations" would censor speech such as legislative scorecards, voter registrations and get-out-the-vote projects.
They also would eliminate communications before elections that name candidates, even if done in a neutral fashion.
The IRS claims its proposed regulations are designed to create a more uniform set of rules for social welfare organizations, notwithstanding the long precedent of these types of communications. Censorship is now deemed appropriate tax policy.
Coming after its high-profile imbroglio targeting and harassing the Tea Party and other conservative applicants for 501(c)(4) status, the proposed rules would violate the free speech rights of all social welfare organizations, prompting opposition from the Left and Right.
The IRS apparently wants to show that its violations of the First Amendment are bipartisan. Among the 143,000-plus comments, groups distinctly not conservative such as the ACLU, the NAACP and Independent Sector -- an umbrella group for many large charities -- opposed the IRS's proposed censorship.
The IRS claims that "social welfare" does not include candidate-related political activity. If this were not such a serious attack on free speech, one could joke that the IRS and about 87 percent of Americans, based on dismal approval ratings for Congress, agree that elected officials don't act for our welfare.
These rules, however, go far beyond targeting big money used to elect candidates, and affect the smallest and poorest organizations active at state and local levels. The rules cut to the heart of citizen participation in the legislative and political processes.
The IRS regs target speech on the Internet, and speech on the Internet is permanent. With this threat of censorship hanging over their heads, nonprofit organizations will surely hedge on their communications going into this 2014 election cycle. Voters lose because they will not receive a variety of information and opinions to inform their votes.
The IRS under President Obama has trended from merely an intimidating tax collector to an outright lawbreaker.
A Treasury Department inspector general found evidence of criminal conduct at the IRS in its treatment of conservative donors, whose confidential tax information was disclosed in clear violation of the law. Attorney General Eric Holder has said his Justice Department will not prosecute anyone.
Lois Lerner, former head of the tax-exempt unit at the IRS, twice invoked the Fifth Amendment to block her testimony before a Congressional committee investigating IRS lawlessness in its tax-exempt application process. That congressional committee is now developing contempt charges against Lerner.
Mark Meckler, one of the original Tea Party Patriots organizers, formed an organization called Citizens for Self-Governance. Its most recent project is called Sue the IRS.
Meckler and his co-plaintiffs seek punitive damages from the IRS for its illegal treatment of conservative organizations. Given the way the IRS has acted, this could be a growth industry.
Nowhere in the IRS proposed regulations does it express concern that it may be violating the First Amendment, nor that tax policy, needing clarity, should avoid censorship.
Despite the long use of the communications to be censored, Congress did not act to prevent them. The IRS, like Obama, doesnt believe it needs to wait for Congress to act, and is exceeding its legal authority.
The Constitution, by its very terms, is our supreme law. Founder and our fourth Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Marshall, called it our fundamental and paramount law.
The IRS' proposed rules would violate the Constitution. They restrict not only all 501(c)(4) organizations, but tens of millions of Americans, who would be the secondary victims of this censorship.
The IRS' illegal conduct has a scope and breadth that is unsurpassed, making it the biggest lawbreaker in the nonprofit arena.
The IRS has become Obama NAZI’S as all the DemocRat cabinet offices.
you can bet leftist groups will be exempt
One of the Articles of Impeachment drawn up against Richard Nixon was merely "threatening" to use the Internal Revenue Service to selectively audit political opponents.
OBAMA HAS WEAPONIZED THE IRS AGAINST POLITICAL OPPONENTS ordering multiple covert campaigns of intimidation, threats, and persecution of tea party/conservative organizations, and those daring to criticize Obama's agenda.
Conservatives are reduced to begging Holder's DOJ to investigate and prosecute.....and begging the IRS to play nice by releasing information implicating its own staff in wrongdoing and perhaps criminal violations.
Tea Party organizer Mark Meckler's "Citizens for Self-Governance" most recent project is called Sue the IRS. Meckler and his co-plaintiffs seek punitive damages from the IRS for its illegal treatment of conservative organizations. Given the way the IRS has acted, this could be a growth industry.
Seven vote-crazed Dumbocrat Senators paranoid about losing their seats demanded the IRS investigate conservative groups. (more below)
Conservatives have got to start asking---How Did Obama and His Democrat Minions Get So Much Power Over the IRS?
DID THE IRS JIHAD AGAINST CONSERVATIVES BEGIN WHEN OBAMA TOOKOVER THE US TREASURY? WHAT MISCHIEF WERE OBAMA/RAHM EMANUEL UP TO AT THE US TREASURY (IRS is an agency of the US Treasury)?
THIS MADE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD shortly after quitting his powerful WH job as Obama's COS, Rahm held a presser declaring he "just remembered" he really, Really wanted to be Mayor of Chicago. Then Rahm announced he had magically "raised" $10 million for his campaign in "just a matter of weeks." (waiting for hysterical laughter to die down). Ya gotta wonder how much Wall Street Rahm wired offshore when Obama put him in charge of the entire US Treasury. Read on.
CONNECTING THE DOTS: Obama's stranglehold on Treasury via COS Rahm Emanuel's dual role
THE TARGETING PAPER TRAIL BEGINS: Soon as they occupied the WH, Obama and the Chicago con artists (a) took control of the US Census; (b) Obama placed his COS Rahm Emanuel in control of the US Dept of the Treasury (the IRS).
THE SMOKING GUN---WSJ REPORT--On Jan 20, 2009 Timothy Geithner was appointed Obama's Secy of the Treasury. But within three weeks, the Obama White House tightened its grip on Treasury. Obama put his COS, Rahm Emanuel, in charge of Treasury---Rahm Emanuel's dual role was an unusual move.
When he got to Treasury, WH COS Rahm Emanuel was so involved in the inner workings of the Treasury that the phrase "Rahm wants it" had become an unofficial mantra among subservient govt staffers, prostrate in obeisance, scurrying to accede to Rahm's wishes, according to Treasury government officials. Reported by WSJ / 05/31/09
More here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124113406528875137.html
Meckler needs to add to his suit these seven vote-crazed Dumbocrat Senators paranoid about losing their seats demanding the IRS investigate conservative groups.
WHO KNEW? The IRS (a tax-funded L/E agency) takes its marching orders from Democrats. Other govt agencies were sicced on conservatives---the FBI, ATF, the IRS, and OSHA were sicced on Catherine Englebrecht, who was harassed on numerous occasions, as she valiantly tried to improve the US voting system.
DEMS STOOP TO CONQUEUR--order IRS to act (to save their seats)
by Alexander Bolton, The Hill, 2/13/14
Senate Democrats facing tough elections this year want the IRS to play a more aggressive role in regulating outside groups expected to spend millions of dollars on their races. In the wake of the IRS targeting scandal, the Democrats are publicly prodding the agency instead of lobbying them directly.
Dems are also careful to say the IRS should treat conservative and liberal groups equally, but theyre concerned about an impending tidal wave of attack ads funded by GOP-allied organizations. Much of the funding for those groups is secret, in contrast to the donations lawmakers collect, which must be reported publicly.
One of the most powerful groups is Americans for Prosperity, funded by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. It has already spent close to $30 million on ads attacking Democrats this election cycle.
If theyre claiming the tax relief, the tax benefit to be a nonprofit for social relief or social justice, then thats what they should be doing, said Sen. Mark Begich (D), who faces a competitive race in Alaska. If its to give them cover so they can do political activity, thats abusing the tax code. And either side."
Asked if the IRS should play a more active role policing political advocacy by groups that claim to be focused on social welfare, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) responded, Absolutely. Both on the left and the right, she said. As taxpayers, we should not be providing a write-off to groups to do political activity, and thats exactly what were doing.
Shaheen called the glut of political spending by self-described social welfare groups that qualify under section 501(c) (4) of the tax code outrageous. Shaheen is in a good position now but could find herself embroiled in a tight campaign if former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass) challenges her.
Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.), the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent, said the IRS has jurisdiction over 501(c)(4) groups, as well as charities, which fall under section 5/01(c)(3) of the tax code and sometimes engage in quasi-political activity.
That whole 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) [issue], those are IRS numbers. It is inherently an internal revenue matter, he said. There are two things you dont want in political money, in the fundraising world and expenditure world. You dont want secret money, and you dont want unlimited money, and thats what we have now. --SNIP--
MOMENTS TO REMEMBER AT THE VOTING BOOTH
<><> Seven lock-stepping US Senators scared of losing their seats ask the IRS to Investigate their political opponents,
<><> Rep Elijah Cummings led the Democrat pack in smearing patriot Catherine Englebrecht....
<><> der leader Obama said Tea Parties were a "threat to democracy."
“The IRS apparently wants to show that its violations of the First Amendment are bipartisan. Among the 143,000-plus comments, groups distinctly not conservative such as the ACLU, the NAACP and Independent Sector — an umbrella group for many large charities — opposed the IRS’s proposed censorship.”
The IRS doesn’t fear the courts, and it doesn’t fear the Congress.
Why shouldn’t they double down?
Can anyone tell me why Obama has not been impeached and thrown in prison yet? What is it gonna take???
Well, for starters, you'd have to sober up Boehner and the boys, and get him to actually DO something.
Black churches have always been exempt.
This scumbag is filthier than the bottom of an outhouse. We got 'em where we want 'em.....why should we play into their filthy hands?
Dems are salivating for impeachment---DNC even sent out a memo to that effect---b/c impeachment turns the ding-dong into a "victim". Desperate Dems know they win big on "victimization."
I say change the locks on the WH----the O jerks wont know enough to call a locksmith (cackle).
Death to the fascists bump
I heard a speaker last week denote they were going the Superpac route to get around all this crap. I saw a political volunteer go that route about 4 years ago now and we all scratched our heads. He was way ahead of this time....
4th Generation Warfare
If the IRS has gone too far in their interpretation of the corresponding tax code, the affected group can certainly sue.
Leftist groups are by definition for the good of the community. Conservatives are, by definition, evildoers with a hidden agenda that is not protected by free speech.
Glad you cleared that up, and so glad you signed on here just before the 2012 elections to help steer us in the direction of statism. We could not correct our wayward ways without you to guide us. I would have thought, for example, that using the IRS to harass conservative groups into giving up their First Amendment rights, or requiring them to endure costly litigation to protect them, while liberal groups go scot free, would be some kind of fascist ploy. Now I realize it is just a big misunderstanding.
They clearly propose to with new regulations, which signals an escalation on their part. Up until now they have been engaged in delaying, disrupting, obstructing, and chilling free speech allowed by current regulation through a strategy utilizing a variety of tactics. The evidence is abundant and unambiguous.
Ophonybama and his LIEberal/Socialist/Marxist/Fascist followers have politicized the entire executive branch of the federal government.
IMHO, every executive agency is actively working to restrict We the People’s FReedoms and Liberties. In short, the federal government is our enemy!
If We the People prevail in November, we may just be able to salvage the country we all love so much.
If we fail to keep the House and take the Senate, I very much fear that all will be lost.
I don’t want my children and grandchildren asking me what happened to our country!
How about you, FReepers?
Will you work to ensure a conservative blowout victory in November?
There, fixed part of it.
I guess if you presume that all money and property belongs to the government in the first place then you might conclude that groups actually using their own money to speak as they see fit is somehow being "subsidized by the taxpayers".
Ohhh, non partisan like Obamas campaign Obama for America OFA, which became organizing for action OFA. “Founded after President Obama’s re-election, the group seeks to mobilize supporters in favor of Obama’s legislative priorities. OFA is registered as a 501(c)(4) organization”
THAT kind of 501(c)(4)?
In IRS/ObamaWorld the same goes for 501(c)(4)'s
Proposed regulations from the IRS for 501(c)(4) "social welfare organizations" would censor speech such as legislative scorecards, voter registrations and get-out-the-vote projects. They also would eliminate communications before elections that name candidates, even if done in a neutral fashion. The IRS claims its proposed regulations are designed to create a more uniform set of rules for social welfare organizations, notwithstanding the long precedent of these types of communications. Censorship is now deemed appropriate tax policy.