Freedom of Speech Frightens Obama
The Obama administration is determined to further
limit the free speech of Americans.
The Obama administration on Tuesday moved to rein in the “dark money” groups that have spent millions of dollars in political campaigns without disclosing their donors.
In draft guidance to be issued by Treasury and the IRS, the administration proposes new standards for tax-exempt groups like the Karl Rove-linked Crossroads GPS.
“This proposed guidance is a first critical step toward creating clear-cut definitions of political activity by tax-exempt social welfare organizations,” said Mark Mazur, Treasury’s assistant secretary for tax policy reports The Hill.
The move springs directly from the controversy over IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, which began after compliance officers singled out political groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny.
|What part of "Congress shall make no law"|
do these bastards not understand.
The guidance, if adopted, would make clear that the promotion of social welfare — the stated purpose of so-called 501(c)(4) groups — does not include “candidate-related political activity.” At the same time, the administration is asking for input on how much social welfare work a group must engage in to qualify for 501(c)(4) status.
That could have major ramifications for the political nonprofits.
Under the proposed rules, groups with the exemption couldn't count political advertisements, participating in "get-out-the-vote" or voter registration drives or holding events involving candidates as "social welfare" work.
Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said the new draft guidance, to be published later Tuesday in the Federal Register, is intended to clear up ambiguity in the law.
“This is part of ongoing efforts within the IRS that are improving our work in the tax-exempt area,” Werfel said in a statement. “Once final, this proposed guidance will continue moving us forward and provide clarity for this important segment of exempt organizations.”
But groups with Tea Party links — like the American Center for Law and Justice — panned the rules as a diversion, and accused the Obama administration of starting "a new front in its war against political dissent."
“This is a feeble attempt by the Obama administration to justify its own wrong-doing with the IRS targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups,” said Jay Sekulow, ACLJ’s chief counsel.
“Instead of holding those responsible for the unlawful targeting scheme accountable for their actions, the Obama administration is determined to further limit the free speech of Americans by attempting to change constitutional practices that are decades old.”
Top Republicans on Capitol Hill accused the Obama administration of a rush to judgment, and of preempting congressional investigations into IRS targeting.
“Before rushing forward with new rules, especially ones that appear to make it harder to engage in public debate, I would hope Treasury would let all the facts come out first — something they could achieve by fully cooperating with Congress in the investigation,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), the top Republican on the Finance Committee, chided the administration for releasing the new guidance before a bipartisan Senate investigation into the targeting of Tea Party groups came to a close.