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Beginning in 2010, several different IRS offices – including those in Cincinnati, Ohio; El Monte, California; Laguna Niguel, California; and Washington D.C. systematically discriminated against conservative groups. The targeting was not the work of a few “rogue” agents, as IRS commissioner Steven Miller initially claimed.
The IRS targeted organizations who “criticize how the country is being run” - singling out those with “tea party”, “9/12” and “patriot” in their names.
The agency harassed right-leaning 501(c)(3) applicants with intrusive questions, including “please detail the content of your members’ prayers."
160 such applications were delayed for over 200 days – some for more than three years and two election cycles.
During this period, the IRS approved applications from several dozen groups who used words like “progressive”, “liberal” and “equality.” Media Trackers, a conservative applicant that had been delayed for 16 months, was approved in three weeks after it reapplied under the name “Greenhouse Solutions.”
The White House account of these events has changed several times. While the White House initially maintained that it had learned about the scandal through the media, it has since been revealed that both Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew were aware of the scandal a month prior.
Under the Obama Administration, IRS higher-ups have treated themselves to extravagant entertainment and lavish conferences on the taxpayers’ dime. The agency spent over $60,000 producing two short films for fun. In one instance, the IRS “paid for the construction of an elaborate mock-up of the bridge of the starship Enterprise.” The IRS also spent millions on luxurious accommodations for its managers – in violation of its own policies - and paid $135,000 fees to at least 15 outside speakers. One speaker was paid $17,000 to discuss “leadership through art.”
Democrats have attempted to shield themselves from blame by pointing out that IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman was a Bush appointee. Shulman’s wife, however, is a senior employee at liberal group Public Campaign, an organization “dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.”
Sarah Hall Ingram, who ran the IRS’ tax-exempt division during the targeting, is now the director of the IRS’ ObamaCare office. Since graduating from Georgetown Law, Ingram has never worked anywhere except the IRS. Interestingly, Ingram has visited the White House 165 times.
The IRS has been put in charge of enforcing ObamaCare. Federal agencies are currently assembling a “Federal Data Services Hub” in what has been called “the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic” by USA Today. Under ObamaCare, government-approved health insurance providers will submit reports about their customers to this database - where they will be monitored and cross-checked by the IRS. Although only 10% of Americans now say they have confidence in the IRS, we are apparently expected to trust the agency to oversee our healthcare.
While thousands are making plans to march on the Capitol on Sept. 12, some decided to make the drive there just as memorable. Tea party patriots in Taylor County, Florida, have constructed a "rolling petition"-- a billboard covered in signatures with the words "Stop Wasteful Spending" -- which they plan to drive to DC for the 9/12 March on Washington. If you're interested in following them to DC, or building your own, check out the Taylor County Tea Party blog.
More than 400 people showed up to celebrate the 4th of July in Plains, GA. To read about what happened at the event, and what is being planned for the 17th, check out the SWGAPolitics blog. Thanks Donna Driskell!
On July 4 several hundred limited government activists gathered in Boston for an extended day of tea party events at the Boston Common and on the harbor at Christopher Columbus Park. The event was organized by ConservativeSolutions.org. The key note speakers were Dr. John Lewis of Duke University and Dr. Yaron Brooke of the Ayn Rand Institute (a 9/12 sponsor). I had the honor of addressing the crowd on what people can do to turn the energy of the tea parties into effective advocacy against out of control spending (hint: get your family and friends involved).
Thanks to Mary Rakovich and other like-minded Floridians, Cape Coral had a great Freedom Rally on July 3rd. Check out the news article that covered the event as well as the editorial that was published yesterday. Great job guys!
"We're Here Because Our Country Is Falling Under Socialism, Marxism, And Fascism"
So said an attendee of the July 4 Tea Party in Washington D.C. Check out two videos below. The first is a 5 minute video from Bureaucrash, which includes interviews of a wide variety of Tea Partiers (with one who exclaims the quote in the title). The second is an investigative report from RussiaToday. Both cover the Independence Day Tea Party in Washington D.C. of just a few days ago.
Here are just a few of the pictures from the Tea Party in Temecula, CA, on the 4th of July. Looks like an awesome crowd! Thanks to Dan Collins for the great pictures and Rick Reiss for sending them to us!