IRS targets Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty

The Internal Revenue Service is still targeting conservative and liberty-minded groups, nearly a year after now-disgraced agency official Lois Lerner admitted to the inappropriate scrutiny.

In an email on Thursday, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) told supporters that Campaign for Liberty is now under fire from the IRS. The powerful tax agency, he says, has just hit the liberty-minded nonprofit with “a hefty fine” and “demanded” that it “turn over sensitive contributor information.”

“This is one of the toughest letters I’ve ever had to send,” Paul wrote to supporters. “For years, people have joked that the three most feared letters in the English language may well be these … I – R – S.”

“But today, I’m not laughing,” said Paul. “Just days ago, the IRS handed Campaign for Liberty a hefty fine and DEMANDED we turn over sensitive contributor information.”

Paul explained that failure to comply with the IRS’s demands could mean additional fines that could severely impact the work that Campaign for Liberty is doing and possibly force the group to shut down.

Because Campaign for Liberty is a 501(c)(4), donor information is supposed to be confidential. The organization, like many others targeted by the IRS, promotes economic and individual liberty and focuses its efforts on grassroots activism and education. It does not endorse candidates, in which case the organization would have to disclose

NY Times backs IRS’s anti-political speech rules

The New York Times’ editorial board — packed with purported journalists who make their living under the protections of the First Amendment — is strongly backing the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service’s proposed rules that would limit nonprofit groups from engaging in debates over public policy:

The problem of secret money began in 2010, with the loosening of rules that was prompted in part by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Political operatives like Karl Rove realized that “social welfare” groups were allowed by the tax code to accept unlimited donations that did not have to be disclosed. They could then use that money to run political attack ads. Though the tax code says the groups, known as 501(c)(4)s, could not be engaged primarily in political activity and still keep their tax exemption, that was easy enough to get around by claiming the ads had some kind of civic purpose.

By the 2012 election, these groups were spending $300 million and were often the dominant voice in major races. The Koch brothers, in particular, got around the tax code provision by moving tens of millions among a huge number of nonprofits so that it was almost impossible to determine the purpose of each group, let alone who the donors were.

Conservative Groups Testify on IRS Abuse

Tea Party, Conservative Leaders Testify on IRS Targeting

Tea Party and conservative groups had a chance yesterday to discuss being targeted by the Internal Revenue Service yesterday before the House Ways and Means Committee. What they told members during the hearing indicates a broader scandal than the IRS and the White House want to admit:

Internal Revenue Service targeting of political groups was not limited to front-line employees in the agency’s Cincinnati, Ohio, office, according to testimony before a House committee on Tuesday.

One group that testified at a Tuesday hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee told members that the 29-month delay in its yet-unapproved tax-exempt status application was the result of orders from higher-ups at the agency.

“Contrary to the statements of [IRS tax exempt division head] Lois Lerner, the targeting of Linchpins of Liberty was not merely the independent act of a few agents in Cincinnati,” testified Kevin Kookogey, the group’s founder and president.

When Kookogey asked a Cincinnati IRS agent about the delays in his application, he was told, “We have been waiting on guidance from our superiors as to your organization and similar organizations.”

Kookogey says he did not know “from where this ‘guidance’ was coming, [but] it was clearly implied that it was not from down the hall.”

Rahm Emanuel tried to intimidate BuzzFeed reporter

Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago, has a reputation for being a bully. While his style was once described by Bloomberg as “take no prisioners,” there is a pattern of rather odd behavior that has earned him the nickname “Rahmbo.”

In 1997, The New York Times reported that Emanuel began stabbing a steak during a dinner in Little Rock, Arkansas, shortly after Bill Clinton was elected president. The Times recalled, “Emanuel grabbed his steak knife and, as those who were there remember it, shouted out the name of another enemy, lifted the knife, then brought it down with full force into the table.”

“‘Dead!” he screamed,” noted the Times.

Another example of Emanuel’s weird behavior was when he sent, according to The Daily Beast, a “dead fish in a box” to a pollster who was late delivering results. This story is frequently mentioned by conservatives talk show hosts, such as Sean Hannity, to show his ruthlessness.

But Michael Hastings, a reporter for BuzzFeed, got to see Emanuel’s strongarm tactics first hand. After a speech on November 8th of last year, Hastings asked the Chicago mayor about his role in fundraising for Priorities USA, the pro-Obama super PAC that ran an ad implying that Mitt Romney killed a union worker’s wife.

Dick-tatorship: Dick Armey brought a gun to FreedomWorks during failed coup

Dick Armey's failed coup

Chairman Mao, the man who sparked a communist takeover in China, once said, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”:

We have endured a couple of weeks of terrifying gun violence. There was The mall shooting in Oregon on Dec. 11. The heartbreaking slaughter of innocents at Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14  And on Christmas Eve, a deranged murderer who served time for killing his grandmother with a hammer intentionally set his house ablaze and shot at responding firefighters (killing two) because he wanted to “do what I like doing best, killing people.”

So, as you might imagine, a chill went through me when I read the opening vignette in Amy Gardner’s article in The Post this morning about the struggles within the tea party group FreedomWorks.

Intimidation of conservative bloggers

There has been some very scary things going on lately as more bloggers take on the story of Brett Kimberlin. Our own Kevin Boyd reported on this last Friday, pointing out the ties Kimberlin has with the State Department, a different angle that most have taken when exposing the convicted bomber.

But Conor Friedersdorf notes that some conservative bloggers willing to report on Kimberlin have been harassed thanks to a new phenomenon called “SWATing,” which has put people in very real danger:

In recent days, the conservative blogosphere has been abuzz about an apparently coordinated attempt to intimidate some of its own. Patrick “Patterico” Frey, an L.A. area blogger, Erick Erickson of Red State, and Robert Stacy McCain, a conservative journalist based near Washington, D.C., all report being subject to threats and harassment as a result of posts they’ve written.

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