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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.
Of course, Vice President Joe Biden, might not be planning on coming to Columbia, SC for a tea party, but that's what he's going to get. On Friday, July 23 Biden will be in town with Rep. John Spratt to dedicate the new USC library and participate in a fundraising event for Spratt.
FreedomWorks joined with thousands of others yesterday to protest the government takeover of healthcare. Starting in the morning, many groups tried to get a face-to-face visit with their Senator after traveling all this way, taking time off from work, and getting here on their own dime. A major frustration among the grassroots has been the way it feels like our leaders aren't listening. Yesterday proved to be no different as in office after office, visitors were pawned off on staff members or encouraged to just leave a comment or write a letter.
Upcoming Events to Protest Government Takeover of Healthcare
Thanks so much to everyone who sent in a video for the contest. We had a number of fantastic entries. Below are the four finalists in no particular order.Please check them out and leave comments about your favorite. We'll announce the winners tomorrow.Thanks again for your participation and don't forget to be in D.C on Saturday!
With thousands registered online at 912dc.org and many more expected from all corners of the country, the 912 Taxpayer March on Washington is going to be a huge, historic event. There is a lot going on both that Saturday and the two days prior so please read the information below carefully to ensure you don’t miss out on anything. Thursday, September 10 Liberty Summit
Williamsport hosted a huge tea party in the run-up to 9/12 on Saturday with over 4,000 coming out to hear from Mr. Thomas Paine and others. The crowd put up with intermittent rain with great spirits and rounded out the event with a march down to the Market Street Bridge for a ceremonial throwing of "tea" into the Susquehanna River. The Williamsport Tea Party did a great job organizing the rally and signed up hundreds to come to D.C.
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).