North Central Ohio Conservatives, Inc.
THURSDAY, June 20, 2013
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July 18, 2013 - TOM DEWEESE -One of the nation's leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, and American sovereignty and independence. Tom is Founder and President of the American Policy Center, editor of The DeWeese Report and an author. He was one of the first to question and sound the alarm against the United Nations' Agenda 21. Please mark your calendars and tell your family and friends. You won't want to miss this terrific speaker and presentation.
Who coordinated multi-agency attack on tea party group?
As Sherlock Holmes and Mr. Spock were always fond of noting, when attempting to unravel a whodunit, a useful postulate is: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Point in case is the targeting by multiple government departments and agencies at the federal and state level, by elected officials, and by Democrat Party organizations of Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring honest elections and ballot integrity by targeting voter fraud.
Was it all just a coincidence?
Engelbrecht was hit up not just by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in delaying True the Vote’s still-unapproved application for tax-exempt status with mountains of invasive and improper follow-up questions — but also by the Occupational Safety Hazards Administration (Department of Labor) of Engelbrecht Manufacturing; several rounds of questioning by the FBI (Department of Justice) concerning her local meet up group, King Street Patriots; two audits by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (Department of Justice) of her manufacturing plant; a separate IRS audit of her family business and personal income tax returns; and another audit by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
As reported by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity’s Jillian Kay Melchior at National Review, this targeting resulted in a $17,500 fine from OSHA, plus a demand by the Texas agency for Engelbrecht to spend $42,000 for additional storage sheds, notes Breitbart.com’s Brandon Darby. The Texas targeting was supposedly the result of “a complaint being called in.”
The OSHA fine came after “the OSHA inspector complimented them on their tightly run shop and said she didn’t know why she had been sent to examine it,” Melchior reports the Engelbrechts saying.
Engelbrecht’s difficulties apparently originate with a 2010 skirmish with the Texas Democrat Party, which filed a lawsuit against her, as did an ACORN affiliate, charging the group had acted as a political action committee by providing poll watchers.
On top of all that, True the Vote became subject to congressional scrutiny, Melchior notes, by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in a letter to Department of Justice’s Thomas Perez — coincidentally Obama’s pick to head up the Labor Department — urging the group be investigated for “voter suppression.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wrote a letter directly to Englebrecht accusing her group of “illegal voter suppression” that if “intentional, politically-motivated, and widespread across multiple states they could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.”
Unsurprisingly, Engelbrecht believes the targeting by multiple agencies and political party organizations was coordinated, telling Melchior, “the way all of these personal instances interweave with what was going on on the nonprofit side… it amounts to something.”
Engelbrecht added, “You can’t help but think that statistically, this has to be coordinated on some level.” One can almost hear Holmes exclaiming, “Elementary!”
So, was this all a coincidence — targeting by multiple government agencies, law enforcement, the Texas state Democratic Party, a U.S. Senator and more?
The most charitable explanation is that this was a spontaneous state and federal party opposition to Engelbrecht’s group, along with several unrelated inquiries by state and federal government offices, including law enforcement, all going after the same group. That, simply put, they all had the same idea at exactly the same time and nobody talked to one another.
But, the chances of each subsequent visit and inquiry by a government agency without cause being a mere coincidence are infinitesimal, if not impossible. It strains believability.
The appearance of a number of federal government agencies directing investigatory resources at one person in a narrow timeframe at least raises the question if Engelbrecht was politically targeted and if that targeting was directed by the only governmental entity that oversees all federal agencies: The White House.
The only way to be certain, since Engelbrecht has already been scrutinized by two separate bureaus at the Department of Justice, would be for an independent, special prosecutor — apart from the Department’s hierarchy — to be named by Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate this particular case.
Such an inquiry will have to ascertain the basis for each separate investigation and inquiry that was launched against Engelbrecht. To subpoena all correspondence by government officials in emails that name Engelbrecht and her group. To identify who knew what about her case or cases, and when they knew about it. To investigate if there was any coordination between Sen. Boxer’s office and Perez’s office on the Engelbrecht question. It would have to find out whether Engelbrecht was ordered to be investigated from within Justice’s chain of command.
Eric Holder is in no position to get to the bottom of this. He is a political appointee. A special counsel will be the only way to investigate the investigators and follow the bread crumbs — wherever they might lead.
Even if it leads to a horrible truth that the Democrat Party machine, or worse, the White House can and will use regulatory audits and law enforcement in a widely coordinated effort when necessary to target and intimidate political enemies.
If this was all politically motivated, it is beyond Nixonian. It is fascist.One thing is for certain, it defies credibility that the governmental attack on Engelbrecht was not coordinated. The only question that remains for a special counsel is who did the coordination
A local Tea Party group is now mixed up in the brewing scandal surrounding the Internal Revenue Service. The group American Patriots Against Government Excess (American- Page) is based in Fremont, Ohio.
After reading revelations about the IRS targeting conservative political groups, PAGE members feel they were also the target of intimidation once they applied for tax-exempt status.
Fremont, Ohio Tea Party group says IRS targeted them based on political activity.
Marie Green is a retired grandmother concerned about her country's future. So in October, 2009, she joined American-PAGE.
The group built a website and in December, 2009, PAGE petitioned the IRS for tax exempt status. That's when Green says the trouble started, telling 13abc reporter Bill Hormann, "It was just a circus for 18-months."
That circus involved information the IRS wanted from the group. The department asked Page to:
Provide a list of officers...
Describe what happens in your meetings...
Provide copies of bulletins and fliers....
Identify candidates you've invited to speak...
Describe your fund raising events...
Marie says the group responded honestly. Then the IRS sent *another set* of detailed questions and a process that took some groups three months to complete took PAGE nearly two years to complete.
Marie charges, "We had some people when they found out that the IRS was involved they thought they did not want to be involved anymore. they were scared."
American- PAGE thought it was alone in its fight with the IRS, but when the scandal broke last week, American Patriots Against Government Excess immediately believed the IRS was trying to intimidate conservative Tea Party groups.
Green says, "We really and truly believe that the government has found that we are a force to reckon with and that they are going after us to try and shut us down."
American-PAGE told Ohio congressman Jim Jordan about the delay in tax exempt status, last spring, and he got to work. By June of 2012, 30-months after applying, American Patriots Against Government Excess was granted its tax exempt status.
The IRS asked for Facebook and Twitter posts from American- PAGE.
The IRS needs to determine whether a group is politically partisan. If a group is partisan, it cannot be declared tax-exempt.
But the problem comes if the IRS targets groups based on political affiliation-- which has been admitted to now by the IRS.
The head of Fremont group American-PAGE is on her way to Washington, DC. She will attend Friday's hearing on this issue in the ways and means committee.
While IRS officials attributed the agency's heavy scrutiny on conservative groups to the spike in applications over the past few years, fresh reports and figures are raising questions about whether the agency knowingly applied a double standard.
A highly anticipated watchdog report, released late Tuesday by the inspector general's office, depicted an even bigger spike in applications for tax-exempt status from a type of group that includes labor organizations. Yet, according to the report, the conservative groups were the ones singled out for special treatment.
This special treatment included the agency creating a unique "be on the lookout" list. The list covered "political-sounding" names like Tea Party, Patriots, and 9/12. The criteria, labeled by the report as "inappropriate," later expanded to include groups focused on government spending, government debt, taxes and other areas.
The IRS has explained that low-level staffers at an Ohio office were effectively scrambling to deal with an influx in applications from these groups, for tax-exempt status known in the IRS code as 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4).
But around the same time, there was another influx of cases under a classification known as 501(c)(5). This is the tax-exempt status that applies to labor organizations, as well as agricultural and horticultural groups.
While the number of applications from these groups was not as high as the number from the other two categories, the increase in applications in both 2011 and 2012 was far more pronounced. The number increased by 41 percent in 2011, and then by a whopping 164 percent in 2012.
By comparison, the number of 501(c)(4) cases rose 30 percent, and then 48 percent in that time period. The IG report said the numbers could not be independently verified.
Conservatives have claimed since Friday, when Exempt Organizations Division chief Lois Lerner first admitted to the practice, that the selective scrutiny was politically motivated. Further, they've alleged that it may have gone well beyond the Ohio office.
"It's hard for me to imagine that this is just a bunch of low-ranking apparatchiks," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told Fox News on Wednesday, complaining about what he called "selective" treatment of these organizations by the IRS.
The IRS, in a statement released after the IG report was made public, acknowledged that its original approach for handling the "influx" of applications was "inappropriate."
However, the agency explained it is required to ensure tax-exempt groups are engaging in "legally permissible political activity."
"Centralizing these cases was necessary to achieve consistent treatment. After seeing issues with particular cases, inappropriate shortcuts were used to determine which cases may be engaging in political activities. It is important to note that the vast majority of these cases would still have been centralized based on the general criteria used for other cases," the IRS said.
But other news reports underscored the difference in the agency's treatment of various politically tinged groups. USA Today reported that during the two-year period when Tea Party applications were being held up, the IRS approved roughly a dozen applications from liberal and progressive groups.
The groups included those with words like "progress" or "progressive" in their names, and reportedly were engaged in the same types of activities as those organizations whose applications were held up.
The Daily Caller also reported that Lerner in 2011 approved an application for the charity run by Obama's half brother -- the Barack H. Obama Foundation.
While some Tea Party applications sat at the IRS office for years, the charity's application was approved within a month.