Fox and their allies in Congress are going all out to make a major scandal out of the shenanigans at the IRS, but it’s sounding more and more like another partisan whinefest to your humble servant. Yesterday conservative "community service" groups told a House Ways and Means Committee hearing how the IRS had targeted them, and then last night they went to Fox Prime Time to tell their stories again. Greta Van Susteren hosted Kevin Kookogey from Linchpins of Liberty, which calls itself an "educational organization" and aims to develop leadership among younger people (though it seems to have not held any major events since 2011); and John Eastman from the National Organization for Marriage, whose “community services,” according to its Web site, include endorsing a candidate for NYC Mayor and lobbying to retain the traditional definition of marriage in Illinois.
After a long lead-in, complete with sensational Tabloid Music, Kookogey told Van Susteren that his group hadn’t yet been granted tax-exempt status despite waiting 29 months, and that he’d lost a grant that depended on achieving tax-exempt status. “And the executive director of that organization told me he had never seen such treatment of an -- by the IRS of an organization like mine."
Eastman’s complaint was more serious. He said confidential information on his group’s donors had been leaked to their arch-enemies the Human Rights Campaign, so that they could “publicize them and intimidate them away from giving any further money to support our cause.” He told Van Susteren he “knew for a fact” that information had come from the IRS because they found out that the leaked copies had the IRS code on it. He said there'd been some investigation but he wasn’t happy with how they did it. “They first investigated us to try and prove that it came from somebody within our organization. When that didn't pan out, that was the last we heard of the investigation.”
Any doubt in your minds that you were targeted, Van Susteren asked her guests? Oh they were sure of it. And what do they want to happen? Kookogey: “I want the truth….there's clearly been criminal legal violations and there's been crimes committed….In this situation, the IRS is merely saying, We're sorry, and that's simply not acceptable."
Both guests felt badly treated by the Democrats on the House Committee, and bristled at their accusations that they weren't eligible to be noprofits. Kookogey said they “attempted to malign us as if our ideas didn't matter, to describe their social welfare programs as somehow constitutionally acceptable, but ours as not worth the protection of the Constitution....This is a fundamental American issue. The 1st Amendment liberties, they're in the 1st Amendment for a reason, and that they are in the 1st Amendment I think is a testament to how important they are to our liberties as determined by our founders.”
Fox's headline writers are trumpeting that conservative groups have been "redeemed" by yesterday's hearing. Personally, gentle reader, I think Fox’s sensationalist coverage may backfire. It's basically another Victimization Whine for members of their far-right base, and I doubt it’ll convince a lot of people who aren’t in that base. It may actually turn them off.
Oklahoma Tea Party Leader Charged With Two Felonies
The Tea Pots is too dumb to realize others in their group are in it for their own personal agendas.