The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is trying to push through guidelines that would ostensibly institutionalize and legitimize the agency’s targeting of conservative and Tea Party organizations.
In November, the IRS announced proposed guidance that defines “candidate-related political activity” and “would amend current regulations by indicating that the promotion of social welfare does not include this type of activity.” The powerful tax agency will require groups engaging in candidate-related activity to disclose contributions.
FreedomWorks, a grassroots service center to some 6 million activists, is pledging to fight the proposed guidelines.
“While you were all celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, the Obama Administration was quietly releasing a new set of draconian IRS regulations that would make it virtually impossible for tea parties that want to participate in the political process to do their business,” said Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks, in a video message to the organization’s membership.
“They’re going after conservative groups,” he noted, “they’re going after libertarian groups, and they’re going after citizen groups that want to organize people based on the values of the Constitution; based on the ideas of freedom and have an impact on the political conversation.”
“If that sounds familiar, what they’re doing is formalizing the same persecution, the same targeting that we saw coming out of the IRS leading up to the 2012 election. We need to do something about this. The time frame is very short; they are trying to jam this through the process. If we don’t make our voices heard, they are going to get away with it,” he added.
FreedomWorks plans to submit testimony in protest of the proposed IRS guidance before the February 27 deadline. They’ve also setup a domain, IRSTarget.com, which redirects concerned grassroots activists to the tax agency’s website where they can leave comments on the free speech stifling regulations.