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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Conservative And Free Markets Organizations Urge Congress To Stop IRS 501(C)4 Rule

Using IRS To Limit Conservative Free Speech
by AF "Tony" Branco
Today in a letter, leaders of numerous conservative and free markets groups representing people urge the U.S. Congress to stop the IRS from codifying its supression of conservative groups via IRS 501(C)4 Rule In Omnibus. In full disclosure, several contributing authors and published authors on the ARRA News Service and sources of material published by the ARRA News Service are included in the list of signer. These writers and sources are identified. The letter follows:January 9, 2014
Dear Members of Congress:

As the people’s duly elected representatives, it is imperative that Congress step in and stop the IRS from codifying its suppression of conservative groups. This rogue agency can clearly not be left to police itself, and we therefore urge you to include language in the omnibus appropriations bill to stop the IRS from pursuing rulemaking in this area and to continue robust oversight of this agency.

The IRS confessed to targeting conservative groups in a stunning abuse of power. While initially blamed on a small number of so-called "rogue agents" in Cincinnati, subsequent investigations revealed that high-level IRS officials in Washington, DC actually removed case files of conservative and tea party groups from Cincinnati to Washington, where they stalled action for years, sent lengthy and intrusive questionnaires, and undermined the rights of association and speech of conservatives.

Nobody has been held accountable for these outrageous abuses. Indeed, the apparent ringleader of the suppression scheme, Lois Lerner, was granted six months of paid administrative leave and then allowed to retire with her full pension. Suppression of political dissent has been rewarded. Even worse, the IRS now proposes not to rectify its own misbehavior, but to blame the victims and effectively codify its own misdeeds by adopting draconian limitations on the free speech rights of 501(c)4 social welfare groups via regulation.

The IRS proposal would restrict the free speech rights of such groups by arbitrarily deeming political a wide variety of activities in the newly-created category of “Candidate-Related Political Activity,” which includes voter registration drives, candidate debates, voter guides, voting records and key votes. They would restrict any criticism of an incumbent federal, state, or local politician within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election and effectively require groups to remove any reference to politicians from their websites during these windows. They even distort the definition of "candidate" to include appointees, so groups weighing in on executive or judicial nominations would be restricted.

These draconian rules will effectively muzzle 501(c)4 groups in the run-up to November’s mid-term elections while unfairly exempting 501(c)5 labor unions that support liberal candidates and causes.

The rules proceed from the assumption that political engagement and discussion of health care, government spending, and other public policy issues and the merits of nominees who implement them cannot logically be part and parcel of a social welfare mission. This is not what the law requires and it is inconsistent with longstanding historical practice and understanding.

While Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code specifically bars those organizations from engaging in political activity, no such statutory prohibition exists in Section 501(c)(4). For half a century the IRS has defined “social welfare” in our democratic society to include activities such as nonpartisan get-out-the-vote drives, voter registration, and voter education on issues of public concern.

The 501(c)(4) category has always been the home of groups that advocate public policy and hold politicians accountable for the policies they pursue at every level of government. The IRS is disregarding these facts and severely limiting rights of association and speech, especially for smaller grassroots groups that cannot easily afford high-priced lawyers to navigate complex new rules.

This latest IRS power grab must be stopped, and we urge you to do so in the omnibus appropriations bill.

Sincerely,
Jim Martin, Chairman, 60 Plus Association (2)
Melissa Ortiz, Founder/Principal, Able Americans
Phil Kerpen, President, American Commitment (1)
Dan Schneider, Executive Director, American Conservative Union (2)
Thomas Pyle, President, American Energy Alliance (2)
Sandy Rios, Director of Governmental Affairs, American Family Association (2)
Mark Fitzgibbons, President of Corporate Affairs, American Target Advertising, Inc.
Gary L. Bauer, President, American Values (1)(2)
Brent Gardner, Director of Federal Affairs, Americans for Prosperity (2)
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform (1) (2)
John Tate, President, Campaign for Liberty (2)
Susan Carleson, Chairman/President, Carleson Center Welfare Reform Action Fund
Sean Noble, President, Center to Protect Patient Rights
Jeffrey Mazzella, President, Center for Individual Freedom (1) (2)
Matt Patterson, President, Center for Worker Freedom
Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness* (1) (2)
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President, Center for Security Policy*
Tom Minnery, President, CitizenLink (2)
Chris Chocola, President, Club for Growth (1) (2)
Gary Aldrich, President and Chairman of the Board, CNP Action, Inc.
Penny Nance, President and CEO, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (2)
Peter J. Thomas, Chairman, The Conservative Caucus (2)
Mattie Duppler, Executive Director, Cost of Government Center
Thomas A. Schatz, President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (1) (2)
Christopher J. Conover, PhD, Research Scholar, Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research* Duke University*
Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director, Digital Liberty
Brian Baker, President, Ending Spending
Ralph Reed, Chairman, Faith & Freedom Coalition
Larry Cirignano, President, Faithful Catholic Citizens
Dick Patten, President, Family Business Defense Council
Paul Caprio, Executive Director, Family Pac Federal
Kenneth R. Timmerman, President & CEO, Foundation for Democracy in Iran
James S. Gilmore III, President, Free Congress Action
Coley Jackson, President, Freedom Action
Matt Kibbe, President, FreedomWorks (1) (2)
George Landrith, President, Frontiers of Freedom
Aaron Stover, Director of Development, Eastern Region, The Heartland Institute (2)
Michael Needham, Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Action (2)
Mario H. Lopez, President, Hispanic Leadership Fund
Michael Smith, Esq., President, Home School Legal Defense Association
Heather R. Higgins, President, Independent Women’s Voice
Andrew Langer, President, Institute for Liberty (2)
Seton Motley, President, Less Government (1) (2)
Colin A. Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring
Christopher Arps, Co-Founder, Move-On-Up.org
Lew Uhler, President, National Tax Limitation Committee
Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union (2)
Dave Wallace, II, Founder, Restore America's Mission
Ken Hoagland, Chairman, Restore America's Voice
Lawrence A. Hunter, President, Social Security Institute
David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Judson Phillips, President, Tea Party Nation (2)
Amy Kremer, Chairman, Tea Party Express (2)
Jenny Beth Martin, Co-Founder, Tea Party Patriots (2)
Todd Cefaratti, Founder, TheTeaParty.Net (2)
C. Preston Noell III, President, Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Carl Bearden, Executive Director, United for Missouri
Morton Blackwell, Chairman, The Weyrich Lunch (1) (2)
Ron Robinson, President, Young America's Foundation (2)
Terry T. Campo, President, YR Alumni Network, Inc.
*Affiliations for identification purposes only.
---------------
Disclosure:
1. Contributing authors and published authors, ARRA News Service.
2. Sources of material published by the ARRA News Services

Tags: conservatives, free market, organizations, letter, letter to Congress, IRS, IRS rule, 501(C)4, limiting free speech, free speech To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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