KRAMER’S NOTE: In Part 1, I explained how President Obama’s public chastising of the Supreme Court justices over their decision on Citizens United during his 2010 State-of-the-Union address triggered the IRS scandal. In Part 2, I took you through the IG’s report on the IRS and the testimony that followed. If you missed those parts you can scroll down or see “Recent Posts” in the right column.
Democrats Continue to Intimidate the IRS
Rep. Darrell Issa (patdollard.com photo)
On Jan. 9, 2014, as Democrats urged the IRS to continue to apply pressure on Tea Party organizations, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and attorneys for Tea Party groups voiced disapproval of the Department of Justice’s selection of Barbara Bosserman, a major Obama campaign contributor, to head its investigation of the IRS.
The following week the FBI indicated it didn’t plan to file any criminal charges as a result of its investigation of the IRS actions even though that investigation was not yet complete.
But Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who was one of a handful of Democrats to call for Tea Party scrutiny in 2012, kept up the drum beat. “It is clear that we will not pass anything legislatively as long as the House of Representatives is in Republican control,” said Schumer, “but there are many things that can be done administratively by the IRS and other government agencies; we must redouble those efforts immediately.”
Speaking at the leftist Center for American Progress just two months ago, Schumer said that the IRS should be used more aggressively to keep Tea Party funding in check; a way to weaken and exploit the conservative movement.
Sen. Charles Schumer (Breitbart.com photo)
“Obviously the Tea Party elites gained extraordinary influence by being able to funnel millions of dollars into campaigns with ads that distort and attack government,” Schumer told the very organization that pours money into efforts that target conservatives.
Clearly, Schumer has headed what has been labeled Stage One, the administration’s attempt to silence its Tea Party critics by stymying and delaying its applications.
Stage Two was intended to introduce a regulation that would silence their Tea Party critics. But in an unexpected turnabout, new rules drafted by the IRS to tighten applications for non-exempt status, didn’t sit well with liberal organizations. A disapproving ACLU cited that its advocacy was “at the heart of our representative democracy, and to the extent it influences voting, it does so by promoting an informed citizenry.”
Under the draft rule, any public communication that identifies a candidate within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election, would be deemed “political” and not be permitted. The draft also includes changes in time spent and funds used for politics vs
After more than 140,000 comments were received on the rules changes, the House voted 243-176 to delay for one year the proposed rules.
“The idea that politicians should write laws restricting people critical of them is as perverse as the idea that a sprawling, opaque IRS bureaucracy should be assigned to construe and apply such laws,” said columnist George Will.
NEXT: THE CLEAR CASE AGAINST LOIS LERNER