Today brought some riveting testimony from victims of IRS abuse before the House Ways and Means Committee.
Dr. Karen Kenney of the San Fernando Valley Tea Party Patriots, related the madness of an intrusive questionnaire with 35 topics and 80 sub-topics, which she was expected to complete in just 20 days, under penalty of perjury. One of the questions asked her to list the ways her organization was condoning or promoting illegal activities. “I think the IRS needs to fix its labeling machine,” Kenney said sarcastically. “We’re the San Fernando Valley Patriots, not Occupy Oakland.”
She eventually gave up on the “costly and exhausting IRS process,” but kept her organization going with her own money and a few modest donations kept n a cake tin. “Like patriots before us, we persevere,” she declared. “The voice of this Republic resides in our citizens, not in the tongue of government. More must grasp that self-evident truth. This dialogue is about the jackboot of tyranny upon the field of our founding documents. To whisper the letters ‘IRS’ strikes a shrill note on Main Street, USA, but when this behemoth tramples upon America’s grassroots, few hear the snapping sounds.”
Susan Martinek, president of the Coalition for Life of Iowa, talked about the IRS inquisition into the conduct of her group’s prayer meetings, and the “educational” content of their protest signs. She was eventually instructed by the IRS not to protest outside Planned Parenthood offices.
Becky Gerritson of the Alabama Tea Party was one of several who testified that they received intimidating letters personally signed by the infamous Lois Lerner, the IRS official currently on paid administrative leave. “This is a willful act of intimidation to discourage a point of view,” charged Gerritson. “What the government did to our little group in Wetumpka, Alabama is un-American.”
“I’m not interested in scoring political points. I want to protect and preserve the America that I grew up in, the America that people cross oceans and risk their lives to become a part of, and I’m terrified that it is slipping away,” Gerritson testified.
John Eastman of the National Organization for Marriage said he has forensic proof the IRS handed his group’s confidential information over to their political adversaries, the pro-gay-marriage Human Rights Campaign. (Details of their case against the IRS, and the evidence Eastman alluded to, can be found here.) He talked about how his donors were harassed after their privacy was violated. He also had some fiery words for Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer, one of several Democrats who stepped forward to defend the IRS.
The Hall of Shame award for the defense of tyranny goes to Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), whose resume includes distributing illegal wiretaps of Newt Gingrich’s cell phone conversations. McDermott says those rascally Tea Party groups invited IRS abuse by daring to pursue the sort of tax exemptions that should be reserved for liberals. It’s no big deal, really, because Obama didn’t dispatch armed troops to keep conservative groups from organizing.
To hear this sleazy character talk, you’d think liberal applicants were experiencing the same kind of intrusive questions and endless stonewalling as the targeted conservatives, Tea Partiers, pro-lifers, and pro-Israel organizations. Why, you’d almost forget that Lois Lerner of the IRS detonated this scandal bomb by admitting to her agency’s discrimination against conservatives and apologizing for it.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) returned fire at McDermott:
As did Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), who amplified on a point Ryan raised by taking note of the very smooth ride enjoyed by Barack Obama’s pet “nonprofit” group, Organizing for Action. “I would humbly ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle: is that political?”