As we try to fathom how a few low-level rogue employees launched a national campaign to discriminate against groups that oppose Barack Obama’s policies, without any resistance from a long chain of experienced, highly compensated supervisors… and wonder where this rowdy band of cubicle gremlins ever got the idea to do such a thing… let’s remember that Obama’s political opponents just happened to fall under the scrutiny of agencies beyond the IRS Tax Exempt Organizations unit.
Look at Frank VanderSloot, a Romney donor targeted as one of several “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records” by the Obama 2012 campaign. Before that, he hadn’t faced an audit in the better part of 30 years, but suddenly he was looking at IRS audits of both his business and personal finances, plus a Labor Department audit of his business, and a Senate subcommittee staffer popped up in his hometown looking for his legal records.
VanderSloot told the Daily Caller that he doesn’t think he’s the only person on that Obama enemies list to receive very special scrutiny from government agencies:
???I talked to only a handful of them since,??? VanderSloot said. ???I???ve reached out to all of them. But only got calls back from a handful and most of the responses were they???re just laying low, you know, they took their own beatings and they don???t want any more of it and they don???t want to even talk about this.???
???How do I answer that???? he responded, when asked specifically if he knows if any of them were audited like he was after they were attacked by the Obama campaign.
???Yes, we talked about that, and I???m not at liberty to disclose that.???
???I don???t know that everybody [that] was on it [was] audited,??? he went on. ???I don???t know how many were. I know that I???m not the only one. I do know that.???
???Everybody took a beating,??? he added. ???And for most of them, they???ve had enough. But there were a couple who will stand up and be counted on this issue, and the others just want the thing to go away.???
“For most of them, they’ve had enough?” Looks like the intimidation tactics worked, then. If only Obama’s green energy investment strategies were half as effective.
VanderSloot says he came through this audit-palooza with flying colors, and actually came out with reduced tax exposure due to a minor adjustment the IRS ordered him to make. But this little burst of aggressive “customer service,” as Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller referred to it during House hearings on Friday, ended up costing the targeted Romney donor over $80,000 for lawyers, accountants, and other professional services. Remember, citizens: supporting the wrong candidate in an election can be very expensive!
Matthew Boyle at Breitbart News lists more audits that may have been politically motivated, going far beyond the rough treatment given to the nonprofit applications of conservative groups:
In addition to VanderSloot, the IRS audited the conservative Leadership Institute in 2012 and requested records including such things as the identities of former interns and where they work now. The IRS also audited several other groups like the conservative women???s group the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute in 2011, and other who were audited have come forward to Breitbart News but do not yet want to go on the record for this series for fear of further reprisal.
Wayne Allyn Root, author of The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide and frequent HUMAN EVENTS contributor, suspects that audits directed at himself and over a dozen Romney donors were politically motivated:
Then there’s the extensive inter-agency “customer service” provided to True the Vote and King Street Patriots founder Catherine Engelbrecht, chronicled at National Review by Jillian Kay Melchior. After applying for tax exempt status for these organizations in 2010, she says she was quizzed by the FBI about an individual who attended one King Street Patriots meeting. Her business was aggressively audited by the IRS. Her nonprofit application for True the Vote received the long, slow, intrusive examination reserved for dissidents, including a demand for every single Facebook post and Twitter message she ever wrote.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives suddenly decided to audit her business, which has the sort of licensing required to produce firearms, although it doesn’t make any. In fact, they performed such an unscheduled audit twice.
Then OSHA showed up for an inspection that the inspector described as inexplicable… followed by $25,000 in fines for what the inspector described as a “tightly-run shop.” After congressional Democrats targeted True the Vote for unspecified “voter suppression” activities, Engelbrecht’s business got hassled by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Hey, Democrats, if you want to investigate a real voter suppression scandal…
Republican Rep. Ted Poe of Texas is already on the case, and has asked the Justice Department for an investigation, in addition to filing Freedom of Information Act requests concerning the treatment Engelbrecht and her groups received:
Private citizens should not be punished for questioning government. This is America, not a Third World dictatorship or the Soviet Union.
This type of government oppression and political opposition is disturbing. I’ve written Attorney General Eric Holder to request him to direct the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to investigate any potential violation of the Hatch Act that may have occurred by IRS employees. I’ve also asked Attorney General Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate all of this.
No government should be requiring citizens to furnish their schedules, donor lists, personal communications or political beliefs to any government agency. No government agency–whether it’s the IRS, the FBI, the ATF, or OSHA–should be used as a tool to suppress those who are considered “opposition groups” and dare to question our government.
The IRS is abusing its power to tax by harassing and punishing those who have been “taxed enough already.”
It’s unlikely the media would dismiss all of these suspiciously-timed audits and investigations as mere coincidence if liberal groups were suffering through them after a Republican president, or his re-election campaign, singled them with public accusations of improper behavior. At the very least, an awful lot of “low level rogue employees” at various agencies seem to have very careful note of which groups President Obama and his political team disapproved of.