Urge Congress to punish those responsible for IRS harassment
May 20, 2013As most Americans are aware by now, under the Obama administration up to 500 Tea Party, educational, Christian and pro-life groups have been targeted by the IRS since 2009. Their requests for tax exempt status have been delayed, blocked, frustrated and denied.
Additionally, tax audits were launched against donors to the campaign of President Obama's presidential opponent. In other cases confidential IRS information about Obama's opponents may have been leaked to the press and to others. Such violations are punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
This obstruction has hindered the ability of conservative groups to inform and educate the American people on matters of paramount importance, and may have had a material effect on the 2012 presidential election.
In contrast, IRS officials have been unable to name even a single "progressive" group that received such withering scrutiny. This viewpoint discrimination blatantly violates First Amendment protections of freedom of religion and speech and may well be criminal.
Some specific and egregious examples of government harassment and intimidation:
- Dr. James Dobson was told the application for Family Talk Action would not be approved because he had "criticized President Obama," and the organization was deemed to be a "partisan right-wing group."
- The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was harassed shortly after running ads supporting natural marriage. The organization had to spend an exorbitant amount of time and funds "servicing IRS agents in our offices" over the issue.
- The Coalition for Life in Iowa was ordered to divulge to the IRS the content of their prayers, according to Rep. Aaron Schock, and to detail "the activities at...prayer meetings" as well as to "provide the percentage of time your organizations spends on prayer groups." The acting IRS commissioner refused to say such questions were inappropriate.
Hearings into this egregious and inexcusable IRS misconduct will be held this week in both the Senate and the House.
Urge your congressmen today to thoroughly investigate IRS misconduct, identify those responsible, and press to see that they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
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