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Blog

    Media Roundup: May 10th – May 23rd, 2013

    05/31/2013

     

    Student Loans Are the New Housing Bubble 

     

    While America continues to grapple with the consequences of the 2007 Mortgage Crisis, young Americans are about to step on the rake again with the next hazardous economic bubble: student loans.

    To the millennial generation, college costs have made taking on debt an unfortunate rite of passage into adulthood. Higher education tuition –along with food, rent, books and other costs- are rapidly outpacing inflation. National outstanding student loan debt currently totals in the trillions. – Patrick Hedger, May 10, 2013, Read More

     
    Tea Party Rejects IRS Apology, Republicans Vow Investigation 

    Conservative groups have rejected an Internal Revenue Service apology for unjustifiably scrutinizing tax-exempt conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle. The IRS apology has seemingly validated conservatives' fears of politically motivated regulation. 

    "We appreciate that the IRS acknowledged and apologized, but the real question is, how do we make sure that this never happens again? All Americans, regardless of their philosophical beliefs, should be treated equally under the laws of the land," said Jackie Bodnar, spokeswoman for the tax-exempt tea-party group FreedomWorks. – Abby Phillip, May 10, 2013, Read More

      
    Conservative filmmaker bringing anti-welfare message to Port Huron 

    A national face in the conservative movement will be in Port Huron on Monday. The St. Clair County Republican Party and the Blue Water Tea Party are bringing the Rev. CL Bryant to the the Port Huron High School Performing Arts Center to screen his documentary, “Runaway Slave.” “I’m very excited about having him,” said Shane Hernandez, chairman of the St. Clair County Republican Party. “To bring in someone at the national level, this is a rare event.”

    Bryant, a former National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter president, encourages others to chase liberty by rejecting welfare. The film looks at how, in Bryant’s opinion, government policies have systematically re-enslaved the black population in the U.S. through entitlements and other government programs. He interviews a number of high profile people in the conservative movement, including Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart and Herman Cain throughout the film. – Holly Setter, May 10, 2013, Read More

     
    Paul Rolly: Tea party vs. establishment in GOP chairman race

    The race for state Republican chairman is shaping up to be a duel between establishment Republicans and tea party activists, with the specter of the right-wing political action committee FreedomWorks hanging over this week’s GOP convention like a thunder cloud. FreedomWorks also worked mightily to unseat Hatch last year, although he outsmarted the PAC at its own ground game of stacking the neighborhood caucuses to elect friendly delegates. – Paul Rolly, May 10, 2013, Read More

     
    FreedomWorks Likens IRS Scandal to 'Third World Juntas' 

    More people and groups will begin to step forward as the investigation of the IRS for its scrutiny into conservative causes in the 2012 elections becomes more widespread, FreedomWorks leader Matt Kibbe tells Newsmax. "The IRS used its power to discourage and intimidate Americans from speaking out against bad policies, stifling the First Amendment right of every citizen to hold government accountable," said Kibbe, president and CEO of the grass-roots limited government organization, on Monday. – David Yonkman, May 13, 2013, Read More

     
    Obama Has 'No Patience' for IRS' Targeting Conservatives 

    President Obama said today he has "no patience" for reports that the Internal Revenue Service singled out conservative groups for additional scrutiny, promising accountability if allegations of political motivations at the agency turn out to be true. 

    "This ominous stifling of free speech can never happen again in America, and there needs to be a full accounting of who knew what, when did they know it, and who is responsible," said FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe in a statement on Monday. "The IRS used its power to discourage and intimidate Americans from speaking out against bad policies, stifling the First Amendment right of every citizen to hold government accountable. This is the stuff of Third World Juntas, not the greatest Constitutional Republic in human history." – Abby Phillip, May 13, 2013, Read More 

      
    As Washington Is Scandalized, The Tea Party Salivates 

    The tea party is back. Just months after President Obama's reelection deflated conservative activists, a slew of rapidly unfolding scandals involving government malfeasance is giving the movement new life. “This is a defining moment for our movement, and it will test us and the country to make change,” said Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks. “Our social networks are on fire, and the intensity continues to build.”- Beth Reinhart, May 15, 2013, Read More

     
    IRS targeting scandal a political ‘gift from heaven’ for Tea Party groups 

    The Internal Revenue Service’s admission that it targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny has handed the Tea Party a catalyzing issue activists say they’ll use to boost the movement’s influence in the 2014 elections. The brewing controversy is “a perfect storm for conservatives,” said Matt Kibbe, head of the Tea Party group FreedomWorks. Kibbe said the scandal resonates with voters because the IRS is almost universally unpopular. It also underscores the importance of civil liberties with respect to economic issues, he said. – Alexander Jaffe, May 15, 2013, Read More

     
    Activist Shareholders Target MSNBC During Comcast's Annual Meeting 

    Those who own Comcast stock and took the time to vote shot down a couple of shareholder proposals on Wednesday at the media conglomerate's annual meeting in Philadelphia. Others who attended were simply there to complain about the politics of MSNBC. Inside the venue, the first question came from Tom Borelli, an activist shareholder who helped spread the word to conservatives that MSNBC would be targeted at the meeting. Borelli tried to make the case that conservatives were ditching Comcast’s cable service “because of the overwhelmingly biased and misleading coverage by MSNBC.” – Paul Bond, May 15, 2013, Read More 

      
    Tea Party Activists Protest Outside Comcast Shareholders Meeting 

    At eight o’clock this morning, a dozen Tea Party activists began unfurling handwritten signs and “Don’t Tread on Me” Gadsden flags outside the front entrance of the Kimmel Center. They had been shepherded there by the influential conservative group FreedomWorks to protest Comcast, which was holding its annual shareholders meeting inside. The sparse crowd didn’t quite number 60,000—the number of Philadelphia-area members it beckoned to Broad Street–and wasn’t the usual band of Comcast opponents either. Last year’s shareholders meeting was disrupted by 50 or so Occupy-aligned activists. That said, Comcast’s right-wing antagonists have more in common with the drum circle crowd than they might realize.

    “We think the media should be aggressive, challenging both political parties,” says Tom Borelli, a senior fellow at FreedomWorks, who was the protest’s de facto leader. Why not target Fox News then? While that’s not going to happen for obvious political reasons, Borelli’s got another justification too: “Comcast is unique, they both own the content, and they own distribution. So if you’re a conservative Comcast customer in Houston, Texas, you might not want to see your money go to support the salaries of Al Sharpton, Toure, Chris Matthews.” – Simon Zuylen-Wood, May 15, 2013, Read More

     
    Shareholders Blast Comcast Execs Over MSNBC Liberal Slant 

    Conservative activists who own shares in Comcast voiced their displeasure over the liberal slant of MSNBC hosts at the company's annual meeting Wednesday. Tea party members and other conservatives had planned "a show of force" at the meeting to let Comcast executives know they aren't happy with the political leanings of the cable channel, The Hollywood Reporter said. MSNBC is a part of Comcast's NBCUniversal, and some NBC News reporters appear on the channel.

    But many of its hosts, such as Rachel Maddow and Al Sharpton, have a decidedly left-wing bent. And during a time for questions, shareholder Tom Borelli took the microphone and said that Comcast cable was in danger of losing conservative customers "because of the overwhelmingly biased and misleading coverage by MSNBC.
    – Greg Richter, May 15, 2013, Read More

     
    Tea Party Members Protest MSNBC At Comcast Shareholder Meeting 

    Tea Party members protested MSNBC, as they promised earlier, at Comcast's annual shareholders meeting in Philadelphia on Wednesday. The Hollywood Reporter said that the first question at the meeting came from activist Tom Borelli, a part of the Tea Party group FreedomWorks, who argued that conservatives were dropping Comcast because of "overwhelmingly biased and misleading coverage by MSNBC."  - Staff Writer, May 16, 2013, Read More

     
    Tea party groups speak out against the IRS: ‘Folks, this is bad’ 

    Tea party leaders spoke out Thursday about their experience with the Internal Revenue Service and warned others that it could happen to them too.“We want to make sure every American understands what tyranny looks like and what we can do as citizens to regain our voice, to regain our rights, to ensure that this administration or the next one after it never does this again,” Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks said at a tea party roundtable Thursday afternoon. – Caroline May, May 16, 2013, Read More

      
    Vowing to Sue IRS, Tea Partiers Descend on DC 

    Tea party activists descended on Washington today, promising to sue the Internal Revenue Service and claiming vindication in their long-held complaints about perceived government overreach. "This is a civil rights issue," said Adam Brandon of Washington-based FreedomWorks, which has facilitated organizing and communication between local and state-level tea party groups since 2009. "It's more like a Third World junta than a constitutional republic."

    Later this afternoon, Brandon's group hosted nine activists at FreedomWorks headquarters on Capitol Hill to speak with reporters. Of the activists who attended, six are represented by the American Center for Law and Justice and plan to sue the IRS.  – Chris Good, May 16, 2013, Read More

      
    Reinvigorated Tea Party Bands Together Against IRS 

    Tea party leaders banded together Thursday morning to sound a rallying cry for the first time since news broke last week that the IRS disproportionately scrutinized conservative nonprofits applying for tax-exempt status. enny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, called for an audit of the IRS, which she described as “thuggish.” Adam Brandon, the executive vice president of FreedomWorks, said the government was operating more like “a third world junta than a constitutional republic.” – Emma Dumain, May 16, 2013, Read More 

      
    Borelli to speak at conservative event 

    Conservative speaker Deneen Borelli will visit Toledo on May 21 for a Northwest Ohio Conservative Coalition event. Borelli’s husband Tom will also speak. Borelli is FOX News contributor, director of outreach for the grassroots group FreedomWorks and author of “Blacklash: How Obama and the Left Are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation.”

    While in Toledo, Borelli said she will address her experiences a “female black conservative.” “I believe for many, many years the black community has been held hostage by the message from the black liberal establishment, and that is that blacks are victims and need the government to get ahead,” Borelli said. “I learned early on, it’s hard work, perseverance, equality, education — those are the keys to success.” She will also talk about the “black liberal establishment,” she said. – Staff Writer, May 16, 2013, Read More

     
    Tea Partiers Confront Comcast CEO: Why Would a Conservative Want Their Money to Pay Al Sharpton's Salary? 

    Paul Bond at The Hollywood Reporter described what happened at the annual Comcast shareholders meeting in Philadelphia when Tea Party conservatives stood up to ask about the dramatic left-wing slant of MSNBC.
    On the webcast of the meeting, Tom Borelli asked Comcast CEO Brian Roberts "Why would a conservative person in any state want their money to go pay for Al Sharpton’s salary?"

    "Have you contemplated the damage that MSNBC and its biased coverage is doing to the overall Comcast business?” Borelli argued conservatives were ditching Comcast’s cable service “because of the overwhelmingly biased and misleading coverage by MSNBC.”- Tim Graham, May 16, 2013, Read More

      
    Leader of targeted Tea Party group ‘pissed off’ by IRS’s questioning, calls it a ‘fishing expedition’ 

    Susan McLaughlin knows first-hand what it’s like to be targeted by the IRS. Her Tea Party group in Liberty Township, Ohio was among those subjected to intense questioning after applying for tax-exempt status. McLaughlin tells Top Line, “it just pisses you off” to be questioned by the IRS in such detail.

    “It's intrusive; it is clearly a fishing expedition,” McLaughlin says. McLaughlin reads aloud a question from a seven-page-long letter The Liberty Township Tea Party received from the IRS’s Cincinnati office. “’List each past and present board member, officer, key employee and members of their family,’ and then it says, ‘have they served on the board of another organization?’” – Rich Klein, May 17, 2013, Read More

     
    The IRS Will Come for You Next, Unless Congress Acts Now 

    The scandal isn’t about politics—it’s about civil liberties. And Congress needs to make sure it never happens again, writes the CEO of conservative activist group FreedomWorks.  It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you. Nearly 500 groups applying for tax-exempt status have spoken out against the Internal Revenue Service for abusing its power, intimidating groups that were aiming to educate citizens on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and their civic duty to hold government accountable. – Matt Kibbe, May 17, 2013, Read More

      
    Tea Party Victims Detail Intimidation, Claim Vindication 

    Tea party groups across the country from Pennsylvania to Texas say they've spent thousands of hours over the past couple of years trying to comply with IRS requests to receive tax-exempt status. "I think this creates a perfect storm because you have a tangible, visceral demonstration of what we've been talking about all along—that big government leads to an abuse of power and that anybody can get trampled," said FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe in an interview. The organizers who spoke Thursday at FreedomWorks painted a picture of an onerous process that included delayed responses from the IRS and, in some cases, questionnaires with more than 100 queries. – Michael Catalini, May 17, 2013, Read More

     
    Watergate 2.0 - why the IRS scandal is far worse 

    In the wake of one of the worst abuses of government power in recent history, many are rushing to frame the Internal Revenue Service scandal as simply an attack on conservative activists. That view risks creating a partisan political football and misses a fundamentally scarier abuse that exceeds the scandals of Watergate or any other prior government abuse. The IRS has admitted that since May 2010 it targeted grassroots-conservative organizations that had applied for tax-exempt status, unfairly subjecting them to rigorous scrutiny due to their political leanings. – Matt Kibbe, May 17, 2013, Read More

     
    'We could lose everything': Tea Party groups prepare to sue IRS 

    Jay Devereaux hadn’t paid much attention to the daily drumbeat of partisan politics in D.C. He wasn’t a Washington nerd, and didn’t know who said what during congressional hearings -- nor did he care. But when news broke that the government was using taxpayer money to bail out Wall Street banks, he started paying attention and didn’t like what he was hearing.

    So the Florida father and information technology specialist decided to form a group, Unite in Action, to educate people in his area about the issues, he said. It was originally formed as a corporation before Devereaux decided to apply for tax-exempt status from the IRS. – Barnini Chakraborty, May 18, 2013, Read More

      


    When Big Government Goes Bad
     

     Recent revelations about the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment of conservative and Tea Party groups should give pause to advocates of big government. While the strong-arm tactics have elicited condemnation from across the political spectrum, it should be no surprise that as the size and scope of government expands so, too, will its intrusions on the rights of citizens. As decisions and authority are ceded to the public sector they become politicized and subject to bureaucratic discretion. It is a quiet transition from the “rule of law” where all individuals are subject to the same treatment, to the “rule of man,” where the prejudices of the decision makers dictate outcomes. – Wayne Brough, May 18, 2013, Read More

     


    Tea party looks to take advantage of moment
     

    Is the tea party getting its groove back? Shouts of vindication from around the country suggest the movement’s leaders certainly think so. They say the IRS acknowledgement that it had targeted their groups for extra scrutiny — a claim that tea party activists had made for years — is helping pump new energy into the coalition. And they are trying to use that development, along with the ongoing controversy over the Benghazi, Libya, terrorist attacks and the Justice Department’s secret seizure of journalists’ phone records, to recruit new activists incensed about government overreach. – Thomas Beaumont, May 19, 2013, Read More 


    FreedomWorks urges Legislature to reject Common Core reading and math standards

    The Tea-party affiliated FreedomWorks is urging Kansas legislators to reject Common Core reading and math standards. "Help us protect Kansan students from Common Core," Whitney Neal, director of grassroots for FreedomWorks, said in a note to the group's members. "Let’s fight to keep parents, teachers, and local communities in charge of education – not Washington bureaucrats." – Scott Rothschild, May 21, 2013, Read More

     
    For Tea Party Groups, Shades of 2010
     

     On Tuesday, rallies across the country to protest the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status recalled those glory days, drawing colorful crowds in three-cornered hats, with members singing patriotic songs and waving provocative signs like “Fire the Liars” and “I.R.S.S.” — the last two letters drawn like the lightning bolts of the Nazi SS. Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, a political action committee that has funneled millions of dollars to Tea Party candidates, said the I.R.S. actions precisely illustrated the movement’s founding critique that big government leads to abuse of power.

    “It all feeds into this narrative, which makes 2014 look a lot more like 2010,” he said. “We won’t have the clutter of a presidential race. We’re going to be able to connect with the broader values of Americans who don’t think federal agencies should choose winners and losers.”  - Trip Gabriel, May 21, 2013, Read More 


    FreedomWorks urges Legislature to reject Common Core reading and math standards
     

     The Tea-party affiliated FreedomWorks is urging Kansas legislators to reject Common Core reading and math standards. "Help us protect Kansan students from Common Core," Whitney Neal, director of grassroots for FreedomWorks, said in a note to the group's members. "Let’s fight to keep parents, teachers, and local communities in charge of education – not Washington bureaucrats."

    Kansas formally adopted Common Core standards in 2010, saying they would help prepare students for college and careers. Numerous school districts throughout the state, including Lawrence, have spent the past two years getting teachers ready to implement them.
    – Scott Rothschild, May 22, 2013, Read More 


    FreedomWorks' Kibbe: IRS Move to Dump Lerner 'Clearly the Tip of the Iceberg'
     

     FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe tells Newsmax that Thursday's decision by the embattled IRS to replace Lois Lerner over the agency's targeting scandal is "clearly the tip of the iceberg" along with other administrative casualties that have been offered up thus far by the Obama administration. "It doesn't go far enough and whenever you see government officials lawyering up and pleading the Fifth, you know the crisis and the scandal go far deeper than what appears to be on the surface," Kibbe said in an exclusive interview.  – Paul Scicchitano, May 23, 2013, Read More 


    Baton Rouge group aims to attract more black people to conservative movement
     

     In 2012, Barack Obama won the vast majority of votes from minority voters in America, including 93% of the black vote. His defeat of Mitt Romney set off an intense period of soul searching by the Republican party that continues today about how to attract more black voters into the conservative movement.

    Two Baton Rouge political consultants hope to advance that cause next week with the "@large" Conference, targeted at politically active black conservatives, but open to anybody who's interested in the movement. The conference will be held on May 30-31 at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge, featuring workshops that focus on political campaign fundraising, education, economics and social issues. – Quincy Hodges, May 24, 2013, Read More  


    NWOCC welcomes Tom and Deneen Borelli to Toledo
     

     Hundreds of NW Ohio conservatives  converged on downtown Toledo to participate in the NW Ohio Conservative Coalitions biennial  fundraiser dinner. Every two years, the NWOCC hosts a sit down dinner to allow Conservative activist from around NW Ohio to take a couple hours, sit down, relax, enjoy a good meal with good company, and share our experiences, our strength, and our hope with each other.

    This year, we were honored to have Tom and Deneen Borelli join us for the evening.  As our other guests arrived, Tom and Deneen made themselves at home, mingled and took the time to talk to everyone, a very “family” atmosphere similar to that you may find at a family reunion.  Tom and Deneen really have a knack for interacting with people and putting you at ease. – Staff Writer, May 24, 2013, Read More 


    Return of the Tea Party

     Activists who had not protested en masse since the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act over a year ago descended last week on IRS offices across the country, decrying the agency’s discrimination against them. In Washington, Congress’s colorful tea-party caucus reemerged, too. At a press conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Texas representative Louie Gohmert took to the podium to call the president a “tyrannical despot,” and 2016 presidential hopeful Rand Paul demanded answers from the IRS. Newly energized by the scandals roiling the administration, tea-party activists and lawmakers who associate themselves with the movement are looking to convert the outrage among their members into conservative victories in next year’s midterm elections.

    “It’s a perfect storm,” FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe says of the trio of scandals that have rocked the White House back onto its heels. He compares the furor ignited by the current White House scandals to the outrage sparked by the Wall Street bailouts and the $700 billion stimulus bill that gave birth to the first tea-party protests in 2008, when the yellow Gadsden flag, with the words “Don’t Tread On Me” emblazoned across it, became a fixture of the country’s political landscape. – Eliana Johnson, May 27, 2013, Read More 


    Health Law Critics Seek to Gut Program by Undermining Exchanges
     

     Opponents of President Barack Obama’s health-care law are gearing up for a new round of attacks, this time targeting the legislation’s insurance exchanges that would expand coverage to millions of Americans.

    Heritage Action for America, the advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation, and the Tea Party-aligned group FreedomWorks will push Congress to cut off funding for the exchanges in the debate later this year over raising the debt ceiling, the Washington-based groups said. The chairman of the advocacy group Restore America’s Voice, Ken Hoagland, said he plans to warn people through advertising about the “dysfunctional” exchanges.  – Shannon Pettypiece, May 28, 2013, Read More 

      
    The IRS Scandal Threatens the Freedom that Makes America Exceptional
     

     There is a reason why my parents chose a one-way ticket to the United States when they left Brazil with 8 suitcases, my brother, and me. For years, my parents viewed the United States from a distance as a land of opportunity, a free society where hard work could earn every family its own version of the American Dream. In 1986, my parents uprooted our lives to make certain that my brother and I lived a better quality of life than the generations preceding us. – Ana Puig, May 28, 2013, Read More 

     
    Tea Party Groups Hit IRS with Federal Lawsuit
     

     Some are calling the IRS scandal "chilling," while others, like lawmakers, want to know what the tax agency was really up to when it targeted conservative groups. A new TV ad by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has hit the airwaves, condemning the Obama administration for using the Internal Revenue Service to target Tea Party groups.

    "Again and again this administration and its allies have used the resources of the government itself to intimidate or silence those who question," McConnell says in the ad. "I don't know about you," he continued, "but I think that the leader of the free world and his advisers have better things to do than to dig through other people's tax returns." – Jennifer Wishon, May 30, 2013, Read More 

     
    Republicans Hope IRS Scandal Taints Democrats, 'Obamacare'
     

     Conservative groups are preparing to use the deepening public distrust of the Internal Revenue Service to discredit the Affordable Care Act, and the Democrats who support it, in the 2014 election cycle.  Now that the IRS has admitted to unfairly targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, Republicans plan to make the agency, which is responsible for carrying out much of President Obama's health care law, the poster child for dysfunctional government, and a giant liability for Democrats.

    "This has certainly been a kind of unwelcome vindication for the Tea Party," said Dean Clancey, vice president of public policy at FreedomWorks, which spent more than $19 million in the 2012 election. "We consider this a wonderful teaching opportunity to remind people that the IRS is the main enforcement agency of Obamacare; even more so than [the Health and Human Services Department]."  - Abby Phillip, May 29, 2013, Read More