Skip to comments.IRS targeting of political speech is no accident
Posted on 02/08/2014 1:50:19 PM PST by Mount Athos
The latest round of the IRS scandal, in which Tea Party and conservative groups have been selectively targeted for harassment by our tax collection agency, is now unfolding.
This comes in the form of proposed new rules from the IRS regarding the operation of organizations falling under the 501(c)(4) provision of the tax code.
These are organizations whose purpose is to promote social welfare and therefore their income is tax-free. Because promoting a cause or agenda in our free and democratic country cannot be isolated from political activity associated with that agenda, such activity is permitted by 501(c)(4) organizations, as long as politics does not become its main purpose.
These are the rules of the game that have existed since 1959.
But now the IRS wants to change the game.
The new rules they propose expand the definition of candidate-related activity so broadly to include voter-education campaigns and grassroots lobbying campaigns and to forbid even the mention of a candidate in any context 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election that it will make it impossible for these organizations to function.
The IRS would like us to believe they are just trying to clear up some rules that are too vague regarding how these organizations are permitted to operate. But can it be an accident that these new rules come in the midst of the current scandal in which a now-retired IRS official, Lois Lerner, admitted that Tea Party groups were being targeted for harassment?
It was revealed this week at a House committee hearing, at which new IRS commissioner John Koskinen testified, that an email was found from an IRS official indicating intent to scrutinize 501(c)(4) organizations. How much of this was generated by inappropriate politicized activity within the IRS, and to what extent it relates to the IRS taking guidance from a higher authority like the White House remains to be seen.
It does defy common sense to conclude that the White House has not been involved in this: IRS activity in pursuit of nonprofit organizations escalated in 2010.
It so happens that in early 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that the ban on independent political expenditures by corporations violated the free speech provisions in the First Amendment of the Constitution. And it so happens that funding escalated into 501(c)(4) organizations after the Supreme Court lifted this ban. And it so happens a good deal of this activity has been Tea Party-related activity.
After the Citizens United decision, the president himself weighed in, expressing his outrage about the decision and indicating his intent to develop a forceful response to this decision.
To the dismay of our president and those with political agendas at the IRS, our Constitution permits free speech and allows corporations to use funds to express a political viewpoint. So the IRS is now trying to render inoperative the vehicles that often receive and use those funds, the 501(c)(4) organizations.
It is not an accident that if we look around the world, the one thing that uniformly characterizes un-free nations is the lack of free speech. Those who love political power hate those who want to question their power and who want to inform citizens and provide a different point of view.
This is what the current IRS scandal is about. IRS officials, whose job it is to collect taxes, have abused their power to harass those whose politics they do not like. And this is what the current attempt to shut down 501(c)(4) organizations by rewriting long-standing rules by which they operate is about.
Free flow of information and free speech is the oxygen of a free society. Every freedom-loving American should vigorously push back against this abuse of power by the IRS to stifle free speech.
Start with the pulpits of black churches in America FIRST!!! They’ve been propagandizing FOR the Democrat party since time immemorial. FU-BO! FU-IR$$!
Actually, leave us the f**k alone. All of us.
Lock and load-
When government has power, it will wield it in a way that benefits the bureaucracies themselves, and whoever is in power. This is true since our inception and is in fact true elsewhere outside the US or in history.
The idea of government and it’s bureaucracies having self restraint and internal controls are all rationalizations to allow these massive and powerful systems to thrive and it has been dis-proven over and over. The only way you really prevent government abuse of power, adherence to a Constitution, a rule of law, etc .is to limit power in a physical structural way, to balance power and have external review/oversight as well as public disclosure.
The entire idea within the Constitution is not to be a document telling you the citizen what you can do, no it’s a document intended entirely to limit the powers of federal government. It is entirely written from the perspective of what the federal government shall not be allowed to do and it designs a government with a balance of powers not only between the three branches, but also internally within each branch, between the state and federal and between the government and individual. All of this has sort of become lost in time, and stories like the NSA or now IRS shouldn’t be a surprise.
Did our forefathers wait for 501(c)(4) status before they went after King George?
Scores to be settled.
Sounds quite a bit like a McCain/Feingold redux. Shut the little people up.
There’s not ONE SMIGDEN OF EVIDENCE they didn’t do it.
Thanks for the video, Noumenon !
Do NOT forget that senators asked for an investigation into the tea party.
The senators who approached the IRS to change the rules they did not go through congress to change the rules instead they gave congressional power to regulators.
They did not take it upon themselves to initiate legislation to clarify the rules (this issue came up in one of the first hearings in May)
They didnt want the rules applied equally to the left. And if there was new legislation (assuming it could pass) there was a bigger chance it could be applied equally than if they were regulations.
In every debate I have heard/ and testimony, it focuses on the tea party and their percentage of political activity and very little is said about the left organization like moveon.org in terms of how much of their activity is political activity.
Open the link below and see that some of it dates back to Feb 2012 before the email from Lois Lerner in June 2012.
Shaheen faces scrutiny over IRS letters
Speaking on Fox News Tuesday, conservative powerbroker Karl Rove highlighted a letter sent by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, to the director of the IRS in 2010 calling for further investigation of tax-exempt groups. Rove also discussed a letter sent to the IRS in 2012 by Shaheen and six other Democrats.
(The IRS was) doing what people on Capitol Hill wanted them to do, Rove said.
In the Feb. 16, 2012 letter, Shaheen and other lawmakers urged the IRS to develop new standards to evaluate the activities of so-called social welfare organizations.
The Seven Senators Who Asked the IRS to “Investigate” Non-profits
This is real simple. The IRS Nazis live in your neighborhoods. You elect a pro-2nd amendment, constitutional sheriff in your county to harass the IRS Nazis who live in your subdivision.
The biggest barrier to accomplishing this is persuading the so-called conservatives to stop worshipping Mammon for two minutes and secure liberty for their children. Most will resist, as they will judge that refinishing the kitchen or bathroom or earning piles of cash as more important than freedom.
How do we know that?
Well, various commies and Nazis control local governments all across America and fat-ass conservatives haven’t done squat to stop it.
Oh, you’re full of it sergeantdave. Really?
Let’s count all the conservatives who bitch about high taxes, no property rights and commies in the high schools. How did that happen?
The answer is simple. Fat-ass conservatives sit on their fat asses and REFUSE to attend schoolboard meetings, county board meetings and local village council meetings. All these 50 IQ conservative idiots care about is making a buck.
Welcome to American Stasi hell, you morons. Incidentally, all the cash you’re making will be stolen at the point of a gun by government. Whattaya gonna do about it?
It's time the Bank Secrecy Act was mobilized----to determine the timing of the threats against the tea parties and whether money exchanged hands in the process ---- as an incentive to target conservative groups.
<><> L/E needs to examine the named legislators' assorted bank accounts and campaign accounts.
<><> Joint bank accounts might be used to facilitate the transfer of campaign funds from one account to another.
<><> Democrats may have received payments for personal and private expenses, campaign expenses, credit cards, real estate subsidies and vehicle purchases as an incentive to go on record attacking conservatives.
<><> To cover their tracks, fake invoices might be created to show that money deposited into accounts was being used for legitimate purposes. The scheme might be advanced by issuing phony statements of payments from financial sources that actually covered the transfer of campaign funds for the named legislators' personal use.
NOTE WELL Under the Bank Secrecy Act, banks are required to establish, implement and maintain programs designed to detect and report suspicious activity indicative of money laundering and other financial crimes. The Bank Secrecy Act was enacted to protect the public from harm by identifying and detecting money laundering from criminal enterprises, terrorism, tax evasion or other unlawful activities, the special agent in charge for Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, explained.
<><> L/E should get ahold of: (1) copies of campaign checks, (2) wire transfers, (3) account statements, (4) invoices, (5) bills, (6) delivery tickets, (7) correspondence including e-mail, contracts, loan agreements, and, (8) any other books or records. L/E should also explore (a) monies paid to brokers, sub- brokers, (b) family members, (c) mortgage brokers, (d) financial managers, and, (e) real estate agents, brokers, and developers.
<><> L/E should scrutinize campaign bank accounts for suspicious activites: (A) large deposits, (B) funds transferred from one account into another, (C) frequent requests for withdrawals.
<><> Bank records might also show diversions to secret LLC other accounts, to money launder and to operate personal ventures---like campaign activites.
Tax fraud can also be facilitated by withdrawals, gift cards purchases, credit card purchases and intra-bank transfers from foundation accounts into personal a/nd campaign accounts.
<><> A huge tipoff is whether bank withdrawals support campaign activities and luxurious lifestyle including payments for real estate, investment and stock holdings, jewelry, luxury vehicles, resort travel....... and gifts from luxury outlets for wives and mistresses.
Taxpayers demand the Bank Secrecy Act be used to prosecute foundation fraud pronto.
And study legislators' tax returns with a fine-tooth comb.....especially entries for "interest income."
You got that right. Problem is that most of the fat-ass conservatives are not much better than communists. These asses want big government because the bigger it is the more power and wealth they steal.
Get rid of the IRS.
“The power to tax is the power to destroy.”
"Those Democrats leering over my shoulder owe me bigtime.
The healthcare bill insures we get a permanent Democratic majority."
" All except those Tea Party types, swallowed hook, line and sinker my promises that they could:
(1) keep their existing health plans,
(2) keep their own doctors that they like,
(3) keep their 25-year-olds on the family health plan,
(4) never be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition,
(5) sign up instantly on my tech-savvy government Web site,
(6) buy insurance only after becoming seriously ill."
(7) save $2,500 in annual premiums in the bargain....
(8) All without any new taxes."
"Them sonovagun Tea Partiers will rue the day they criticized my wonderful bill."
This person is speaking out:
Manuel Martinez, Fled Cuba. DESTROYS Oregon Lawmakers Gun Control Attempt
Manuel Martinez, Fled Cuba. DESTROYS Oregon Lawmakers Gun Control Attempt
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.