Posted onOctober 27, 2017byifnm|Comments Off on DOJ Settles with Tea Party Groups on Lois Lerner IRS Scandal
Four hundred sixty nine different plaintiffs in two class-action lawsuits over Obama-era IRS harassment settled with the Department of Justice Thursday, bringing to a close a dark chapter in the IRS’s history.
In 2010 and 2011, the IRS under Lois Lerner, particularly out of the Cincinnati field office, launched what many contended were politically motivated investigations and audits of “Tea Party” and other conservative groups. While no criminal prosecutions ever resulted, hundreds of victims assembled in class-action lawsuits against the federal government.
Attorney General Sessions appears to have largely acknowledged the plaintiffs’ claims. In a DOJ press release on the settlement, he said:
[I]t is now clear that during the last Administration, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to screen applications for 501(c) status. These criteria included names such as “Tea Party,” “Patriots,” or “9/12” or policy positions concerning government spending or taxes, education of the public to “make America a better place to live,” or statements criticizing how the country was being run. It is also clear these criteria disproportionately impacted conservative groups.
As a result of these criteria, the IRS transferred hundreds of applications to a specifically designated group of IRS agents for additional levels of review, questioning and delay. In many instances, the IRS then requested highly sensitive information from applicants, such as donor information, that was not needed to make a determination of tax-exempt status.
Posted onAugust 6, 2016byifnm|Comments Off on Wearing ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ insignia could be punishable racial harassment
Complainant maintains that the Gadsden Flag is a “historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party.”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, among its other functions, decides “hostile work environment” harassment claims brought against federal agencies. In doing so, it applies the same legal rules that courts apply to private employers, and that the EEOC follows in deciding whether to sue private employers. The EEOC has already ruled that coworkers’ wearing Confederate flag T-shirts can be punishable harassment (a decision that I think is incorrect); and, unsurprisingly, this is extending to other political speech as well. Here’s an excerpt from Shelton D. [pseudonym] v. Brennan, 2016 WL 3361228, decided by the EEOC two months ago:
On January 8, 2014, Complainant filed a formal complaint in which he alleged that the Agency subjected him to discrimination on the basis of race (African American) and in reprisal for prior EEO activity when, starting in the fall of 2013, a coworker (C1) repeatedly wore a cap to work with an insignia of the Gadsden Flag, which depicts a coiled rattlesnake and the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me.”
Complainant stated that he found the cap to be racially offensive to African Americans because the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, a “slave trader & owner of slaves.” Complainant also alleged that he complained about the cap to management; however, although management assured him C1 would be told not to wear the cap, C1 continued to come to work wearing the offensive cap. Additionally, Complainant alleged that on September 2, 2013, a coworker took a picture of him on the work room floor without his consent. In a decision dated January 29, 2014, the Agency dismissed Complainant’s complaint on the basis it failed to state a claim . . . .
Posted onJuly 29, 2016byifnm|Comments Off on Justice Department Knew of IRS Scandal 2 Years Before Congress but Did Nothing
That the administration sat on the information for two years before deciding not to prosecute is “par for the course and, frankly, the stench is overwhelming” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan.
Recently unearthed documents reveal that the FBI knew the IRS was unfairly targeting groups because of their conservative politics two years before Congress even heard about the agency’s misconduct.
The revelation has already added fodder to the conservative case to impeach the current IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
Almost 300 pages of documents released Thursday and obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act confirm that the IRS subjected conservative groups to increased scrutiny beginning in 2011.
Even though the FBI uncovered the scandal in 2011, the documents show, the Department of Justice chose not to act.
In interviews with FBI agents, IRS officials said that a Cincinnati branch of their agency targeted conservative groups.
“Cincinnati was categorizing cases based on name and ideology, not just activity,” Nancy Marks, a senior official at the IRS, told the FBI. That was in the summer of 2011. The public wouldn’t learn of the scandal until May 2013.
Judges demand tax agency release secret target list immediately.
A federal appeals court Tuesday accused the Internal Revenue Service of stonewalling the release of lists of tax-exempt organizations targeted for political scrutiny, scolding the tax agency for compounding an offense by continuing to fight disclosure.
The judges ordered the IRS to quickly turn over the full list of groups it targeted so that a class-action lawsuit, filed by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots, can proceed. The judges also accused the Justice Department lawyers, who are representing the IRS in the case, of acting in bad faith and compounding its violation of the law in the first place.
“Among the most serious allegations a federal court can address are that an executive agency has targeted citizens for mistreatment based on their political views,” wrote Judge Raymond M. Kethledge in a unanimous decision. “No citizen — Republican or Democrat, socialist or libertarian — should be targeted or even have to fear being targeted on those grounds. Yet those are the grounds on which the plaintiffs allege they were mistreated by the IRS here. The allegations are substantial: most are drawn from findings made by the Treasury Department’s own inspector general for tax administration. Those findings include that the IRS used political criteria to round up applications for tax-exempt status filed by so-called tea-party groups; that the IRS often took four times as long to process tea-party applications as other applications; and that the IRS served tea-party applicants with crushing demands for what the Inspector General called “unnecessary information.”
Posted onJanuary 28, 2016byifnm|Comments Off on Tea Party Founder: Why I Support Donald Trump for President
As one of the 22 co-founders of the national tea party movement, I am concerned over the fact that our nation has moved away from the principles of liberty we were founded on.
I have been an activist fighting for conservative principles since 1976, so I reject individuals and publications that try to tell me what conservatism is.
I have watched over the years as we have allowed deep pocketed special interests to set the agenda in Washington D.C. instead of we the people. These special interests gain support for their agenda, by even principled conservatives, using their millions of dollars of political contributions. Special interests don’t donate millions of dollars without expecting something in return. That is just human nature.
Donald Trump is not accepting big donations from Wall Street or big banks, so he will not be indebted to big donors whose interests sometimes conflict with average Americans. I am convinced Trump will fight for the best interests of Main Street – not Wall Street. He has already stood up during his campaign to the special interests that have corrupted the political process.
This was never so evident as during the recent fight over ObamaTrade. At a time when other candidates stood with Wall Street, Trump stood with Main Street and for American jobs. He strongly believes in American exceptionalism and will put American interests first.
Join us for the 5th Annual South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention. This will be our biggest event yet! Hurry tickets are selling fast! See a list of confirmed speakers and book your convention package on-line now at www.SouthCarolinaTeaPartyCoalition.com
The Tea Party was born in dissatisfaction with intransigent government and willful politicians. They may have bled away into the woodwork, but they’re not gone permanently. When the time comes, the Tea Party will be back with a vengeance, to the evident discomfort of all the same Republican establishment members who disliked it in the first place.
The left chortled on Monday after learning the results of a new Gallup poll showing an all-time low for Tea Party support. According to Gallup, just 17 percent of Americans say they support the Tea Party, with 24 percent calling themselves opponents and 54 percent saying they have no opinion.
The poll’s high water mark for the Tea Party stood at 32 percent in November 2010. Oddly, the drop-off has been steepest among conservative Republicans, who have dropped from 63 percent support to 42 percent support from 2010 to 2015. Moderate or liberal Republicans never really supported the Tea Party; just 32 percent supported the Tea Party as of 2010, and that number has now dropped to 17 percent.
The establishment Republican Party went to war with the Tea Party, over and over again.
Unlike the Democratic Party, which has a useful habit of coopting the left’s hardcore popular grassroots movements, from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter, the right has an unfortunate habit of disassociating from its popular uprisings. Almost from the outset, Republican insiders seemed uncomfortable with the Tea Party movement, believing it to be a reflection of anger that could blow back on them.
Posted onOctober 2, 2015byifnm|Comments Off on Report: Chamber of Commerce to Spend $100 Million to Destroy Tea Party
No other issue represents the divide between the permanent political class and Main Street than comprehensive amnesty legislation. And Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue has made it clear in no uncertain terms that his group covets a comprehensive amnesty bill.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will literally double down in its efforts to crush the Tea Party to get legislation–like a comprehensive amnesty bill and the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank–that it covets.
After budgeting $50 million to elect establishment-friendly candidates in the 2014 election cycle, the chamber will reportedly spend as much as $100 million in the 2016 election cycle to crush conservatives. According to a Roll Call report, some of the group’s “top targets in 2016 will be right-wing, tea party candidates” who have opposed amnesty for illegal immigrants, Obamatrade, and reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.
The Chamber of Commerce’s ultimate goal is to reportedly win back “the soul of the Republican Party” by electing more establishment Republicans “in contested primaries to strengthen their hand during policy debates on the Hill.”
Scott Reed, the group’s top strategist, told Roll Call that “the gang that wants to shut down the government, that’s a clear contrast to what the business community agrees is best for economic growth.” He added that the “the chamber is now operating in a 24-month cycle” and “this the earliest we’ve ever spent money.”
So what did Blumenthal tell her in his memo? According to a new State Department email dump Monday night, here are the bare-knuckle political highlights:
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received a special “CONFIDENTIAL” memo from her shady political adviser, Sidney Blumenthal just after tea party Republicans won their huge majority in the House of Representatives during the midterm elections of November 2, 2010.
Blumenthal bashed incoming House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, he fretted about the tea party’s role in the shocking Republican majority, and he urged Clinton to aggressively “break them apart.”
Hillary was receptive to Blumenthal’s ideas and admitted she was “distressed” over the huge Republican win. “Thx, as always, for your insights,” Clinton replied. “I’m on a plane on the way to Papua New Guinea for the next 6 hours so pls email me results as you get them. Needless to say, I’m so distressed over all of this. All the best, H.”
Blumenthal Blames Karl Rove For ‘Far Right’ Sarah Palin
“Rove is telling his donors that the ticket in 2012 is Romney/Barbour. Haley Barbour is Rove’s ally. Together they constitute the heart of the GOP establishment. In a potential Republican administration Barbour would be a new kind of Cheney, but more politically skillful…Rove is at war with Palin. He has told his donors she must be stopped. Palin is well aware. The Politico story filled with anonymous quotes about a murky establishment vs. Palin is about the Death Star of Rove/Barbour. Ironies: Rove doubled down on a base strategy for Bush, galvanizing the right wing, now spun out of his control to Palin. The GOP used the far right and Palin in the mid-terms and now have to kill them in presidential nomination politics. Attacking Palin only builds her stature with the right. She plays instinctively to the base, but can she play a long game against the big boys determined to destroy her?…Palin has already aligned Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh on her side. Fox News is being split. Murdoch gave his big donation to the Republican Governors Association, headed by Barbour.”
Posted onJuly 10, 2015byifnm|Comments Off on Obama Administration’s DOJ, FBI Also Involved in IRS Scandal
On Tuesday, Judicial Watch released documents that seem to prove there was a plan contrived by former IRS official Lois Lerner, DOJ officials, and the FBI to pursue criminal prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations for alleged illegal political activity.
Judicial Watch, a government watchdog, has released documents obtained from the Department of Justice and the IRS that reveal a plot to pursue criminal charges against opponents of the Obama administration. The documents showcase the extensive collaboration between the IRS, DOJ, and FBI in targeting conservative organizations.
According to the Judicial Watch website, “The documents were produced subsequent to court orders in two Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits: Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:14-cv-1956) and Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:14-cv-1239).”
The documents are related to the IRS scandal involving the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the IRS openly targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization status between 2010 and 2012. Those groups faced additional audits and scrutiny by the federal agency, costing them tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of employee hours, and ultimately preventing or delaying their receiving tax-exempt status.
Jan 20, 2016– The inaugural lecture of the School of Public Policy’s Wilburn Distinguished Lecture Series on Politics and Policy featured British historian and biographer Andrew Roberts. Roberts spoke about his most recent book Napoleon the Great (the American edition is titled Napoleon: A Life), which was awarded the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for best biography.