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The Enforcement Arm of the Democratic Party

IRS Scandal
Our friend attorney Cleta Mitchell testified on the IRS targeting of conservative groups before the House Government Reform and Oversight committee yesterday. Mitchell and her fellow witnesses, including Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of the King Street Patriots, and Justice and Becky Gerritson, founder and president of the Wetumpka [Alabama] TEA Party made the case that the IRS targeting that was revealed after the 2012 election was politically motivated because the direction came from “political elites in Washington — not in Cincinnati, but Washington.”

As Cleta Mitchell said, “This scandal is not over,” and “The lying has not stopped.”

The testimony of Mitchell, Engelbrecht and the Gerritsons about the past abuses of taxpayers by the IRS was compelling, but after watching the hearing here are the two most important takeaways for limited government constitutional conservatives: the abuse is still going on and Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress and the bureaucracy are trying to institutionalize it.

The Obama administration proposed in November new rules for groups seeking 501(c)(4) non-profit status. The regulations—which replace guidelines in place since 1959—bar civic organizations from a range of activities, including voter registration drives, distributing voter guides, using any candidate’s name, or words such as “oppose,” “support,” and “reject.” The public has until Feb. 27 to submit comments on the new rules. (Click this link to submit your comment.)

In essence these proposed rules take away the First Amendment rights of any 501(c)(4) tax exempt organization and institutionalize and legalize what Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of the King Street Patriots and True the Vote, called “the weaponization of government.”

How the Obama administration has institutionalized “the weaponization of government” was clarified in considerable detail when on Wednesday the House Ways and Means Committee released a 2012 email from a high-ranking Treasury Department official to Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS tax exempt division, discussing an “off-plan” project on 501(c)(4) organizations. 

Attorney Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, who was also a witness at the hearing and represents some 41 plaintiffs in a suit against the IRS, told lawmakers it now makes more sense why Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to testify last year before a House panel.

Representatives Jim Jordan (OH-4) and Trey Gowdy (SC-4) were especially effective in pressing the Obama administration witnesses on their abject failure to actually investigate the abuses drilling down on the fact that in six months 13 Justice Department (DOJ) employees working on the case haven’t had time to interview either of the witnesses at the table or any of the 41 plaintiffs in a suit against the IRS for targeting them for political discrimination.

As Catherine Engelbrecht said, “These new regulations will effectively codify into law the very practices that bring me here today… If those regulations pass, non-profit organizations across the country will be destroyed.”

Yesterday’s hearings on the IRS targeting of conservatives made it clear that Lois Lerner’s “’off-plan’ project on 501(c)(4) organizations” is far from over.  With the 2014 and 2016 elections looming the IRS – what attorney Cleta Mitchell termed “the enforcement arm of the Democratic Party,” is still hard at work to keep the Tea Party movement and other grassroots limited government constitutional conservative organizations on the political sidelines.  

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