Top legal expert calls it ‘2nd front’ in war on conservatives
(Tea Party) – New rules proposed by the IRS would prevent conservative groups like the Tea Party from having any impact on the 2014 mid-term elections like they did when the Republicans gained the majority control of the House of Representatives in 2010.
Cleta Mitchell, partner in the Washington-based law firm Foley and Lardner, is urging people to fight back. “Non-profit groups must prepare to fight back [against] the IRS on yet a second front.” Mitchell is well-known for providing expert legal advice to conservative groups that seek tax-exempt status.
Warns Mitchell, “This is a real assault on the First Amendment rights of American citizens, and we need to do everything we can to stop the IRS from implementing these new rules.”
In this YouTube video, Mitchell explains the goal of the IRS which is to limit free speech.
It is “impractical, burdensome and unacceptable for the IRS to interject itself into the workings of every citizens group in the country,” explains Mitchell. She argues that the legally constituted function of the IRS is to collect tax revenues, “not to snoop and trample on First Amendment rights of the citizens.”
The Obama Administration and the Democrats are concerned that campaigning that the conservative tax-exempt groups will do on behalf of Republican candidates for Congress could increase the Republican majority in the House and destroy the Democrats hold on the Senate, explains Mitchell.
Congressional Democrats are very vulnerable now given the Obamacare debacle. The fiasco of what was to be Obama’s health care legacy was witnessed nationwide. Added to that is the increasing economic data that shows job growth is slowing and Americans are dropping out of the labor force in historic numbers.
How to Oppose the Proposed IRS Ruling
Comments opposing the proposed rule changes may be submitted electronically at Regulations.gov, searching for citation IRS REG-134417-13. Results will yield a page entitled “Guidance for Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Organization on Candidate-Related Political Activities.” The proposed rules are in the Federal Register under the same title with a date of Nov. 29, 2013.
Mitchell is advising clients to file comments before February 27, 2014, which is the deadline. Comments can be filed in response to a series of new regulations being proposed by the IRS that will prohibit conservative organizations with a 501 (c) 4 status in the upcoming November election from any activity that supports a candidate or influences the outcome of an election.
“Conservative groups that do not submit comments to the IRS opposing these rule changes before the Feb. 27 deadline will not have standing to participate in the final rule-determination process required by law before the rules are implemented,” Mitchell stated.
Mitchell is recommending that in their comments conservative groups and individuals insist that the IRS hold public hearings around the nation before the proposed new rules are implemented.
War Against Conservatives Heating Up
“With these new regulations,” argues Mitchell, “the goal is to restrict the free speech of conservatives in the United States. Progressives tend to focus on process issues, and these new IRS regulations are a direct attempt by the political left to rewrite the rules of political engagement unfairly in their favor.”
Just last week it was announced that the Justice Department selected Obama campaign contributor and Democrat party contributor, Barbara Kay Bosserman, a DOJ trial lawyer, to head the criminal investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups scandal.
Mitchell explained that which the IRS seeks to define as “candidate-related political activities,” subject to taxation and reporting to the IRS, are basic 501(c)4 activities. These activities include grassroots lobbying, candidate forums and debates, voter registration drives, voter guides and issue advocacy.
“The IRS is fully aware this is a war in which conservative groups are being targeted,” Mitchell explains. She noted that labor unions or trade associations are not subject to the proposed new IRS rules. “The Obama administration is not looking for ways to restrain labor unions from using member dues to conduct similar activities.”
History has shown that labor unions have typically backed Democratic Party candidates since the end of World War II. The upsurge in tax-exempt filings has predominantly come from conservatives, particularly the many Tea Party groups that have formed since 2008.