Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it better: A rebel group of engaged activists, derided and harassed by authorities, becomes the obsession of a powerful political machine, leading to the demise of … the machine.
Now, because today’s Internal Revenue Service scandal involves rebellious conservatives pitted against a progressive government, this true story is not likely to hit the big screen. However, given the fact that misuse of the IRS was one of the charges that brought about the end of the unpopular Nixon administration, the irony of potentially having something similar happen to the press’ favorite president is sweet, indeed!
Frankly, I am a little stunned as to why this story is getting such attention now, as it has been known that the IRS was targeting conservative citizen groups for quite some time. In fact, over a year ago, Professor Jacobson linked to this piece I did: And So it Begins: IRS Targets Tea Party Groups for “Special Attention”!
Our own group, the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition (SCTRC), had real challenges filing for tax-exempt status. SCTRC President Dawn President had this to say about the recent media scrutiny, “No one gave seemed to care when SCTRC was refused 501c4 status long before this issue became news. We actually saw the writing on the wall then, back in 2009. I am very proud of us, and all the other Tea Party groups out there, who persevered in the face of this very daunting challenge.”
And daunting it has been. As a citizen activist, once of my favorite organizations to recommend is True the Vote, a non-partisan organization whose sole purpose is to train poll workers to maintain voter integrity. Seems harmless, no?
However, during the group’s quest to seek tax exempt status, founder Catherine Engelbrecht had her family business targeted for special attention:
Engelbrecht’s application with the IRS for non-profit status allegedly triggered aggressive audits of one of her family’s personal businesses as well. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) began a series of inquiries about her and her group; the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) began demanding to see her family’s firearms in surprise audits of her and her husband’s small gun dealership–which had done less than $200 in sales; OSHA (Occupational Safety Hazards Administration) began a surprise audit of their small family manufacturing business; and the EPA-affiliated TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environment Quality) did a surprise visit and audit due to “a complaint being called in.”
Finally, those who think the IRS is the scariest agency to unleash on citizens have never dealt with the Environmental Protection Agency. And because the corruption and cronyism extends from the head downward, it seems likely Team Obama would be OK with the fact that the EPA has also been hindering conservative citizen groups (hat-tip, Tammy Bruce).
Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Conservative Enterprise Institute.
2013 may go down as the year of the Whistle-blowers: Fast and Furious. Benghazi. And, now, Tea Party activists who have been warning Americans the loudest and longest about this administration’s abuses.DONATE
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