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Conservatives Richard Falknor on 12 Jan 2014 09:45 pm

NEW: Crucial WSJ Report! Tea-Party-Gag Rule: Will Appropriators Wolf & Harris Push Back?

UPDATES (scroll to bottom for earlier updates)–
  • Angelo Codevilla bells [January 19] the GOP Leadership Cat here in his LibertyLaw post “Congress Slouches Towards Illegitimacy” –
“True as it is that Senate majority leader Harry Reid has done much to institutionalize today’s opaque, irresponsible way of governing, it is just as true that the Republican leaders’ protestations of nostalgia for ‘regular order’ have been pro forma. They are just as happy as Democrats with being accountable chiefly to lobbyists and even more interested in marginalizing conservative grass roots voters.
It is an open question – and an irrelevant one – whether Democrats or Republicans were the more responsible for excluding from this ‘omnibus’ bill a proposal to prevent the Internal Revenue Service from harassing conservative groups ahead of the 2014 elections as it did prior to the elections of 2012. The harassing will not stop, and no one can know who trashed the proposal to stop it, because because both parties share a partisan interest in its continuation.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

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Tea-Party-Gag Rule: Will Appropriators Wolf & Harris Push Back?

We face a burning threat to conservative political activities that Reaganites and Constitutional Conservatives need to extinguish while there is still time: the proposed IRS rule muzzling independent conservative and libertarian  organizations, Tea Partiers, and their allied state and local voices.

The looming Omnibus Appropriations Bill for FY 2014 offers the surest avenue to shut down this proposed IRS rule to silence independent conservative and libertarian organizations.

This vital freedom concern relates directly to appropriators Frank Wolf of Virginia and Andy Harris of Maryland.

For Mr. Wolf is a “cardinal” in the House: a long-time member of that chamber’s appropriations panel, and Dr Harris, Maryland’s only GOP Representative, is a newer member of that key committee.

We would urge Mr. Wolf to cap his distinguished career in behalf of religious freedom and national security by insisting on provisions defunding any such anti-free-speech IRS rule in the must-pass FY2014 appropriations behemoth.

Dr. Harris should follow suit.

Proposed “Tea Party” IRS Rules would effectively
shut down the advocacy roles of 501(c)(4) organizations.

Mathew Staver (Liberty Counsel Action) and Mark Trammell (Liberty Center for Law & Policy) give us chapter and verse on this proposed new IRS muzzling power–

  • “Prohibits using words like ‘oppose,’ ‘vote,’ ‘support,’ ‘defeat,’ and ‘reject.’
  • Prohibits mentioning, on its website or on any communication (email, letter, etc.) that would reach 500 people or more, the name of a candidate for office, 30 days prior to a primary election and 60 days prior to a general election.
  • Prohibits mentioning the name of a political party, 30 days prior to a primary election and 60 days prior to a general election, if that party has a candidate running for office.
  • Prohibits voter registration drives or conducting a non partisan ‘get-out-the-vote drive.’
  • Prohibits creating or distributing voter guides outlining how incumbents voted on particular bills.
  • Prohibits hosting candidates for office at any event, including debates and charitable fundraisers, 30 days prior to a primary election or 60 days prior to a general election, if the candidate is part of the event’s program.
  • Prohibits distributing any materials prepared on behalf of a candidate for office.
  • Restricts employees of such organizations from volunteering.
  • Restricts the ability of officers and leaders of such organizations to make public statements regarding the nomination of judges.
  • Creates a 90-day blackout period, on an election year, that restricts the speech of §501(c)(4) organizations.
  • Declares political activity as contrary to the promotion of social welfare.
  • Protects labor unions and trade associations [e.g., the anti-Tea Party Chamber of Commerce] by not including them under the proposed regulations.”  (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Staver and Trammell also point out–

“Not only do these regulations create a 90-day blackout period, in an election year, where §501(c)(4) organizations would not be permitted to use a candidate’s name or party name in any communication intended to reach 500 people or more, but the proposed regulations also restrict the ability of leaders within these organizations to speak publicly regarding legislative matters of public concern and to volunteer.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Read their entire analysis here.

Essential: take the time to listen via YouTube here to free-political-speech expert Cleta Mitchell.

Conservative lawyer Mitchell puts this Obama IRS initiative into the broader context of the Left’s current agenda to cripple our political process.

Meanwhile last Thursday 55-plus conservative and free-market organizations declared to members of the Congress–

“This latest IRS power grab must be stopped, and we urge you to do so in the omnibus appropriations bill.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Virginians will recognize Morton Blackwell among the many signers.

The proposed regulation is, of course, a revolutionary assault. The very revolutionary nature of this administration is, as we have written, difficult for ordinary GOP incumbents and operatives to grasp, let alone combat. Which is why conservative activists must fully join this battle.

One would have to be willfully blind, however, not to see that the Beltway GOP and their crony-capitalist donors also benefit from the proposed rule — and without their fingerprints on it. This cabal has already declared war against the conservative base.

And will this IRS proposed rule, unless stopped, go into effect just in time to head off serious grass-roots resistance to amnesty and open borders?

Tea Partiers and their allies need to make a big enough noise right away to arouse House GOP members against this grave attack on our liberties!

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  •  Today January 17 the WSJ’s Kim Strassel revealed here “IRS Targeting and 2014: Democrats are working hard to make sure conservative groups are silenced in the 2014 midterms”: “Yet my sources say that throughout the negotiations Democrats went all in on keeping the IRS rule, even though it meant losing their own priorities. In the final hours before the omnibus was introduced Monday night, the administration made a last push for IMF money. Asked to negotiate that demand in the context of new IRS language, it refused.” (Highlighting Forum’s) Read all of investigator Strassel’s report here
  • Today January 15 Andrew Stiles reports here “Spending Bill Fails to Block New IRS Rules.” NRO’s Stiles seems to suggest (“the good news”) that the enactment of House Ways and Means chief Dave Camp’s bill “that would temporarily prohibit the IRS and U.S. Treasury Department from implementing the new 501(c)(4) restrictions” is a realistic possibility. We see Mr. Camp’s measure, on the other hand, as a showy substitute for action not taken on the must-pass “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014” which has already left the station, not as a likely vehicle to stop these proposed restrictions.
  • Last Wednesday January 8, former senior House appropriator Ernest Istook warned here in his “IRS to get ‘license to kill’ groups that oppose Obama agenda”(Washington Times): “Congress can block the regulations. But unless they do that as part of the IRS budget that will pass Congress in the next week or two, there won’t be another opportunity this year to block these regulations.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

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