Sunday, September 15, 2013

IRS Specifically Targeted Tea Party Groups

The IRS scandal gets even more interesting. New emails from Lois "I'm pleading the 5th" Lerner show that not only did the IRS specifically target Tea Party groups, it labeled such groups "dangerous" and sought specific information for the purpose of using it to challenge the Supreme Court holding in Citizens' United.

In the February 2011 email, Lerner advised her staff — including then-Exempt Organizations Technical Manager Michael Seto and then-Rulings and Agreements director Holly Paz — that a tea party matter is "very dangerous" and something "Counsel and (Lerner adviser) Judy Kindell need to be in on." Lerner added: "Cincy should probably NOT have these cases." 
... It also confirms a suspected reason for the planned intimidation and hamstringing of conservative opposition to the Obama administration's policies, saying that those tea party group applications for tax-exempt status could end up being the "vehicle to go to court" to get more clarity on the 2010 Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance rules.
This would explain the bizarre and repeated questionnaires requesting lists of donors, books members read, contents of their prayers, texts of speeches given before the group and whether any member is thinking of running for office. The Obama administration was gathering information for possible future court cases to gut Citizens United while it was keeping its political opponents at bay. 
...Using government power to target conservative opponents of liberal Democrats is nothing new for Lerner. As we've written, the IRS scandal may have its roots in "Chicago way" politics with the 1996 targeting of Illinois conservative Al Salvi by a familiar name, Lois Lerner, then head of the Enforcement Division of the Federal Elections Commission.

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