Third Party & Independents Archives

Not So Free Speech

In defense of the administration, many of the partisan left are trying to label the recent scandals as ‘so called’ and ‘imaginary’.  However, as new information makes its way to the media, and the lawsuits start to mount, even the most partisan protector of the administration must be asking themselves some very hard questions, even if they aren’t being asked out loud.  One recent story was the treatment of Catherine Englebrecht.

Catherine and her husband own a small manufacturing company.  Over time, she has become interested in political policy, specifically after witnessing what she considered voter fraud during the 2008 election.  She created two groups, True the Vote and King Street Patriots.  True the Vote's function is to ensure the integrity of elections, including working to clear voting rolls of people who have died or no longer living in the district and educating poll workers on identifying potential election fraud.

In July 2010, she applied for tax-exempt status from the IRS, and apparently this action 'poked the bear'.

Here is a timeline of what happened to her after that action, remembering that before applying she had never had a single issue with her groups or her business from the federal government. 

  • December 2010 - FBI interviewed her about a person who attended a King Street Patriots function.
  • January 2011 - FBI returned and the IRS audited her business tax returns.
  • May 2011 - FBI returned again asking about the actions of the King Street Patriots.
  • June 2011 - FBI returned and the IRS audited her personal tax returns.
  • October 2011 - IRS questioned her about True the Vote.
  • November 2011 - FBI returned to question her about King Street Patriots.
  • December 2011 - FBI returned to question her about King Street Patriots.
  • February 2012 - IRS questions her about True the Vote and King Street Patriots, including asking for "all of your activity on Facebook and Twitter.", BATF audited her business.
  • July 2012 - OSHA inspected her business.
  • November 2012 - IRS questions her about True the Vote.
  • March 2013 - IRS questions her about True the Vote.
  • April 2013 - BATF conducts a second audit.

To this day, she has not received the tax exempt status she requested.  This additional scrutiny was not just the IRS, but also the FBI and BATF, both groups that had no issue with Catherine and her group before.  In addition, her group True the Vote has been subject to a congressional investigation by Elijah E Cummings and Barbara Boxer.  Apparently wanting to ensure that the voting rolls are accurate is a hate crime to some.

After it was made public that True the Vote was one of the groups subjected to additional scrutiny by the IRS, Ms Englebrecht responded:

"Since that time the IRS has run us through a gauntlet of analysts and hundreds of questions over and over again. They've requested to see each and every tweet I've ever tweeted or Facebook post I've ever posted. They also asked to know every place I've ever spoken since our inception and to whom, and everywhere I intend to speak in the future. We've met all requirements, responded to everything, and provided case law in such areas where appropriate," Engelbrecht stated. "The IRS treatment of us lends to the appearance of a politically motivated abuse of power and an assault on free speech."

Unfortunately, while Catherine Englebrecht's situation is shocking, it isn't an isolated case.  Consider the following stories we have hear over the past few days.

The Leadership Institute, a 501(c)(3) organization that trains young conservative activists was audited and had to produce 23,000 pages of documents for the IRS as well as answer questions about where its interns came from and where they were employed, a request that came from the IRS's Baltimore office, just a couple of weeks after the Hawaii Tea Party was asked by the Cincinnati office to provide details regarding their relationship with the Leadership Institute.

Z Street, a pro-Israel group filed for 501(c)(3) status in December 2009 intending to operate as an educational group.  When their tax counsel called in July 2010 to ask about the slow pace of mvement, the IRS auditor (Diane Gentry) said they were supposed to give special scrutiny with groups 'connected to Israel' and that requests that related to Israel are sent to 'a special unit in DC to determine whether the organization's activities contradict the Administration's public policies'.  I'll let that sink in for a moment...

Coalition for Life of Iowa, who was approved for their tax-exempt status, provided that they sign a letter agreed that none of their board members would picket Planned Parenthood offices.  They agreed, since their group wasn't interested in picketing or protesting, though they did pray in front of Planned Parenthood.  Apparently you need to sign away your 1st amendment rights to get tax-exempt status now. 

Christian Voices for Life of Fort Bend County, also asked about their protesting plans and asked to provide copies of grants and contracts.  An IRS agent from California sent them a letter asking "In your educational program, do you education on both sides of the issues in your program?".  He also asked "do you try to block people to enter a building, e. medical clinic, or any other facility?"  (the grammatical issues are as originally written)

Ret. Lt. Col. Mark Drabik, once leaving the military he was free to express political beliefs openly.  He participated in marches in Washington and donated to the 912 movement.  Then he got an audit from the IRS, questioning his church donations, familty respite care and his daughter's equine therapy.  Deductions he had clamed for almost a decade without question.

There are just a few of the stories we've heard so far.  Some of the left want to dismiss the issue because they are either trying to carry water for the administration or because they agree with limiting the rights of those they disagree with.  There are actually many on the left cheering on the administration for these IRS abuses, even though the president himself has called them wrong and despicable.

So the question comes down to how did this happen?  The initial suggestion that this was done by a rogue agent in the Cincinnati office doesn't hold water for several reasons.  First, the Cincinnati office is not just a small office that covers just Ohio, it covers much of the United States.  Many seem to not know this.  Second, the targeting appears to have come from other offices too, as this listing suggests.  Finally, some of the documentation was signed by Lois Lerner herself.

The problem can actually be traced back to the rhetoric that Democrats, including the president himself, has used over the past several years.  As was so eloquently put by David Harsanyi:

To begin with, the Internal Revenue Service scandal isn't just about the abuse of power; it's a byproduct of an irrational fear of free speech, which seems to permeate much of the left these days. The unprecedented targeting of conservatives wasn't incidental to this administration as much as it was an intuitive extension of the paranoia the left has about unfettered political expression.

Democrats, after all, hadn't been merely accusing political opponents of being radical twits the past four years; they'd been accusing them of being corrupt, illegitimate radical twits. The president endlessly argued that these unregulated groups were wrecking the process at the behest of well-heeled enablers rather than engaging in genuine debate.

Heck, some of these funders may even be foreign nationals! Senators called for investigations. Obama called out the Supreme Court during a State of the Union speech for defending the First Amendment in the Citizens United case (which prohibits the government from restricting political independent expenditures by groups). The New York Times editorial board (and others) advocated the cracking down by the IRS on conservative dissenters and getting to the bottom of the anarchy.

How can Americans function in a society in which anyone can speak out or fund a cause without registering with the government first?

Why wouldn't the IRS -- a part of the executive branch, lest we forget -- aim its guns at conservative grass-roots groups during an election in which the president claimed that a corporate Star Chamber was "threatening democracy"? Come to think of it, I'm still not sure why the president believes that it was wrong of the IRS to single out limited-government groups for their tax-exempt status at all. He couldn't stop talking about the topic for two years.

On the heels of this, the administration set out to delegitimize Fox News

You may also remember that back in 2009, the administration was so preoccupied with Fox News (the only news network one could reasonably call the opposition) that top-ranking administration officials -- including Anita Dunn, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod -- made a concerted effort to delegitimize its coverage. This was also unprecedented. Not long after that effort, Attorney General Eric Holder decided to spy on a Fox journalist who was reporting on leaks -- shopping his case to three separate judges, until he found one who let him name reporter James Rosen as a co-conspirator in a crime of reporting the news.

On top of that, we now find that ProPublica was given the information of unapproved conservative groups from the IRS.

The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year.

The IRS did not respond to requests Monday following up about that release, and whether it had determined how the applications were sent to ProPublica.

In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved--meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)

Note that ProPublica states that getting approval for these groups is NOT NECESSARY.

Social welfare nonprofits are not required to apply to the IRS to operate. Many politically active new conservative groups apply anyway. Getting IRS approval can help with donations and help insulate groups from further scrutiny. Many politically active new liberal nonprofits have not applied. 

Applications become public only after the IRS approves a group's tax-exempt status.

The progressives who fear free speech aren't comprehending the problems with what they are doing in targeting those who disagree with them.  They see the opposition as inhuman, evil and repugnant, therefore not worth of free speech.  They see free speech as something that is given to those who are worthy and taken away from those who they feel shouldn't be allowed to wield it.  They fail to grasp that in order for them to have their rights protected when they are not in power, they MUST ensure that they do not violate other's rights when they are in power.  This is clearly evident, not only in the cases of the IRS abuses and myriad of other rights abuses on the press and enemies both at home and in the field.

It started with the attack on Fox News, the torture of Pvt Bradley Manning, the expansion of warrantless wiretap searches including protecting the government from lawsuits, the use of signature strikes, creating a 'hit list' of enemies, targeting US Citizens with assassination, spying on the press, on groups like antiwar.com, breaking into reporter's laptops, spying on US Citizens nationwide, pushing legislation that would allow government agencies to spy on all Americans on the internet, seizing of domains that don't fall under US control, attacking the Citizens United ruling, Democrat Senators calling for investigations into conservative groups, prosecuting people for whistleblowing, leaving people to rot in Guantanamo Bay in direct violation of the Constitution, and many more that space prevents me from listing...

This administration has been using its full force to push it's power around.

Posted by Rhinehold at May 31, 2013 7:36 PM
Comments
Comment #366829

The attempt to rule by tyranny. Pure and simple. Kill, destroy and silence the enemy. To hell with the rule of law. The progressives are in for a real surprise come 2014!

Posted by: JWL at May 31, 2013 8:32 PM
Comment #366837

More attacks on free speech today…

The area’s top federal prosecutor, Bill Killian, will address a topic that most Americans are likely unfamiliar with, even those well versed on the Constitution; that federal civil rights laws can actually be violated by those who post inflammatory documents aimed at Muslims on social media. “This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian says in the local news story. “This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”

I don’t have anything negative to say about muslims personally, but when moronity like this comes along I almost wish I did so I could shove up to the government’s ass…

I agree with Matt Welch when he writes:

“I sincerely hope they make that Power Point public, since I’m unaware of any federal civil rights prosecutions for “inflammatory” Facebook postings, and want to keep up to speed with the Obama administration’s increasingly brazen encroachment on free expression.”

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 31, 2013 10:48 PM
Comment #366841

At this point, I think its inevitable that an special prosecutor will be appointed. Neither the Republicans in Congress nor the Democrats in the DOJ have any integrity left. My only fear is that the independent prosecutor may stray from this case to probe the hallucinatory scandals such as “Benghazigate” like how Ken Starr strayed from Whitewater and into Clinton’s sex life.

Posted by: Warren Porter at May 31, 2013 11:33 PM
Comment #366844

I’ve never understood why people say that Starr drifted, he couldn’t do that legally without approval from Reno. He was cleared to do so by Reno before beginning the investigation.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 1, 2013 12:27 AM
Comment #366852

Warren Porter said:

“At this point, I think its inevitable that an special prosecutor will be appointed. Neither the Republicans in Congress nor the Democrats in the DOJ have any integrity left.”

And why would you worry about what the prosecutor investigates? What would worry me is what would Obama do if the investigation went against him or pointed to him? We know what Nixon did:

“The first special prosecutor in the Watergate affair, Archibald Cox had a long career in law and politics. He served as Solicitor General for President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s, and then returned to teaching at Harvard Law School.

As the Watergate scandal grew in May 1973, Attorney General Elliott Richardson appointed Cox as an independent counsel to investigate. With revelations that President Nixon had taped many phone calls and conversations in the White House, Cox subpoenaed the key tapes. Citing executive privilege, Nixon refused to comply with the subpoenas and, on Oct. 20, 1973, ordered Richardson to fire Cox.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/watergate/cox.html

If you would rather watch the video:

“October 20, 1973: Nixon fires Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox in what becomes known as “The Saturday Night Massacre.” The attorney general resigns and Congress files 21 resolutions calling for Nixon’s impeachment.”

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/bonus-video/presidents-power-nixon2/

Posted by: CasperWY at June 1, 2013 3:15 PM
Comment #366853

All one has to do is go back through the achieves of Watchblog to see the animosity and pure hared toward Fox News. You can go back for years on many web sites and see the attacks on Fox News. The question is, why? The only answer is that Fox News does not protect Democrats like the MSM does. Fox News is successful, while the MSM has been loosing their audience for years. Unlike the vitriol that comes from the left, Fox News presents a fair and balanced approach. Even on shows like “The Five”, both left and right opinions are given. Bret Bier’s show spends the last 20 minutes with a panel made up of both left and right. This is something rarely seen in the MSM.

Now to get to the point; the events that took place at the IRS and the events of the DOJ intruding into the media don’t have to be marching orders from Obama. The events that have taken place are leftist, liberal policy. If the left attacked Fox News many years ago; then why would we be surprised to see IRS agents or DOJ employees doing the same thing over the same time period?

What has emboldened the IRS and the DOJ is the fact that Obama is the president and will do nothing to stop them.

Obama says he is outraged, but at what? These people are simply carrying out what Obama has said. Obama has attacked Fox News in his many campaign speeches.

Why does the left on WB find no fault in these events? Because this is the mindset of the left. The attacks by the IRS and DOJ are justified in the minds of the liberal. The left loves to accuse conservatives of “bullying” and yet we find it is the left who has abused their power to bully and threaten anyone who does not agree with them.

Stephen Daugherty, Adam Ducker, and phx8’s biggest argument is that the conservatives in congress have not agreed with the left. It’s ALWAYS about agreeing with them. To have our own opinion is evil and wrong.

Posted by: CasperWY at June 1, 2013 3:41 PM
Comment #366869
All one has to do is go back through the achieves of Watchblog to see the animosity and pure hared toward Fox News.

Telling the truth about Faux news isn’t hatred Casper it is simply telling it like it is.

You can go back for years on many web sites and see the attacks on Fox News. The question is, why?

Yes the question is, why would some one attack the media. Oh, I know, perhaps you and your fellow conservatives can enlighten us Casper after all you guys have been attacking the MSM for much longer and for much less.


The only answer is that Fox News does not protect Democrats like the MSM does.

Really! The only answer you can possibly think of is Faux doesn’t protect the dems. Why not allow that Faux has been so flagrantly misleading for so long that it’s viewers consistently are dumbed down by it’s inept “news” coverage. Or the president of Faux was a repub political consultant for 30 years prior to running Faux news. Can you name one president in the MSM who can match that?


Fox News is successful, while the MSM has been loosing their audience for years.

So your values only allow for what “news” is most successful, Casper? Truth, and other values such as honesty and responsibility have no bearing? Factual news be damned give you the most popular “news”! Short skirts and blowing smoke up the asses of conservative movement followers is more successful that reporting news, who would have thought ….

Unlike the vitriol that comes from the left, Fox News presents a fair and balanced approach.

You can keep repeating their talking points like a mindless zombie Casper, But why not offer up some facts to back up this laughable, pathetic BS. Show us examples of the vitriol you claim comes from the news programs on ABC or CBS or NBC, Casper. Put up or shut up.

Even on shows like “The Five”, both left and right opinions are given.

I know I know this is your “fact” that backs up your previous inane comment. But the fact is Casper that out of the 7 regulars two are liberal and one of the two appears with 4 conservatives at any one time. Yet this is your idea of fair and balanced. really! Surely you realize how foolish this makes you appear.

Bret Bier’s show spends the last 20 minutes with a panel made up of both left and right. This is something rarely seen in the MSM.

Perhaps Casper this is because the MSM reports the news instead of repub talking points. Have you ever stopped listening to the blathering idiots on Faux news with their opinions that pass as news to the mindless followers of the conservative movement long enough to realize that the MSM you criticize is reporting news not opinion and propaganda?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 1, 2013 11:55 PM
Comment #366882

Another example:

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/05/judge-rules-fbi-doesnt-need-warrant-access-google-customer-data/65787/

In what looks very much like a blow to that whole Constitutional thing about due process, a federal judge has ordered Google to release customer data to the FBI, despite the fact that the FBI has no warrant for the information.
Posted by: Rhinehold at June 2, 2013 10:51 AM
Comment #366883

j2t2, unfortunately any argument you may have or point you might be wanting to make is lost in the fact that you use childish namings such as ‘Faux News’. I know you think it’s cute and clever, but it is just childish and boorish behavior.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 2, 2013 10:59 AM
Comment #366885
But my friend got to the essence. He wrote, “The left likes to say, ‘Watergate was worse!’ Watergate was bad—don’t get me wrong. But it was elites using the machinery of government to spy on elites… . It’s something quite different when elites use the machinery of government against ordinary people. It’s a whole different ball game.”
Posted by: Rhinehold at June 2, 2013 11:08 AM
Comment #366890
In what looks very much like a blow to that whole Constitutional thing about due process, a federal judge has ordered Google to release customer data to the FBI, despite the fact that the FBI has no warrant for the information.

Rhinehold,

This is all very troubling. At this point I don’t know who to turn to safeguard my civil liberties; the GOP record is far worse. I’ve voted for LP candidates before, but they will never succeed as long as the Constitution continues to enshrine a two-party system.

I’m most disappointed in the conservatives who think they support our Constitution. These sorts of infringements were first identified by the Left in the 2000s, but conservatives did nothing because their man was in office. The Bush era was our last chance to keep the toothpaste in the tube; nowadays it’s considered normal and acceptable for these infringements to occur.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 2, 2013 12:53 PM
Comment #366910

If you liberals don’t attack your President over this scandal, what will happen to you and your political groups when the next Republican President is elected?

If this is acceptable for the Obama administration, then it is acceptable for all administrations, which includes the one you don’t vote for.

Think about it. Try not being partisan for a minute.

Posted by: Joseph at June 2, 2013 9:04 PM
Comment #366925

And more…

The Department of Homeland Security has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor social networking sites and online media for signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.

The intriguing the list includes obvious choices such as ‘attack’, ‘Al Qaeda’, ‘terrorism’ and ‘dirty bomb’ alongside dozens of seemingly innocent words like ‘pork’, ‘cloud’, ‘team’ and ‘Mexico’.

Released under a freedom of information request, the information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats.

The words are included in the department’s 2011 ‘Analyst’s Desktop Binder’ used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities’.

Department chiefs were forced to release the manual following a House hearing over documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit which revealed how analysts monitor social networks and media organisations for comments that ‘reflect adversely’ on the government.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2150281/REVEALED-Hundreds-words-avoid-using-online-dont-want-government-spying-you.html#ixzz2VA1zW9Ua

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 3, 2013 9:48 AM
Comment #367078

Is there some evidence that the IRS scandal was initiated or directed by the Obama Administration?

Posted by: RUSerious at June 7, 2013 10:00 AM
Comment #367079
Is there some evidence that the IRS scandal was initiated or directed by the Obama Administration?

The IRS *IS* part of the Obama Administration.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2013 10:52 AM
Comment #367087

RUSerious…yes. There was no paper record linking Hitler to the Holocaust; but Hitler’s fingerprints were all over it. Hitler’s people understood by his speeches where he stood, and his followers were more than happy to do his will. The people at the IRS, NAS, DOJ, or EPA are Obama’s people; Obama hired them, and they are more than willing to do Obama’s will. Just like your side is more than willing to embarrass yourselves by defending him, even in the face of unlimited proof of his involvement.

Posted by: CasperWY at June 7, 2013 12:27 PM
Comment #367103

Rhinehold

As I’m sure you are aware, innuendo and speculation are not evidence. You realize that civil service bureaucrats are not political appointees, right? Which Obama appointee do you have evidence was involved?

Casper
You need to familiarize yourself with “Godwin’s Law”. And for the record, I defended no one, I have no “side” in this issue. I simply asked a question.

Posted by: RUSerious at June 7, 2013 2:52 PM
Comment #367107

RUSerious,

As I’m sure you are aware, innuendo and speculation are not evidence. You realize that civil service bureaucrats are not political appointees, right? Which Obama appointee do you have evidence was involved?

Appointees or not, they report to the President. And yes, we have evidence, in the way of testimony, from the accused IRS agents that they got their orders from Washington higher-ups, it was also coming from more than just the Cincinnati office. In fact, Lois Lerner’s name is on several of the letters that went out to the groups being singled out.

No one is saying that the President called up the IRS and said ‘do this’, but there is evidence that several Senators did, as well as years of rhetoric from the President, the administration and other Democratic leadership saying that these groups should be given closer attention. If the agents and managers who initiated this plan did so from their rhetoric, is that any different than having them order it?

In any regard, we have the IRS, a department under the charge of the President of the United States acting inappropriately. I don’t know what else you are looking for here, other then trying to say that ‘this is no big deal because the President didn’t sign an Executive Order to make it happen’? It’s a big deal and the President is responsible. That we already know, it’s fact, wake up.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2013 3:23 PM
Comment #367127

“Casper
You need to familiarize yourself with “Godwin’s Law”. And for the record, I defended no one, I have no “side” in this issue. I simply asked a question.
Posted by:”

RUSerious at June 7, 2013 2:52 PM

Ruserious, I am familiar with Godwin’s Law; I have as much faith in Godwin’s theories as I do the theory of evolution. Since Hitler was one of the most evil dictators of the 20th century, it is not surprising that his name would be brought up in many conversations. I can guarantee you that if we were to check through the archives of WB, we would see Republicans compared to Hitler 100% of the time.

Most people on WB ask rhetorical questions, not really wanting an answer. But I gave you an answer.

Posted by: CasperWY at June 7, 2013 6:41 PM
Comment #367132

In August 2010, the first Be On The Lookout list was issued at the IRS to look for conservative sounding groups and give them extra attention. During that same time, this is what the administration, president and democratic leadership was saying and doing:

Aug. 9, 2010: In Texas, President Obama for the first time publicly names a group he is obsessed with—Americans for Prosperity (founded by the Koch Brothers)—and warns about conservative groups. Taking up a cry that had until then largely been confined to left-wing media and activists, he says: “Right now all around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads … And they don’t have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don’t know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation.”

Aug. 11: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sends out a fundraising email warning about “Karl Rove-inspired shadow groups.”

Aug. 21: Mr. Obama devotes his weekly radio address to the threat of “attack ads run by shadowy groups with harmless-sounding names. We don’t know who’s behind these ads and we don’t know who’s paying for them… . You don’t know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation… . The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”

Week of Aug. 23: The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer authors a hit piece on the Koch brothers, entitled “Covert Operations,” in which she accuses them of funding “political front groups.” The piece repeats the White House theme, with Ms. Mayer claiming the Kochs have created “slippery organizations with generic-sounding names” that have “made it difficult to ascertain the extent of their influence in Washington.”

Aug. 27: White House economist Austan Goolsbee, in a background briefing with reporters, accuses Koch industries of being a pass-through entity that does “not pay corporate income tax.” The Treasury inspector general investigates how it is that Mr. Goolsbee might have confidential tax information. The report has never been released.

This same week, the Democratic Party files a complaint with the IRS claiming the Americans for Prosperity Foundation is violating its tax-exempt status.

Sept. 2: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee warns on its website that the Kochs have “funneled their money into right-wing shadow groups.”

Related Video


Potomac Watch columnist Kim Strassel provides a timeline of the Democrats’ targeting of the tea party in the summer of 2010. Photo: Associated Press

Sept. 16: Mr. Obama, in Connecticut, repeats that a “foreign-controlled entity” might be funding “millions of dollars of attack ads.” Four days later, in Philadelphia, he again says the problem is that “nobody knows” who is behind conservative groups.

Sept. 21: Sam Stein, in his Huffington Post article “Obama, Dems Try to Make Shadowy Conservative Groups a Problem for Conservatives,” writes that a “senior administration official” had “urged a small gathering of reporters to start writing on what he deemed ‘the most insidious power grab that we have seen in a very long time.’ “

Sept. 22: In New York City, Mr. Obama warns that conservative groups “pose as non-for-profit, social welfare and trade groups,” even though they are “guided by seasoned Republican political operatives” who might be funded by a “foreign-controlled corporation.”

Sept. 26: On ABC’s “This Week,” Obama senior adviser David Axelrod declares outright that the “benign-sounding Americans for Prosperity, the American Crossroads Fund” are “front groups for foreign-controlled companies.”

Sept. 28: The president, in Wisconsin, again warns about conservative organizations “posing as nonprofit groups.” Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, writes to the IRS demanding it investigate nonprofits. The letter names conservative organizations.

On Oct. 14, Mr. Obama calls these groups “a problem for democracy.” On Oct. 22, he slams those who “hide behind these front groups.” On Oct. 25, he upgrades them to a “threat to our democracy.” On Oct. 26, he decries groups engaged in “unsupervised spending.”

These were not off-the-cuff remarks. They were repeated by the White House and echoed by its allies in campaign events, emails, social media and TV ads. The president of the United States spent months warning the country that “shadowy,” conservative “front” groups—”posing” as tax-exempt entities and illegally controlled by “foreign” players—were engaged in “unsupervised” spending that posed a “threat” to democracy. Yet we are to believe that a few rogue IRS employees just happened during that time to begin systematically targeting conservative groups? A mere coincidence that among the things the IRS demanded of these groups were “copies of any contracts with and training materials provided by Americans for Prosperity”?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2013 7:48 PM
Comment #367142

Rhinehold, I have a theory and I would like you to hear it. It’s just something I thought about but perhaps you have more ideas.

Obama is from Chicago; the political machine of Chicago put him where he is today; and he has surrounded himself with Chicago thugs. The way the political machine of Chicago works is “we protect our own”. All the way back to the mob days, what happened in Chicago, stayed in Chicago, and no one ever ratted each other out. Now we come to Obama in Washington and he has his own people who would go to prison to protect him. But the scandals are coming out fast. In fact every day seems to present us with another scandal. We see the core people trying their best to keep Obama out of the fray. But Washington is not Chicago. Washington is a place of backstabbing and every man for himself. The politicians in DC would rat out their own mother to stay out of trouble. Obama is not only surrounded with his core Chicago types; but he also is surrounded by the Washington crowd. You can see the Democrat politicians bailing on Obama; and you can also see the people like the “Cincinnati low level employees” not taking the fall for the WH. Their comments are, “we were told by Washington what to do”. I believe we are seeing a house of cards that is starting to cave. The Media has always been in the tank for Obama, but the media needs to sell the news. The media moguls may support Obama, but the reporters want to make a name for themselves…to break that “Watergate” case. In other words, neither politicians, news reporters, nor government employees need any favors from Chicago.

The left is beside themselves; they hate what is going on, they know Obama is in trouble, and they want to support and protect him; but they are completely bumbfuddled that Democrats are bailing on him.

Posted by: CasperWY at June 7, 2013 10:27 PM
Comment #367148

Rhinehold said:
“In August 2010, the first Be On The Lookout list was issued at the IRS to look for conservative sounding groups

I know it fits your narrative to claim conservative sounding groups were targeted, but do you have evidence to support your claim? This from the House hearings on the IRS actions:

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-IL: “How come only conservative groups got snagged?”

Outgoing acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller: “They didn’t sir. Organizations of all walks and all persuasions were pulled in. That’s shown by the fact that only 70 of the 300 organizations were tea party organizations, of the ones that were looked at by TIGTA [Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration].”

The examples of what the president and Democratic leaders were saying at the time are nothing more than the innuendo and speculation that I mentioned earlier. I suspect that most refer to the Citizens United v. FEC ruling delivered by the USSC in January, 2010.

While I agree that if the IRS was targeting certain ideological perspectives is a big deal, but blaming it directly on the president is a bit of a stretch. By their very nature, civil service bureaucrats exceed their authority all the time.

Posted by: RUSerious at June 8, 2013 2:16 PM
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