The IRS: Deliberate and Partisan
We now know that Obama Administration actions were intentional and partisan when the Internal Revenue Service targeted, harmed, and intimidated conservative and tea party organizations. Keep in mind the timetable while reading this – that the plot against conservatives inside the IRS was gearing up in March 2010 and in full force in September 2010, according to recently released Lois Lerner emails. Also keep in mind that Lois Lerner previously worked enforcement at the Federal Election Commission.
The Obama Administration offered excuses that disparate treatment of conservatives was a result of confusion or accidental mishandling by lower-level staff. Yet these excuses are contradicted by IRS real-world behavior. In actual practice, the IRS and FEC attacked conservatives while giving liberal political organizations the green light to freely intervene in partisan political campaigns.
On July 26, 2011, Christine O’Donnell’s ChristinePAC filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW.). ChristinePAC documented how CREW. violated its 501(c)(3) tax-deductible status – far more restrictive than 501(c)(4)) tax-exempt status – and that the IRS must revoke CREW.’s tax-deductible status.
Yet the IRS has let CREW. get away without even any slap on any wrists. Since 2011, if the IRS were so hot about election campaign activity by tax exempts, wouldn’t the IRS have jumped on this complaint like wet on water?
Please set aside whether you like or don’t like Christine O’Donnell. What matters here is the lack of any enforcement action against liberals by the IRS from July 2011 until today. The IRS has done nothing to stop really, amazingly obvious abuses of the law by liberal organizations. The dramatically different treatment of liberals and conservatives now reveals that the IRS actually did intend to attack conservatives and favor liberals all along.
Also, forget about whether you think criticisms of O’Donnell were right or wrong. A 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organization cannot directly campaign for the defeat of a candidate regardless of whether that candidate is you or your favorite candidate or someone you might not like. Outrageous violations are overlooked… but only when the offenses are committed by liberals. If you knew what I know, you would support O’Donnell. But until they lie about you or lie about your favorite candidate, you can’t fully understand.
Similarly, the IRS is enthusiastically embracing what was done to tea party organizations. New proposed regulations further confirm guilt by the IRS. The IRS is in the process of creating new regulations which would enshrine the abuse. The IRS cannot claim that the treatment of conservatives was a screw-up, and then throw their arms around those same practices.
Congressional investigations have now established that the new regulations were already being planned as far back as 2010, at the same time that the IRS was persecuting tea party organizations. In fact, Lois Lerner discussed in emails pursuing the new regulations “off plan”– which former employees confirm means undisclosed and outside of normal channels.
But let’s help everyone understand this. Spread the word. A 501(c)(4) organization is tax exempt. That only means that donations are not considered income for the purpose of income taxes. If you want to donate to some cause, should your donation be taxed as income? That’s what we’re talking about. That’s the only thing we are talking about with a 501(c)(4).
By contrast, a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organization allows donors to deduct their donations from their own income tax returns. So clearly, a 501(c)(3) lives under much stricter limitations concerning political involvement than the 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations you keep hearing about.
A 501(c)(4) is allowed to engage in political discussion, advocacy, and action, including lobbying on legislation, as its primary purpose. A 501(c)(3) can only engage in “educational” activity, which can include education on political issues, the U.S. Constitution, government, history, etc.
But “political” does not mean “electioneering.” The key term “political” might have nothing to do with election campaigns. Discussion of what policies are best for the social welfare of the country is political, but not electioneering.
Is it wrong to steal $17 trillion from the next generation, from our nieces and nephews, children and grandchildren? Should the USA stop spending borrowed money it doesn’t have? Should Congress critters actually read legislation before voting on it? Would a flat tax (fair tax) be better for the country and its economy? Should the president obey the law? Is ObamaCare the wrong solution to real (but much narrower) problems? These are all clearly political issues that are important to the nation’s “social welfare.” But none of this involves directly advocating for the defeat or election of any candidate.
Neither a 501(c)(3) nor a 501(c)(4) are permitted to directly advocate for the defeat or election of a candidate for public office. Christine O’Donnell’s actual complaint clearly explains and defines the “electioneering” violations by CREW.
CREW. is an IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, tax-deductible organization which is not allowed to participate in campaigns. CREW. is partially funded by George Soros and led by Melanie Sloan at $230,000 per year. Sloan previously worked for Joe Biden on a Congressional committee. Her parents were major Joe Biden donors in Delaware. In a small state, the vice president of the United States is connected to Melanie Sloan’s family.
Yet the IRS has done nothing to even wag a finger at CREW. In 2011, O’Donnell explained, “The justice system should not be used as a political weapon, and CREW's illegal partisan campaign intervention in my US Senate race are well documented” and also “CREW recklessly abused its tax exempt status by illegally intervening in political campaigns.”
Abruptly starting in September 2010, CREW. openly campaigned against Christine O’Donnell as a candidate for federal office. Her complaint precisely identifies the unmistakable violations in great detail.
When Christine O’Donnell asked me in January 2011 to develop options, I handed her an action plan of 16 different proposed actions. Filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission has never been acted on. So I am filing that complaint this week.
On my list was a complaint to the D.C. Bar which I filed myself in early June, 2011. The criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney was closed as a direct result, because my complaint exposed the unreliability of “witnesses” who admit they were only guessing.
We can learn a surprising amount from Christine O’Donnell’s 2010 election campaign, because the establishment, liberals, and the news media got sloppy. They were taken by surprise. As a result of Christine’s unexpected nomination, the smooth operators who normally leave no fingerprints had to scramble. The usual suspects -- impacting many conservatives, not just one -- left a smorgasbord of clues and evidence. We should nail them, for the future and to protect future candidates, regardless of what you might feel about the past.
Just as Obama’s weakness encourages Putin’s militarism, we encourage statists to continue trampling more of our freedoms by offering only token resistance and ineffective responses. Our Founders would call these intolerable outrages. What drove our ancestors to throw crates of tea into Boston harbor was mild in comparison. However, they were made of sterner stuff and were thinking about future generations. We can’t let the bastards win.