Obama responds to IRS abuse scandal by adding more regulations to abuse

posted at 8:51 pm on November 26, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

The problem with the IRS abuse scandal, in which the government agency was found to be systematically discriminating against conservative non-profits, is that a complex and vague campaign finance law system gives the government powers it shouldn’t have to decide which citizens are worthy of organizing for political speech and which are not. Lois Lerner, whose boss is an ideological president who was constantly saying Tea Party groups were doing shady things with their money, was in a position to make value judgments about what kind of political speech should be allowed the favor of the federal government. That’s a bad idea.

But not to the aforementioned ideological president whose solution to this is to put more power in bureaucrats’ hands to regulate political speech. Yay!

In an aggressive move designed to crack down on free-spending outside political groups, the Obama administration is proposing strict new rules curtailing nonprofits like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the pro-Obama Priorities USA.

The draft proposal, released Tuesday by the Treasury Department, would keep so-called social welfare 501(c)(4) nonprofits from getting a tax exemption if they engage in too much “candidate related” political activity.

The groups were at the heart of this summer’s scandal over Internal Revenue Service targeting of tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax exemptions.

Hey, I’m sure it’ll all go swimmingly this time and no one will ever abuse their power again in deciding who gets fancy treatment from the government and who doesn’t. The IRS inspector general recommended a tightening of the rules.

The new regulations would affect a broad swath of political nonprofit groups that have come to play an outsized and influential role in federal elections.

Crossroads, founded by George W. Bush adviser Rove, along with its sister super PAC together spent $325 million in 2011 and 2012 against Obama and Senate Democrats. Priorities, set up by former Obama aide Bill Burton, raised $10.7 million in the 2012 cycle.

Dozens of these political nonprofits have used 501(c)(4) tax status as a way to shield their donors.

These groups can spend millions to back federal candidates and run issue ads because of ambiguity and uncertainty about the current IRS rules governing political spending by 501(c)(4)s.

These groups can spend millions to back federal candidates and run issue ads because of free speech. Fixed that for you. This time, the government is going to give us a much better definition of social welfare, you see, and that’ll fix everything.

The new draft Treasury and IRS regulations would explicitly exempt certain political activity on behalf of candidates as counting toward the promotion of “social welfare.”

For example, candidate-related political activity includes communications within 60 days of a general election clearly identifying a candidate or party.

It’s remarkable how scared of unleashing free speech campaign finance types are. Behold the fear:

“The abuse of social welfare groups for political activity has been an embarrassment to our democratic system. Too often, 501s have simply become a front for corporate political mobsters to anonymously exert their power over our elections,” Orton said.

”What this will do is establish a clearer regime,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch program. Public Citizen has been pushing the IRS to establish clearer guidelines concerning nonprofits for years.

Gilbert added that the IRS should also address the role that other 501(c) groups can play in politics — including 501(c)(6) groups which include chambers of commerce and business leagues.

More to come. Goody.

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Hmm. No mention of Unions? go figure.

JusDreamin on November 26, 2013 at 8:59 PM

”What this will do is establish a clearer the power of the regime,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch program. Public Citizen has been pushing the IRS to establish clearer guidelines concerning nonprofits for years.

Fixed it for accuracy. Because this is what it’s all about to this lot.

Dissent is not only no longer “patriotic”, it will soon be a Federal offense. (But only if you dare to disagree with the “progressives”.)

clear ether

eon

eon on November 26, 2013 at 9:08 PM

“candidate related” political activity.

Liberal Democrats suck! Come and get me IRS!

Rovin on November 26, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Preznit Tinpot.

Bishop on November 26, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Hmm. No mention of Unions? go figure.

JusDreamin on November 26, 2013 at 8:59 PM

yup, odd huh?
also never see anyone talk about the unions when bitching about citizens united.

dmacleo on November 26, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Seriously, we can all expect major strong-arming by the Federal government in the months to come. With O’Care in utter turmoil, Obama and his hierarchy will do everything “beyond their power” to keep the majority silenced. And you can bet the farm they’ll be coming after the new media very soon.

Rovin on November 26, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Double down. I love it. Obama is so predictable. To everyone, that is, but Republicans.

rrpjr on November 26, 2013 at 9:22 PM

They cited OFA too. As if they would comply, or not fly under the radar.

wolly4321 on November 26, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Obama may not know anything about the economy but he does know what it takes to steal an election and he’s making the preparations for 2014 right now. He’ll set the rules and, even if they aren’t constitutional, it will take years to fight them out, in the meantime they get the desired result.

This administration is the most duplicitous I’ve ever seen. I’m sure the MSM will allow them to get away with it too. It may be time to revolt, give them so many different organizations to go after they won’t have the agents, they won’t have the time, and they’ll see rebellion which they can’t handle.

bflat879 on November 26, 2013 at 9:27 PM

bflat879 on November 26, 2013 at 9:27 PM

It may be time to be revolt(ing)… I like your idea!! ^ 5

Scrumpy on November 26, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Double down. I love it. Obama is so predictable. To everyone, that is, but Republicans.

rrpjr on November 26, 2013 at 9:22 PM

But still… their successes are more due to Republican complicity and apathy than to anything else.
What have all these hearings accomplished? Anything? Soundbites and youtube videos. Not much more.

JellyToast on November 26, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Ein Denkend, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer.

VorDaj on November 26, 2013 at 9:45 PM

The Stasi didn’t have a supercooled data collection center and 400 billion bullets.

Just sayin’

Paper ballots are great, until you run them through and electronic reader and digitize.

But back on topic,, they will only enforce regs on enemies. Turn a blind eye on supporters.

That’s a coup.

wolly4321 on November 26, 2013 at 9:45 PM

It’s remarkable how scared of unleashing free speech campaign finance types are.

McCain/Feingold.

VorDaj on November 26, 2013 at 9:49 PM

So now we know that Dear Leader used the IRS to get reelected…the coup rumbles on.

d1carter on November 26, 2013 at 9:51 PM

…can you believe a POS community organizer is President…of the United States of America!…and we’re all awake!

KOOLAID2 on November 26, 2013 at 9:55 PM

What drives Obama is his inborn nature, which is similar to that of a vampyroteuthis Infernalis, lit. “Vampire Squid from Hell“, ramming his blood funnel into every part of America to suck dry all remaining privacy and individual freedoms. His freedom killing blood lust and pyromania will not be satiated unless the United States Constitution, especially including it’s Bill of Rights, and most especially the First, Second and Fourth Amendments, is a withered and incinerated corpse. As this throwback fascist monstrosity no longer has to concern himself with reelection the mask will now soon come completely off and he will go into a rabid freedom killing totalitarian frenzy such as this nation has never before even imagined.

VorDaj on November 26, 2013 at 9:56 PM

What have all these hearings accomplished? Anything? Soundbites and youtube videos. Not much more.

JellyToast on November 26, 2013 at 9:43 PM

I like to remind you that it was the procedure that got the folks riled up in Colorado enough to remove two gun-control politicians—not their ideology. My point is, if these egregiously blatant moves/procedures continue on a national scale, (hopefully) the similar result will take place next November. People don’t like being told they can’t be part of the process or debate by any government.

Rovin on November 26, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Are these the groups that payed for all the ACA ads? They are setting the ground work to hamper the 2014 elections.

The way that the Dem’s stole the election in 2012 was by .01% point plus a .10% they mad small changes that each gave them a small advantage but in the end they all added up to the 10-15% that they needed to win.

They are just setting things up to do the same. The Healthcare could be fixed in a heartbeat, the time is just not yet. wait it will happen.

jpcpt03 on November 26, 2013 at 10:25 PM

But still… their successes are more due to Republican complicity and apathy than to anything else.
What have all these hearings accomplished? Anything? Soundbites and youtube videos. Not much more.

JellyToast on November 26, 2013 at 9:43 PM

You nailed it.

rrpjr on November 26, 2013 at 11:01 PM

VorDaj on November 26, 2013 at 9:56 PM

One of the most original critiques I’ve heard. I like it.

rrpjr on November 26, 2013 at 11:04 PM

But still… their successes are more due to Republican complicity and apathy than to anything else.
What have all these hearings accomplished? Anything? Soundbites and youtube videos. Not much more.

JellyToast on November 26, 2013 at 9:43 PM

.
You nailed it.

rrpjr on November 26, 2013 at 11:01 PM

.
Dittos.

listens2glenn on November 26, 2013 at 11:21 PM

The trick is to stop thinking of it as ‘your’ money.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on November 26, 2013 at 11:58 PM

This is right scary stuff. It is none of their business what a 504c does with its efforts. It is speech.

If you think they can’t magic up the votes they need to cheat en masse, remember that two-thirds of all these supposed Twitter followers of these lame Democrat pigs are all invented and paid for out of thin air. Probably what the Medicaid databases are for, from healthcare.guv.

winoceros on November 27, 2013 at 1:48 AM

There is no hope of turning the country around without regulatory reform – in a serious way.

New regulations must be limited in scope without congressional authorization, and all regulations must be “sunsetted” – given a definite life span after which they must be specifically reauthorized by Congress individually.

Adjoran on November 27, 2013 at 2:30 AM

CORRUPTION

TX-96 on November 27, 2013 at 6:31 AM

Israel should drop a few bombs on the White House before or after dealing with Iran.

I would be most grateful indeed.

Sherman1864 on November 27, 2013 at 6:50 AM

We aren’t even going to resemble the USA when he is through.

ctmom on November 27, 2013 at 6:59 AM

Serfs don’t get to decide which freedoms they have and when they get to enjoy them. That’s for the experts to decide.

Obama’s campaign machine – OFA – is a 501(c)(4). But of course they don’t advocate too much in inappropriate ways.

gwelf on November 27, 2013 at 8:21 AM

No one is more outraged by the IRS abuses than Obama. That’s why he’s seen to it that things will get worse.

gwelf on November 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

”What this will do is establish a clearer regime,”

Oh, yes, that it will, that it will………

GWB on November 27, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Conservative 501(c)(4)’s to prosecuted to the fullest extent.

Liberal 501(c)(4)’s ….. not so much.

Carnac on November 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Gilbert added that the IRS should also address the role that other 501(c) groups can play in politics — including 501(c)(6) groups which include chambers of commerce and business leagues.

It is sad when some people see the Chamber of Commerce and other business associations as dangerous subversive organizations. Businesses have a greater interest in national and economic stability than about anyone else. If these are your enemies, then stability in the system is not what you are seeking.

KW64 on November 27, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Even the Nixon Administration wasn’t this Nixonian.

Or brazen.
Or contemptuous.

If you wanted confirmation that the IRS scandal was official policy of the Administration, these new regulations confirm it.

At this point, I don’t know who I hold in more contempt… The Administration for their abuses of power? The lapdog media for their bias via their refusal to cover the abuses of power of the Administration? Or the GOP House Leadership who don’t have exercising their constitutional oversight role or their responsibility to protect the American people first and foremost?

Athos on November 27, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Well, Obozo did say it would be easier to be president of China. So he’s just going to work to make the U.S. More like china! Problem solved!

KMC1 on November 27, 2013 at 11:46 AM

This whole thing will be delayed…

Ready for Hillary will object.

blammm on November 27, 2013 at 1:15 PM