"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Obama IRS Attempted to Stall Tea Party for 27 Months


The patron saint of IRS harassment and dirty political dealings... but it's okay because conservatives are the Fascists

Obama's IRS battled mightily to harass and render ineffective Tea Party groups in the time leading toward the 2012 election and afterwards. But I'm sure it was just a mistake...

From the USA Today article by Gregory Korte:

In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no questions asked.  
That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn't be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months. 
In that time, the IRS approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows.   
As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months. With names including words like "Progress" or "Progressive," the liberal groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups. They included: 
• Bus for Progress, a New Jersey non-profit that uses a red, white and blue bus to "drive the progressive change." According to its website, its mission includes "support (for) progressive politicians with the courage to serve the people's interests and make tough choices." It got an IRS approval as a social welfare group in April 2011. 
• Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment says it fights against corporate welfare and for increasing the minimum wage. "It would be fair to say we're on the progressive end of the spectrum," said executive director Jeff Ordower. He said the group got tax-exempt status in September 2011 in just nine months after "a pretty simple, straightforward process."  
[...]  
Like the Tea Party groups, the liberal groups sought recognition as social welfare groups under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, based on activities like "citizen participation" or "voter education and registration." 
In a conference call with reporters last week, the IRS official responsible for granting tax-exempt status said that it was a mistake to subject Tea Party groups to additional scrutiny based solely on the organization's name. But she said ideology played no part in the process. 
"The selection of these cases where they used the names was not a partisan selection," said Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations. She said progressive groups were also selected for greater scrutiny based on their names, but did not provide details. "I don't have them off the top of my head," she said. 
The IRS did not respond to follow-up questions Tuesday. 
Congressional critics say the IRS's actions suggest a political motives: "This administration seems to have a culture of politics above all else," said Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas. "A lot of the actions they take have a political side first, and put government second." 
Flores complained to the IRS last year after the Waco Tea Party's tax-exempt application was mired in red tape. The IRS asked the group for information that was "overreaching and impossible to comply with," Flores said: Transcripts of radio interviews, copies of social media posts and details on "close relationships" with political candidates. 
When Flores complained last year -- asking pointed questions about the IRS treatment of Tea Party groups -- the IRS response didn't acknowledge that it had treated conservative groups differently. "They did more than sidestep the issue," he said. "They flipped me the finger." 
Before the IRS started separating out Tea Party applications, getting tax-exempt status was routine -- even for conservative groups. The Champaign Tea Party's treasurer, Karen Olsen, said the process was smooth, with no follow-up questions from the IRS.

Yeah, weird how the process suddenly got to be difficult in the months leading up to the election.

3 comments:

  1. And they actually succeeded in silencing political dissent, that's the hardest part of all of this. If those TEA Party groups had been allowed to form, as is their legal right, then we may have seen a very very different result in 2012. In fact, all those murmurings about the demise of the TEA Party were pretty accurate, after all. It was killed--or severely damaged--by Obama and his traitorous horde.

    It bugs me no end to hear Pelosi still whingeing on about how the TEA Party is "astroturfed." If we've learned nothing else, we've learned that it was far from that and was indeed grassroots. It was the grassroots, ordinary American who was attacked, intimidated, silenced, not the big groups like American Crossroads or Freedom Works.

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    1. Yes, certainly the individual and small groups can be intimidated and crushed by governments-- but that's why we have the Constitution and laws.

      Obama, the Constitutional scholar, has done what the academic Left generally does-- study the Constitution to find loopholes and weaknesses for them to exploit. Even then, he was forced to break laws and illegally sick the IRS onto his weaker political opponents.

      But it only worked in the short-term. If Obama comes out of this-- and I'm not sure that he will-- he'll be neutered politically. Which is an awfully good thing, since I don't think the US economy can withstand 4 more years of Obamanomics

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