Wednesday, February 05, 2014

'Not A Smidgen Of Corruption' - IRS Secretly Drafted Rules To Restrict Conservative Groups

The president may have been able to lie with a straight face to Bill O'Reilly about IRS-Gate being a phony scandal involving "..not a smidgen of corruption", but the facts, once again, indicate something a lot more sinister...and with a lot more of an indicatation that the trail leads right to the White House.

A chain of e-mails has surfaced revealing that the IRS's former director Lois Lerner conspired with the Obama Administration's Treasury Department to secretly concoct new 501(c)(4) regulations designed to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a way that wouldn't have to be disclosed publicly, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means:

The Treasury Department and Lerner started devising the new rules “off-plan,” meaning that their plans would not be published on the public schedule. They planned the new rules in 2012, while the IRS targeting of conservative groups was in full swing, and not after the scandal broke in order to clarify regulations as the administration has suggested.

The rules place would place much more stringent controls on what would be considered political activity by the IRS, effectively limiting the standard practices of a wide array of non-profit groups.
“Don’t know who in your organizations is keeping tabs on c4s, but since we mentioned potentially addressing them (off -plan) in 2013, I’ve got my radar up and this seemed interesting…,” Treasury official Ruth Madrigal wrote in a June 14, 2012 email to Lerner and others obtained by Ways and Means and provided to The Daily Caller.

Ways and Means chairman Rep.Dave Camp exploded over this during a hearing with IRS commissioner John Koskinen. He wants these 'new' rules postponed until until criminal investigations into the IRS targeting scandal are complete.

“If Treasury and the IRS fabricated the rationale for a rule change it would tend to raise questions about the integrity of the rule-making process,” Camp said.

“I want to be perfectly clear – this committee will fight any and all efforts to restrict the rights of groups to organize, speak out and educate the public, just as unions are allowed to do so. We will get to the bottom of this, and I expect the IRS to produce – quickly – the outstanding documents the committee has requested,” Camp said.

“I believe the IRS has a long way to go in restoring its credibility. But, you can take a first step by complying with this committee’s request and stopping all action against 501(c)(4) groups until the appropriate investigations are completed.”

Of course they fabricated them, with restricting fund raising and organizing by conservative groups in mind.

The 'new' rules' define communications and activities like voter registration drives and publishing voter guides, as political activity. Grants and donations that 501(c)(4)’s give to other nonprofits are now subject to new record-keeping and increased scrutiny to prevent the money’s use for political activity....while needless to say, Democrat groups like unions and the NAACP are allowed to continue doing exactly that without their 501(c) status being questioned.

According to what the new IRS commissioner Koskinen had to say, these new rules were designed to “put to rest all of the issues surrounding applications for tax-exempt status.”

Notice that word 'applications'. Only groups newly applying are going to be targeted.

But Madrigal’s email to Lerner proves that the secret rules were developed long before the scandal broke, and before there was any need for the IRS to throw something together to look good. Nor was the scandal the reason for the secret rule changes. The Obama Administration wanted something in place in time for the 2014 midterms.

And need I also mention that the likelihood of the president being unaware of what was going on is severely diminished by the spectacle of two federal agencies in his administration conspiring together to target the president's political 'enemies'?

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