The Assault

The left is using the regulatory system to try to shut conservatives up.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The IRS denied or delayed 501(c)(4) applications for conservative groups. So what, tax law is too confusing to understand anyway.

It’s not a tax law matter. It’s a free speech matter. The IRS denied conservatives their free speech, which helped Obama get re-elected. Here’s how it works:

Candidate Joe needs money to buy advertising to convince ordinary voters to Vote For Joe. Candidate Joe raises money by asking for donations. The implied promise is the more you give, the more likely Joe will take your call telling him how bad HR 123 will be for the people he represents.

Ordinary voters can’t afford to buy access so Congress imposed individual contribution limits. But clever people work around those laws through bundling donations or establishing political action committees or educational non-profit groups to amplify donors message loud enough to be heard by voters and politicians. The tax code section that governs these groups is 501(c)(4). Both sides use it to get their message out.

If one political party can use IRS to delay approval of the other political party’s tax status until after the election, then people won’t donate and the message won’t get out to the voters to Vote For Joe. Joe will lose because the IRS delay has the effect of denying Joe’s donors their freedom to pool their money to buy political speech.

This isn’t about hazy guidelines or bumbling management. Democrats used the power of government to silence Republicans. This is a direct attack on our First Amendment rights. That’s why it matters.

Joe Doakes

The IRS is just the national incarnation of this issue.

The DFL has been doing the same thing for years here in Minnesota.  Scarcely a single conservative or Republican active in Minnesota politics avoids having some DFL apparatchik file a Campaign Finance Board complaint against them at some point – or many points – in their political career.  These filings usually come with a flurry of breathless media coverage – designed, naturally, to give the likes of “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” a chanting point to use against the candidate.

The accusations usually fall flat, after the race, with no media coverage.

We saw this writ small and dim a few years back, during the 2010 campaign, when a couple of DFL bloggers with deep pockets and lots of extra time on their hands filed a CFB complaint against the King Banaian campaign.  As we pointed out in this space, there was no there there, and the CFB agreed – but, I suspect, it wasn’t about any actual complaint.  It was about getting the low-information voters who are the mainstay of the DFL effort to chant something on cue – and, mostly, about trying to use the bureaucracy to shut conservatives up.

Look for more of this at all levels.


8 thoughts on “The Assault

  1. It’s like Obama is running the country the way the Chicago has been run since forever.

  2. I just realized there’s a tie-in to Berg’s Seventh Law. In 2010, Democrats were aghast conservatives were attempting voter suppression through Voter ID. The vehemence should have been a clue that Democrats were doing their own voter suppression through IRS. Missed that one completely.

  3. Joe, I’ve always believed in projection. The left thinks everyone does what they do, but I never really thought about it in this way……….why the way over-the-top paranoia over homeland security while Bush was in office? It was used to spy on terrorists in places like Pakistan as they contacted people in the US. Then see what those contacts in the US were up to.

    Now we know. The left figured out what they would do if they had those powers, and assumed Republicans would do the same thing. We see that now with the spying on Fox News (and other) journalists, using the IRS, etc.

  4. Draw up the papers. I think we should call ourselves the Patriots’ Tea Party for Progress at The Crossroads. Should sail right through. ;^)

    If we’re going to subsidize organizations with the tax code, then we might not want to invite them to spend a lot of those deductible donations trying to influence public spending. One man’s politics is another man’s social welfare.

  5. Emery keeps referring to subsidizing organizations with the tax code, when what really is happening is keeping the government from taking a rake off the top from like-minded individuals pooling their money to buy advertising.

  6. @ Loren, is this weather conspiring to keep us off our bikes or what? A few long rides but mostly short loops and constantly checking the clouds for trouble has been my typical ride this spring. How about you?

    It’s basically impossible to separate lobbying and charity. Social welfare and politics have become blurred in this country. All groups whose *primary* mission is political should be denied 501(c)(4) status. That’s what the law says.

  7. “All groups whose *primary* mission is political should be denied 501(c)(4) status. That’s what the law says.”

    Yes, but it’s not what Obama’s IRS says, and that’s the rub. Using an agency of the federal government to suppress political opponents’ freedom of speech before an election is voter suppression.

    It’s not the loophole that rankles, it’s that only one side gets to use the loophole.

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