When Durbin Asked the IRS to Silence Karl Rove

Illinois Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin is full of righteous indignation these days regarding President Trump's comments in a private meeting.  Following the meeting, Durbin ran outside to whine to the media.  Trump wants immigrants who come to America wanting to be Americans who will make America and themselves successful.  Durbin wants immigrants who come to America wanting to be Democrats dependent on government who will make the Democratic Party successful.  He wants to bring in the huddled masses yearning to get free stuff, and the American citizen taxpayer be damned.

The fact is, Durbin is just another political hack who uses the instruments of government to accrue power, and he was not above trampling on the rights of American taxpayers when, during the rise of the Tea Party movement that seized control of Congress in 2010 and threatened President Obama's re-election in 2012, he sought the aid of the IRS to stop the Tea Party movement in general and Karl Rove's political action committee, American Crossroads, in particular.  As Politico noted in 2013:

Karl Rove is stepping up his attacks on Sen. Dick Durbin.

Rove unloaded with both barrels on the Illinois Democrat, blasting him in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News and in a column in The Wall Street Journal.  Rove is charging that Durbin's sending a letter in 2010 to Internal Revenue Service officials, asking them to investigate American Crossroads, was nothing less than a bid to "silence conservatives."

"What was going on is obvious: Mr. Durbin wanted the IRS to silence conservatives," Rove wrote.  "So did every other congressional Democrat who wrote similar letters to the IRS, from Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus to New York [s]en. Chuck Schumer to Vermont [r]ep. Peter Welch.  But in the glare of public attention, using the IRS to cripple or destroy opponents looks corrupt.  Abuse of power always is."

Sen. Durbin was a leader of a group of Democratic officeholders engaging in suppression of political opposition to the Democratic Party, an abuse of government power similar to the silent coup attempt to dent President Trump's election and his presidency by using the FBI and the DOJ to use a fake dossier paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign to spy on Team Trump and then launch a special counsel investigation into mythical Russian collusion.

Sen. Durbin and his Democratic colleagues would like us to forget how they tried to collude with the IRS to subvert American democracy and use the IRS to change the outcome of an American election.  Sen. Durbin would also like us to forget how he was aided by Lois Lerner, then with the Federal Election Commission, who targeted Durbin's 1996 Senate opponent, Al Salvi. As Investor's Business Daily editorialized:

Before his 2010 letter urging the IRS to target conservatives, the Senate majority whip's 1996 campaign benefited from the targeting of his opponent by a Federal Election Commission official with a familiar name.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the IRS scandal may have its roots in Illinois politics with the 1996 targeting of Illinois conservative Al Salvi by a familiar name, Lois Lerner, then head of the Enforcement Division of the Federal Election[] Commission.

That year, Democrat U.S. [r]ep. Dick Durbin and Republican [s]tate [r]ep. Al Salvi were locked in a battle for the U.S. Senate seat Durbin would eventually win.

As the journal Illinois Review details, Salvi was confronted with an "October surprise[]"[:] not one, but two[] FEC complaints filed against him – one by Illinois Democrats about the way he reported a loan he made to himself, and another by the Democratic Senatorial Committee about a reported business donation.

The late[-]inning complaints stalled Salvo's campaign against Durbin.  "We couldn't get our message out because day after day, the media carried story after story about the FEC complaint," Salvi told Illinois Review.

This tactic of keeping political opponents busy was repeated by IRS Exempt Organizations Division chief Lerner on her targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups in the 2012 presidential campaign.

A profile in courage, Durbin is not.  A poster child for weaponizing government agencies to maintain political power, he is.  As noted, Durbin would connect with Lois Lerner at the IRS once again to intimidate and threaten his political opponents and those of the Democratic Party:

Salvi would become a political trivia question as Durbin rose to power and prominence in the U.S. Senate.  From that position, Durbin in October 2010 queried IRS [c]ommissioner Douglas Shulman about the tax exemption status of Crossroads GPS – a job that would find its way to now-IRS official Lois Lerner.

Why target Crossroads GPS?  Aside from its effectiveness and connection to campaign guru Karl Rove, Crossroads GPS ran ads opposing the 2010 campaign of Illinois [s]tate [t]reasurer Alexi Giannoulias for the U.S. Senate seat held by Roland Burris.  Burris was appointed to fill the vacancy left when Barack Obama was elected president by the now incarcerated Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who tried to auction off the seat.

Sen. Durbin is not exactly the Mr. Smith who went to Washington in the iconic movie starring Jimmy Stewart.  He is not fighting for truth, justice, and the American Way.  He is fighting for Dick Durbin and a Democratic Party kept in power by an endless influx of "undocumented" Democrats.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.   

Illinois Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin is full of righteous indignation these days regarding President Trump's comments in a private meeting.  Following the meeting, Durbin ran outside to whine to the media.  Trump wants immigrants who come to America wanting to be Americans who will make America and themselves successful.  Durbin wants immigrants who come to America wanting to be Democrats dependent on government who will make the Democratic Party successful.  He wants to bring in the huddled masses yearning to get free stuff, and the American citizen taxpayer be damned.

The fact is, Durbin is just another political hack who uses the instruments of government to accrue power, and he was not above trampling on the rights of American taxpayers when, during the rise of the Tea Party movement that seized control of Congress in 2010 and threatened President Obama's re-election in 2012, he sought the aid of the IRS to stop the Tea Party movement in general and Karl Rove's political action committee, American Crossroads, in particular.  As Politico noted in 2013:

Karl Rove is stepping up his attacks on Sen. Dick Durbin.

Rove unloaded with both barrels on the Illinois Democrat, blasting him in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News and in a column in The Wall Street Journal.  Rove is charging that Durbin's sending a letter in 2010 to Internal Revenue Service officials, asking them to investigate American Crossroads, was nothing less than a bid to "silence conservatives."

"What was going on is obvious: Mr. Durbin wanted the IRS to silence conservatives," Rove wrote.  "So did every other congressional Democrat who wrote similar letters to the IRS, from Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus to New York [s]en. Chuck Schumer to Vermont [r]ep. Peter Welch.  But in the glare of public attention, using the IRS to cripple or destroy opponents looks corrupt.  Abuse of power always is."

Sen. Durbin was a leader of a group of Democratic officeholders engaging in suppression of political opposition to the Democratic Party, an abuse of government power similar to the silent coup attempt to dent President Trump's election and his presidency by using the FBI and the DOJ to use a fake dossier paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign to spy on Team Trump and then launch a special counsel investigation into mythical Russian collusion.

Sen. Durbin and his Democratic colleagues would like us to forget how they tried to collude with the IRS to subvert American democracy and use the IRS to change the outcome of an American election.  Sen. Durbin would also like us to forget how he was aided by Lois Lerner, then with the Federal Election Commission, who targeted Durbin's 1996 Senate opponent, Al Salvi. As Investor's Business Daily editorialized:

Before his 2010 letter urging the IRS to target conservatives, the Senate majority whip's 1996 campaign benefited from the targeting of his opponent by a Federal Election Commission official with a familiar name.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the IRS scandal may have its roots in Illinois politics with the 1996 targeting of Illinois conservative Al Salvi by a familiar name, Lois Lerner, then head of the Enforcement Division of the Federal Election[] Commission.

That year, Democrat U.S. [r]ep. Dick Durbin and Republican [s]tate [r]ep. Al Salvi were locked in a battle for the U.S. Senate seat Durbin would eventually win.

As the journal Illinois Review details, Salvi was confronted with an "October surprise[]"[:] not one, but two[] FEC complaints filed against him – one by Illinois Democrats about the way he reported a loan he made to himself, and another by the Democratic Senatorial Committee about a reported business donation.

The late[-]inning complaints stalled Salvo's campaign against Durbin.  "We couldn't get our message out because day after day, the media carried story after story about the FEC complaint," Salvi told Illinois Review.

This tactic of keeping political opponents busy was repeated by IRS Exempt Organizations Division chief Lerner on her targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups in the 2012 presidential campaign.

A profile in courage, Durbin is not.  A poster child for weaponizing government agencies to maintain political power, he is.  As noted, Durbin would connect with Lois Lerner at the IRS once again to intimidate and threaten his political opponents and those of the Democratic Party:

Salvi would become a political trivia question as Durbin rose to power and prominence in the U.S. Senate.  From that position, Durbin in October 2010 queried IRS [c]ommissioner Douglas Shulman about the tax exemption status of Crossroads GPS – a job that would find its way to now-IRS official Lois Lerner.

Why target Crossroads GPS?  Aside from its effectiveness and connection to campaign guru Karl Rove, Crossroads GPS ran ads opposing the 2010 campaign of Illinois [s]tate [t]reasurer Alexi Giannoulias for the U.S. Senate seat held by Roland Burris.  Burris was appointed to fill the vacancy left when Barack Obama was elected president by the now incarcerated Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who tried to auction off the seat.

Sen. Durbin is not exactly the Mr. Smith who went to Washington in the iconic movie starring Jimmy Stewart.  He is not fighting for truth, justice, and the American Way.  He is fighting for Dick Durbin and a Democratic Party kept in power by an endless influx of "undocumented" Democrats.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.