May 24, 2013
John Fund, writing for the National Review Online, says the IRS targeting of Tea Party and patriot groups was an effort to suppress voting.
During the 2012 election, Democrats complained loudly about photo-ID laws and Republicans supposedly suppressing black and minority voters. Former president Bill Clinton went so far as to say “there has never been — in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the other Jim Crow burdens on voting — the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.” DNC boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz said “photo-ID laws, we think, are very similar to a poll tax.”
“All of this proved to be twaddle,” writes Fund. “An August 2012 Washington Post poll showed nearly two-thirds of African-Americans and Hispanics backing photo ID. The Census Bureau has found that the rate of voter turnout for blacks exceeded that of whites for the first time in the 2012 election.”
Fund argues that instead of the Democrat vote being suppressed, the Tea Party vote was. “It looks like a lot of tea-party groups were less active or never got off the ground because of the IRS actions,” Wisconsin governor Scott Walker told Fund. “Sure seems like people were discouraged by it.”
Tea Party groups told Fund they were directly impacted by the IRS effort to delay their non-profit status. Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer for True the Vote, a vote-monitoring organization, told him we will probably never know how much political activity was thwarted by the IRS.
On Tuesday, True the Vote went to federal court to sue the IRS over the agency’s processing of its tax-exempt status and increased scrutiny. The IRS took three years to process True the Vote’s application and only approved it after the scandal unfolded.
The Election Law Center claims the Obama administration deliberately engaged in vote suppression. “The Administration knew of the IRS targeting conservative organizations for non-approval in June 2012 and failed to rectify the issue before the 2012 Primary and General Election when there was still time to reduce the damage. In fact, according to sources, the approval of applications is still not forthcoming and it is almost mid-2013,” the website notes, citing a May 17 Wall Street Journal storyreporting the IRS’s watchdog informing Treasury officials in June he was investigating allegations.
The IRS continues to insist it was all a mistake. “The IRS claims that all the delays and information demands were rooted in mere mismanagement and misjudgment, a stance that began to look even shakier [Wednesday] when Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS’ exempt-organization division, took the Fifth Amendment before a House committee,” Fund writes.
“It won’t be easy to discover whether the ‘voter suppression’ engaged in by the IRS was malicious and political,” Fund concludes. “But we have to make every effort to find out before the American people start losing confidence in the integrity of our elections.”
In fact, millions of Americans long ago lost confidence in the election system. That’s why they flocked to the Tea Party and similar groups despite the monkey business of establishment Republicans to undermine the movement and expel its libertarian elements.