Dale M. Heckman (June 16) and Gabe Lewin (June 5) attempt to paper-over the IRS (Internal Re-election Service) scandal, calling it “admitted clumsiness” of “understaffed” offices, which should be thanked for blocking “tax evaders.”
They miss the main point entirely: Overwhelmingly, conservative individuals and organizations were targeted, stalled and disabled during the Obama re-election campaign! A USA Today story May 18 reports that in the 27 months the IRS put a hold on all tea party applications, it gave tax exemption to dozens of liberal organizations engaged in similar activities!
Many of the individuals and organizations targeted were those that Obama had publicly reviled as his “enemies” and “threats to democracy.” This insulting of political opponents, not seen since Nixon, may have inspired this IRS behavior. Otherwise, why would agents violate laws and risk their jobs and prison terms?
If organization titles contained words or phrases such as patriot, liberty, tea party, true the vote, Christian voices or coalition for life, IRS agents asked inappropriate and illegal questions such as requests for sworn declarations not to protest Planned Parenthood, and for donor information.
Agents who obtained and illegally gave donor information to liberal groups should be fired. Clearly, the IRS has run amok with extravagant conference and credit card spending and bonus scandals, but this is much more dangerous: It is fearsome government power versus regular citizens.
After making a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney, Frank Vandersloot found himself on the “enemies list” on the Obama campaign website, where he was tarred as a “wealthy individual” with a “less-than-reputable record.” Two IRS investigations and one by the Labor Department of Vandersloot and his employees followed. Not one resulted in a fine or penalty, but cost Vandersloot $80,000, plus what the president’s vilification did to his business and reputation. It is frightening that a powerful government agency can be politicized to intimidate political opponents.
Recent findings point to a direct White House role: the president’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, went to the White House several times with IRS Chief Douglas Shulman, who himself made 157 visits there during the campaign. They were not discussing Obamacare! The content of those White House meetings is impeachment material.