Friday, March 7, 2014

Obomination: The IRS War on Free Speech

The upcoming March 21 RNLA Policy Conference will examine the unprecedented efforts of the Obama Administration’s IRS to interfere with political speech.  While Republicans are talking the most about this scandal, the recent efforts of the IRS to impose further restrictions on speech are even being attacked by the far left.  

The deadline for comments on the proposed rule to restrict political activity by 501(c)(4) organizations was last week. While Harry Reid is ranting about the Koch brothers, a George-Soros funded group joined with Koch funded groups in opposing the IRS proposed regulations:

Our[Justice at Stake] concern is that these proposed rule changes could create unintended consequences for courts. In fact, we think that in some ways, they could actually inadvertently exacerbate the problem the IRS is trying to solve.” . . .

He said the rules could contribute to a “voter vacuum” that already afflicts judicial races, and that such a situation attracts special interests. And the new definition of “candidate,” he said, appears to be ”a solution in search of a problem.

Eight former Federal Election Commission (FEC) commissioners agree with this as they said in their letter commenting on the regulations:

The proposed rules would severely restrict the First Amendment-protected political activity of nonprofit advocacy organizations. It seems obvious that this is the second stage in the Obama Administration’s attempt to silence its critics – first they targeted Tea Party and other conservative organizations to delay their IRS applications for tax-exempt status, and now they are changing the rules to make it almost impossible for them to operate.”

As one of the signers of the letter, Hans Von Spakovsky points out:

As one, we condemned the agency’s attempt to “interfere with the system of campaign finance regulation established by Congress.”
Our joint comment pointed out that the IRS lacks statutory authority to restrict the political activity of 501(c)(4)s and that the proposed rules do not respect Supreme Court precedent. They would “confuse regulated entities” and “seriously undermine the First Amendment rights and protections of the Constitution.” Bizarrely, some of the language proposed by the IRS is “almost identical to a provision of federal campaign finance law that the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional” in Citizens United.

The Obama Administration's  use of the IRS as a political tool to further their agenda must be stopped, for the sake of all advocates of free speech on the left and right.  

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