In the era of former President Richard Nixon, Democrats properly attacked as scandalous abuse the use of the Internal Revenue Service to investigate individuals and groups on Nixon’s political “enemies list.”
However, it now appears the liberal/progressive regime of President Barack Hussein Obama – with the active participation of Oregon’s liberal/progressive junior Sen. Jeff Merkley — have caused the IRS to launch increased investigations of Tea Party organizations holding IRS 501(C)(4) tax-exempt status.
“Is the IRS attempting to intimidate local Tea Parties,” asks Colleen Owen, a Tea Party activist in Virginia, in a column under that headline published in the late Andrew Brietbart’s “Big Government”
“In January and February of this year, the Internal Revenue Service began sending out letters to various local Tea Parties across the country. Mailed from the same Cincinnati, Ohio, IRS office, these letters have reached Tea Parties in Virginia, Hawaii, Ohio, and Texas…all are requesting more information from these independent Tea Parties in regard to their nonprofit 501(C)(4) applications (for this type of nonprofit donations are not deductible),” Owen writes.
“While some of the request are reasonable, much of them are strikingly onerous, and, dare I say, Orwellian in nature. What are local Tea Partiers to think with requests like ‘Please identify your volunteers’ or ‘are there board members or officers who have run or will run for office (including relatives)?’ What possible reason would the IRS have for requiring Tea Parties to ‘name your donors’ when said donations are non-deductible?,” Owen asks.
She notes that not only are such IRS inquiries intimidating, responding to IRS letters requesting reams of copies requires expenditures of “hundreds of hours of work and potentially thousands of dollars in accounting/legal fees (all due in two weeks).”
Owens cites “a letter sent to the IRS Commissioner Shulman. Signed by six Senators, it requests that the commissioner investigate 501(c)(4) groups to determine whether they are engaging in substantial campaign activity, including opposition to any candidate. Who signed this letter? Senators Schumer, Franken, Udall, Shaheen, Merkley, Whitehouse, and Bennet — all Democrats,” Owen writes.
“Could it be that these Senators want the IRS to investigate the nonprofit status of Media Matters and its coordinated political activity with the White House? Or perhaps they are concerned with nonprofit ACORN groups’ record of voter fraud, and other previous campaign abuses including alleged close ties with President Obama’s Project Vote?,” Owen asks, and answers:
“No, when these Senators sent this letter to the IRS commissioner, the message would be very clear. The 501(c)(4) groups they want investigated are not those with Democratic liberal ties.”
Why would the liberal/progressive Jeff Merkely associate himself with siccing the IRS on 501(C) (4) tax-exempt citizens’ organizations to determine if they “are improperly engaged in a substantial or even a predominant amount of campaign activity,” as was asserted in the letter he and the five other Democrat Senators sent to IRS Commission Douglas H. Shulman on Feb. 16, 2012?
That letter does not identify the Tea Parties by name as the targets of the IRS investigations for which Merkley and his Democrat colleagues call. But, if not the Tea Parties, then which tax-exempt organizations does Merkley have in mind for IRS investigation?
Merkley, as far is as known, issued no call for investigation of the corrupt ACORN organization, which collapsed after revelations of corruption but continues to operate under new names today. ACORN, among other things, received not only hundreds of thousands of tax-payer funds but also received some $800,000 from the Obama campaign in 2008. ACORN used it, in part, to submit untold numbers of fraudulent voter registrations for the Democrat Party. That resulted in prosecutions for election fraud. Merkley was not aroused to call for an IRS investigation of ACORN or its affiliated crony organizations in corruption.
Merkley most certainly does not have in mind ACORN’s “Project Vote” operation whose must famous alumnus is Barack Hussein Obama, and which continues in existence despite ACORN’s collapse after revelations of corruption by Brietbart’s “Big Government.”
Is the liberal progressive Merkley calling for IRS to investigate Portland State University, the taxpayer-supported institution which has provided facilities to the so-called “Occupiers” for preparation of materials for its takeover of public streets and parks in deprivation of citizens and its assaults on Portland businesses? That, too, is doubtful.
Thus, the question looms in light of the letter to the IRS Commissioner which Merkley signed: Just who does Merkley want investigated when he uses his powerful office to pressure the IRS to investigate tax-exempt 501(C)(4) organizations for alleged “campaign activity”?
I called Merkley’s office to give him the opportunity to explain this apparent descent into the kind of political abuse through IRS that liberal Democrats once so vociferously condemned. There was no press release or other matter explaining why Merkley signed the pressure letter to IRS on his website. Merkley was unavailable for comment. So was his press aide, Julie Edwards. I left a message.
I hope Merkley gets the message, and provides answers to what appears to be an unseemly, morally and politically sleazy abuse of his office to pressure IRS to target the Tea Parties for IRS investigations as political enemies of the ever so liberal, progressive Obama Democrat regime, including Merkley.
[Rees Lloyd is a longtime California civil rights attorney now residing in Portland, a veterans activist, and a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce]
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