To anyone with any sense of political propriety, the growing story of IRS abuses targeting conservative groups is unsettling. Even they who are supportive of the administration at the Main Street level of American politics must realize that with a change of administration, groups and individuals of their political orientation could be the next targets. But the IRS isn’t the only agency involved in this targeting, which even more clearly validates the thesis that it’s all coordinated from the White House, and not just some “rogue agents.”
We now know the IRS was targeting applications for non-profit status by conservative groups. We also know, from recent revelations, that the Department of Justice (which seems increasingly to be an oxymoron) has been targeting media organizations and reporters that are seen to pose a threat to the administration. But that’s just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
The IRS is further implicated in this web of corruption by their audit division. Idaho resident Frank VanderSloot served as a national co-chair to the Mitt Romney campaign, and was a major donor. In April, 2012, the Obama Campaign published a scurrilous piece on their website, attacking the character of eight conservatives who were backing Romney, including VanderSloot.
Shortly after that posting, VanderSloot was subjected to three federal government audits. Two of those were by the IRS, one for his personal income and one for his businesses. The other was a Labor Department audit of one of his businesses. Is this a coincidence? Not according to VanderSloot, who said he “wasn’t the only one” on that list that received the royal Obama treatment.
In 2009 and 2011, Gibson Guitar Corporation was raided by armed federal agents from the FBI and the Justice Department, for allegedly using “endangered” wood in the construction of their acoustic guitars. The agents seized raw materials, electronic files and finished guitars. The raid cost the company over $3 million, not including a $300,000 settlement with the government. None of Gibson’s competitors received this kind of treatment, even though Martin & Co. is known to use exactly the same “endangered” wood. The difference? Gibson CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, actively supports Republican candidates, while Martin’s CEO, Chris Martin IV is a Democrat supporter.
Catherine Engelbrecht, saw a need to educate citizens to prevent voter fraud. She founded a non-profit organization, True the Vote, for that express purpose. Her organization’s non-profit filing was one of those held up for years by the IRS’s “Advocacy Group,” which has admitted to targeting conservative groups.
After filing for tax-exempt status, she has gone through four IRS audits; two of their personal finances, and two of their family business. Her business was also inspected several times by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), where only minor issues were found, but they were fined $25,000. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) made an unannounced audit of her business. And not to be outdone, the FBI started contacting them, probing for improprieties. Neither the ATF nor the FBI could find anything to charge them with. It was all harassment.
To believe all of this is coincidental is tantamount to suspension of all cognitive functionality. It is targeted, coordinated, and implemented with the precision that would make Stalin, Mao, or Hitler envious.
Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal revealed a year ago that the president maintained an “enemies list.” Not enemies of the state, but people who oppose his agenda and are outspoken in their opposition. As she said, “Any president who targets a private citizen for his politics is de facto engaged in government intimidation and threats. This is why presidents since Nixon have carefully avoided the practice. Save Mr. Obama, who acknowledges no rules.”
Peter Wehner in Commentary Magazine said recently, “We have seen from this White House Nixonian tendencies and, it would appear, a burning anger and resentment toward its critics. Whether it’s Fox News, the Chamber of Commerce, or companies that sponsor reports that take issue with the administration’s assessments, there seems to be a cast of mind that views critics as enemies, as individuals and institutions that need to be ridiculed, delegitimized, or ruined… there are lines that ought not to be crossed, temptations that need to be resisted, and people in the White House who need to say ‘no’ to tactics that begin to drag an administration, and a country, down.”
Obama and his cronies have painted targets on groups and individuals who don’t buy into their statist ideology, and his henchmen in the federal government take the shots. And the proof that it’s coming from the very top is in the pervasive use of government agencies to stifle dissent and intimidate critics. It’s not just the IRS, but includes the Labor Department, the Department of Justice, FBI, ATF, and OSHA.
These are the consequences of sending a Machiavellian to lead a government that has such expansive control of our lives. Obama and his gaggle of “Csars” and government henchmen are only curtailed in their insidious intimidation and attacks on his political adversaries by bringing the administration’s atrocities to light. These are the tactics of tyrants, and have no place in America!
AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can connect with him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rlarsenen.