Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How IRS Actions will Affect Elections for Years to Come

The ABA Standing Committee on Elections has drafted a report on “Election Delays in 2012.”  We will comment more on the substance later as we are still reviewing the report, but today we want to make a few observations on the reports sources or lack thereof.  A major problem with this report is not just the authors’ bias, but the inability of the authors to find non-liberal sources, a problem made worse by the IRS scandal. 

1.  Centrists, right-of-center moderates, and conservatives need to start funding groups from the center to the conservative perspective to study voting.  The report is almost solely based on left wing and liberal sources.  In small part that is the fault of centrist, moderate, or conservative donors who need to start giving money to groups that study voting from an ideology other than liberal. 

2.  Of course, giving to such groups is difficult in the environment set up by the IRS that attacked those right-of-center groups that could study voting.  For example, the Tea Party has a strong interest in stopping vote fraud and there can be little doubt that was part of the reason for the IRS targeting.  By handcuffing the smaller state based Tea Party groups interested in honest elections in their states, the IRS made studying voting let alone stopping vote fraud more difficult. 

3.  However that does not mean that the ABA report should have cited the studies it did.  Any report that cites studies such as those by the patiently biased Brennan Center, which acts as a Democrat Party front group or corrupt organizations like Project Vote, the sister organization of the disgraced and defunct ACORN is going to have questions raised on its validity.  In the rare case the report mentions a Tea Party group, they use the moniker "partisan" in front of them.  At a minimum, similar treatment in any unbiased report should be given to partisan liberal groups.   

If the IRS was doing its job, Democrat front groups like Brennan Center would have been investigated over non-partisan Tea Party groups.  Democrat and Republican commentators agree that the Tea Party at times disagreed with the Republican Party last cycle.  No one can find any example of the Brennan Center doing anything but trying to help elect Democrats.  

As Congress continues hearings into the IRS efforts to chill political speech, keep in mind that the effects of the IRS actions go beyond the last couple years.  They even make it more difficult for non-liberal sources to do such things as study voting since they were hampered in such efforts in the last election. 

As Speaker Boehner says “The IRS admitted to targeting conservatives, My question is who’s going to jail over this scandal?”  for the IRS scandal not only affects the last election, but decisions which are going to impact future elections. 

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