There has been a no-holds barred assault on conservatives and the Tea Party movement by the Obama administration since day one.
Peaceful political protesters were called terrorists, political donors were bullied, tax records were leaked, secondary boycotts by supporters of the administration sought to deprive conservatives of platforms, industries were co-opted, there was an open campaign to intimidate the Supreme Court on Obamacare, and union-backers became co-strategists.
We have sensed it, but in light of the IRS targeting scandal, seemingly anecdotal facts finally are being gathered from disparate sources which previously felt the sting in isolation.
A group of anti-abortion activists in Iowa had to promise the Internal Revenue Service it wouldn’t picket in front of Planned Parenthood.Catherine Engelbrecht’s family and business in Texas were audited by the government after her voting-rights group sought tax-exempt status from the IRS.
Retired military veteran Mark Drabik of Nebraska became active in and donated to conservative causes, then found the IRS challenging his church donations.
While the developing scandal over the targeting of conservatives by the tax agency has largely focused to date on its scrutiny of groups with words such as “tea party” or “patriot” in their names, these examples suggest the government was looking at a broader array of conservative groups and perhaps individuals. Their collective experiences at a minimum could spread skepticism about the fairness of a powerful agency that should be above reproach and at worst could point to a secret political vendetta within the government against conservatives.
The emerging stories from real people raise questions about whether the IRS scrutiny extended beyond applicants for tax-exempt status and whether individuals who donated to these tax-exempt organizations or to conservative causes also were targeted.
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