In Time for '14: IRS to Ramp Up Conservative Groups' Harassment
Ernest Istook's lead at the Washington Times says it best:
The Internal Revenue Service is getting a special new power: a "license to kill" groups that oppose the Obama agenda. James Bond's license to kill isn't nearly as broad.
Then this from Istook:
Meantime, Obama will do his usual posturing, preening and accusing, claiming he's protecting democracy from abusive secretive groups backed by "dark money" from fat cat donors. His actual agenda is to silence and punish those who disagree with him. The White House will hide behind the IRS. In turn, the IRS will hide behind a claim of protecting taxpayer confidentiality; they will stonewall both the public and the Congress.
Istook reports that the IRS will be operating under a new regulation this election year that redefines "common voter information activities by re-naming them 'candidate-related political activity.'" That's if Congress fails to step in and quash the regulation in the next couple of weeks.
In essence, the agency intends to tax speech aimed at serving an organization's goals; voter education about an issue or issues related to the organization's mission will be deemed candidate advocacy or restricted speech.
As Istook writes, this amounts to a gag rule against 501(c)(4) groups, which are principally vehicles used by Tea Party and other conservative grassroots groups to conduct voter education campaigns. Let's add that the IRS has demonstrated a propensity for "selective enforcement," given the facts of the unresolved scandal involving the nation's federal tax agency.
If the new regulation is enacted, the earlier tacitly-backed White House effort by the IRS to intimidate and stall the creation of conservative groups by delaying their tax status will take on a new sinister turn.
In 2014, liberal 501(c)(4) groups could get passes while conservative groups get tagged. But it matters not to Democrats, anyway. Political parties and labor unions, chiefly, are exempt. Note that Democrats' election year muscle comes mainly from unions.
Even while Obama tries to suppress the Tea Party and conservatives, he will continue to use government resources for his propaganda, like the $684-million (minimum) spent to promote Obamacare. He also has the IRS's $12-billion budget. It's scary to contemplate the manpower and gadgetry that Obama's IRS can marshal against his political opponents. It far outweighs what MI-6 and Q could provide to James Bond.
As Istook points out, Congress has the power to stop this regulation. It's important that Congress hear from citizens, though. There's also a public comment period underway to formally register opposition to this speech-muzzling regulation. Istook lays out the steps for recording opposition in his commentary.
Chicago politics and Alinsky acolyte Barack Obama intends to continue to use the IRS to shutdown his opposition. The Democrats have a critical need to hold the Senate in 2014, otherwise, Mr. Obama loses what remains of his leverage in Congress. And a Republican-controlled Congress can then send measures to the president's desk repealing ObamaCare or portions thereof, among other voter-backed initiatives. That would force the president to issue plenty of unpopular vetoes.
Tea Party activists and grassroots conservatives need to voice their strong opposition now.