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Proposed IRS rules an attack on liberty

By From page A8 | February 22, 2014

Here’s some information about one more nail in the coffin of freedom and free speech here in Solano County and the rest of America.

I recently received an email from dear friend John Takeuchi with a forwarded message from Vaca Valley Tea Party President Colleen Britton. I began to feel as if I were being suffocated.

Remember when the IRS said they were going to “rebuild the trust” of America after their attacks on the tax-exempt status of conservative organizations? Their prime targets were grassroots tea party groups whose objectives are to promote constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility and to support free markets.

Well, it appears that their idea of “rebuilding trust” is to suffocate all organized political dissent.

The IRS has proposed to treat as political almost any activity that has anything to do with informing the public about government. The IRS has issued proposed rules that would treat all of the following activities by 501c4 organizations as candidate-related political activities:

  • Voter registration.
  • Candidate forums and debates, and voter guides.
  • Voting records of incumbents.
  • Public statements by officers and leaders of 504c4s that reference incumbents and/or candidates.
  • Communications include radio, TV, written, newspaper, Internet, phones and oral if it can reach more than 500 people.
  • If voting records or other statements are posted on a website – and remain on the website within a “blackout” period of 60 days prior to general election or 30 days prior to a primary election.
  • Applies to volunteer activities sponsored by the organization.
  • “Candidates” include all public offices, executive, legislative and judicial – partisan and nonpartisan, and officers in a “political organization.”

Engaging in any of these activities would result in the denial the tax-exempt status of an organization.

Big surprise! The proposed Rules do not apply to labor unions and trade organizations. You read right.

Public comment on these proposed regulations is open until Thursday. You can email your comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov. Include this citation: IRS REG-1134417-13.

The IRS and the Obama administration will try to downplay the effect of these new rule. They will probably talk about leveling the playing fields. But the real result of the rules is to suffocate all organized dissent and to make if extremely difficult to oppose the current government in any effective way.

You and I are being muzzled and politically suffocated. If we allow this to happen, we are likely to be politically dead, politically dead who have lost our freedoms. At this point, I don’t know if it is possible to prevent it from happening.

So what does this mean in addition to cutting the throat of organized opposition? It is the tyranny of absolute power.

The IRS was never intended to be the political strong arm of a political party or administration. But that is what it has become. The scary thing is that it may be only the beginning. The IRS can create regulations that affect every single person in the United States. They are the designated “enforcers” of the Obamacare program. No one is safe from their reach.

It isn’t just the IRS. Homeland Security arbitrarily classifies people as terrorists and that denies them every freedom and legal protection under the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Our Constitution has been suspended by fiat, by executive orders and executive branch regulations while Congress funds the systematic destruction of our republic.

Congress has become so entrenched and partisan that they have become complicit in the destruction of our constitutional rule of law.

So what can we do? I am promoting a program to solve the problem by changing national leadership. If we can elect a Constitution-based majority in the U.S. Senate and get rid of Republican leaders like Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell, we can neutralize the executive branch and undo some of the abuses that have taken place. It can’t be done by just watching and complaining. It will take strong support from concerned Americans. That’s you and me. Are you willing?

Reach Murray Bass at 427-0744 or [email protected]

Murray Bass


Discussion | 43 comments

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 22, 2014 - 6:54 am

    Mr. Bass, I'm sorry to see that churches aren't on the list for losing their exemptions. There are plenty of moral and ethical reasons to do just that. Getting rid of Boehner and McConnell is a done deal. So I'm good with them being ousted. What I'm absolutely dead-set against is replacing them with Tea Party candidates. I don't think we have to worry about that either they're pretty much toast too.

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  • The MisterFebruary 22, 2014 - 7:33 am

    Actually, Seedy, churches only have to apply for "tax exempt" status out of ignorance. Churches inherently are "tax immune".

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 22, 2014 - 7:54 am

    The Mister, that is disgusting in itself. Proper hangings might have changed all that.

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  • Bobaflex - Bury Me with My Guns On with LyricsFebruary 22, 2014 - 10:00 am


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  • You are Bad BAD Company CDFebruary 22, 2014 - 10:04 am


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  • Blessed RedeemerFebruary 22, 2014 - 10:26 am


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  • The MisterFebruary 22, 2014 - 7:47 am

    Great reporting and great call-to-action, Murray. I don't understand, however, how voting will make ANY real difference at the national level. It's their system and they protect it vigorously. On the rare occasion that a good guy gets in, like Sonny Bono, his efforts get neutralized quickly, again, like Sonny Bono. Voting will not change their power structure nor their agenda. But, taking away their power can bring the change you demand. How can that be done? By each individual sovereign state quietly reclaiming their own power. States can wean themselves off of federal money and sever their incestuous relationship with "the feds" and become accountable to the people and not their buddies in DC. So, Murray, voting can be effective for change when electing a governor and state representatives that will strive to bring the power back home. One person you might consider voting for who is doing just this is Ellen Brown and she is running for CA Treasurer. There's a step in the right direction.

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  • patrickFebruary 22, 2014 - 2:53 pm

    There must be no majority decisions, but only responsible persons, and the word 'council' must be restored to its original meaning. Surely every man will have advisers by his side, but the decision will be made by one man. Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1xa1HLNJyQ#aid=P9WhnW7bp0wFebruary 22, 2014 - 6:55 am

    And she's just one of many that have been attacked and harassed.

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  • BaseballmomFebruary 22, 2014 - 7:11 am

    Maybe tea party is toast in the People's Republic of California, but I am delighted to report that we are very strong in the freer parts of the nation. VERY strong. :-)

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 22, 2014 - 7:47 am

    Baseballmom, yeah they're strong all right. Prepare yourself for another beating and bring along some deodorant.

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  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 22, 2014 - 9:03 am

    Murray, there is no assault on freedom as you cry. The rules simply spell out more clearly what is and is not political activity. I wrote about all this a year ago when both progressive and right wing political groups tried to claim they were nonpolitical in order to not pay their taxes. Many good Americans were outraged that the obviously political tea party, through their right wing media outlets, had cowered the I.R.S. into allowing their tax exempt status.

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  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 22, 2014 - 9:27 am

    I guess you could say that the I.R.S. is taking away your freedom to cheat.

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  • FDCFebruary 22, 2014 - 9:31 am

    'Taint so, Mikey. Virtually none of the conservative applicants have received tax exempt status. Your whole rant is misleading and slants the whole episode to fit your opinion, not the facts. And incidentally, the IRS has not been COWED (I am amused to see such a self-proclaimed great writer using the entirely wrong word - or are you "paraphrasing" again?) into granting anyone tax exemption. Meanwhile, unions skate right along, merrily engaging in heavy political activity while enjoying complete freedom from IRS oversight. Mikey, why do you persist in putting in your two-cents ( I exaggerate) worth on each and every topic that arises?

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  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 22, 2014 - 9:51 am

    Cowed is correct. I wonder where Murray would stand on this issue if it was a progressive political group that was crying about their nonpolitical tax exempt status rightfully being taken away. Mr. P, where are your numbers to back up your claim? If you are correct, why all the hand wringing now? They should. Be used to paying taxes, not crying that their liberty is being shoved into a coffin. And i feel i must add my two cents whenever people are being lied to. Why should that bother you so much?

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  • Mr. PracticalFebruary 22, 2014 - 10:23 am

    Mike, I didn't comment here. What are we talking about?

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  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 22, 2014 - 10:47 am

    I am so very sorry, Mr. P, to have confused you with crutchfield. Please forgive me. As opposed to crutchfield's typical, baseless rants, I value your input on this site.

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  • StR @ MichaelFebruary 22, 2014 - 10:54 am

    What about me, am I not special....We are going house hunting today.....should make for lots of good arguments w/the Enforcer....always interesting.

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  • We just about filed for Divorce...February 22, 2014 - 11:02 am

    because I did something unforgivably evil....The Enforcer had a 1.13 kg container of Kirkland Mixed Nuts....and I went through it and ate all the Cashews....I will be paying for this for at least another year....Oh Well I guess I like living on the wild side.

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  • Note.... I tried explaining thatFebruary 22, 2014 - 11:06 am

    Eating mass quantities of Cashews makes your Hooters get bigger.......but he did not believe me so I am not forgiven.

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  • Mr. PracticalFebruary 22, 2014 - 11:36 am

    Cashews are my favorite nut. No one should be blamed for succumbing to the urge of picking through a menagerie of inferior nuts. Saving a marriage is worth buying a second Costco jar of cashews only. In divorce the lawyers are the only winners.

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  • FDCFebruary 22, 2014 - 12:10 pm

    Yes, Mikey. COWED is correct, as I stated. You used the word COWERED in your original comment. COWERED is not the correct word. You slithered away from that by blithely attacking the one who pointed out your basic misuse of the English language. You can run, Mikey, but you can't hide your mistake. As for numbers: do your own research - or would that bother you too much too find out the truth?

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  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 22, 2014 - 1:51 pm

    Yes, i slithered away by saying you were correct. What a glorious day this must be for you, crutchfield. Enjoy it.

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  • Murray BVassFebruary 22, 2014 - 3:17 pm

    The constitutopn applies to everyone, Even you Socialists Progressives. Free speech is for avery Anerican. What you progressives don't understand is that when free speech is muted by regulation, your are being muted too. Every Aerican is entitled to the protection of the Constitution,. Now you know what Murrayn would say. EveryyAmerican.

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  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 22, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    The question is: should political organizations be taxed or not. Your premise that "conservative" groups were targeted is only a half truth. Groups on both sides were hit, and for good reason, they were trying to pretend they weren't political groups.

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 22, 2014 - 6:00 pm

    Mr. Bass, guess you missed the two pieces I wrote in the Today in History section? Yeah talk to me about the Conservative version of the Constitution in AZ and other states trying to circumvent it with religion. Then maybe you FDC. and Mr. Smith et al will acknowledge my warnings about this for years!

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  • bobby42February 22, 2014 - 11:31 am

    Mike, Agree completely...Murray seems to be confusing freedom of speech with freedom from taxes. No one is preventing anyone from voicing their opinions ...but the federal government does not allow us to collect tax free money from people to do so. Barb M

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  • Mr. PracticalFebruary 22, 2014 - 11:38 am

    bobby42, you may want to check out the IRS' harassment of the founder of True the Vote and others that have spoke up against this administration and Congress.

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  • Rich GiddensFebruary 22, 2014 - 11:19 am

    Down with the tyrant Obama and Brown along with their Goverment of traitors and thugs! Sic Semper Tyrannus! Res Ipsa Loquitor!

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  • Salty DogFebruary 22, 2014 - 6:41 pm

    I guess CD and Mike are ok with this when it is Conservative groups that are targeted and what about all of the unions political activity that goes on i guess it is ok with them

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  • FDCFebruary 22, 2014 - 6:47 pm

    To set the record straight and rebut misleading “facts” presented above: Mike says “Groups on both sides were hit.” Yes, but the Inspector General of the Treasury, J. Russell George, reported to Congress that 292 groups identified as “Tea Party, Patriot, or 9/12” were “flagged, stalled, and bombarded with inappropriate questions.” Of that 292, all, repeat all, 100 percent, received that treatment. At the same time, 20 “progressive” groups were identified and 6 were flagged for further inquiry, only 30 percent. Subsequent to issuing that report, Mr. George has been smeared and severely scolded by his Democrat party “colleagues.” I guess it’s not nice to tell the truth about Democrat skullduggery. As for the newest plan by the IRS to stifle the freedom of speech for conservative groups, please note that unions, organized labor, are specifically exempted. They are free to pay all they want to try to influence elections. For information, for the period 1989 to 2014, 12 of the top 20 donors to political causes were unions and all of their money went to Democrats. The bête noire of the Democrats, the Koch brothers, came in 59th in the list. Interestingly, Democrats (particularly those facing reelection), led by Senator Charles Shumer, are urging the IRS to crack down further on conservative groups and to severely limit their political activity of any sort. Again, unions are exempt. So spin and mangle words all you want, the record is clear: Democrats will stop at nothing to stifle any opposition. Now stand back and watch the ants scurry around and try to cover this comment up!

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  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 22, 2014 - 7:46 pm

    A few points: unions have strict rules about how they can spend their money on politics. Unions are not primarily political groups. There were a lot more conservative groups trying to cheat the i r.s. than progressive groups.

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  • Mike KirchibullFebruary 22, 2014 - 10:16 pm

    That's a load of Kirchibull!

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  • Mr. PracticalFebruary 23, 2014 - 6:29 am

    Mike, what unions aren't these days is unions. They are collective bargaining units and political organizations. Ten of the top fifteen campaign contributors over the past 15 years have been unions. Of those top 15 campaign contributors, 11 of the 15 donated more than 70 percent to democrats. Of the other 4, the largest donation to Republican candidates was 57 percent. Not only that, they spend billions lobbying. Over 21 percent of AFL-CIO expenditures go to polical spending. Unions are the biggest buyers of influence in Congress. I would say that unions today, are in fact, primarily political organizations. Secondarily, they negotiate a labor agreement every now and then. This would be one of "refutings." Speaking of "where's your numbers to back it up," I would be interested to see where you got the "There were a lot more conservative groups trying to cheat the i r.s. than progressive groups" thing? You may be right but knowing how you write, it feels like you pulled that out of thin air.

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  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 23, 2014 - 8:26 am

    Mr. P, 21% sounds like a lot less than 50%. Now, i've proven my point using your numbers, you prove your point that tea parties aren't more than 50% political.

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  • Mr. PracticalFebruary 23, 2014 - 9:06 am

    Huh? Two separate issues here. You said that unions were not primarily political and they had strict rules about political spending. I refuted that completely by showing that they are THE biggest buyers of influence and that politics has become their primary mission. Secondly, you said that there were many more conservative groups trying to cheat the IRS than progressive groups. I'm curious where you got that. You stated it as fact, not speculation.

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  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 23, 2014 - 11:55 am

    Unions are for the workers in them. Politics is a small part of that. Tea partiers are all about politics. Do you really want to fight this battle, it seems so obvious.

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  • Jason KnowlesFebruary 22, 2014 - 7:51 pm

    Yet, the ONLY groups who were denied their status as 501(c) were all "progressive" groups.

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 22, 2014 - 11:33 pm

    FDC, since you're all over this, how about my comments regarding AZ and Oregon? I left out the several other states but you know who they are. Here it is in your face, what I've told you would happen if you Conservatives didn't wise up. C'mon, spin that!

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  • FDCFebruary 23, 2014 - 9:11 am

    Didn't read it, CD. Your opinions regarding politics or religion are of no interest.

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 23, 2014 - 9:22 am

    FDC HA! HA! HA! Right, Mr. Crutchfield along with his cronies Mr. Smith, Mr. Murray, Mr. Madronich and Daniel et al have bailed because there is no argument to my post. They’ve become ominously silent as they always do. As usual, I accurately predicted the future of American politics by watching the “god trend.” Now here it is aint so pretty is it?! I have said it a hundred times America will not go that far right. The Conservative arm of the Republican Party is killing politics for the GOP and they have not proven wise enough to distance themselves. The courts are trying to decide if they should rewrite the 2nd amendment. Although I don’t completely agree with the language itself, I am more concerned about what might happen after they’ve opened the proverbial “can of worms.” This continued effort at religious rule is precisely why Conservatives should be forbidden to act on their self-righteous and misinformed allegiance to the bible and access to reconstructing the Constitution. Uh, better read it now Mr. C, it just got real! :)

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  • rlw895February 23, 2014 - 10:16 am

    We should have no concern that the IRS, an administrative agency operating in a fishbowl, will be a threat to our freedom. The very act of rule making, which gives rise to columns like this, is a major guarantee of that. We have much more to fear that our government will be disabled from protecting us by our own stupidity.

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  • Mr. PracticalFebruary 23, 2014 - 10:21 am

    rlw, you keep believing that. Personally, I'm concerned when you have a Congressman and a White House that's willing to use a powerful agency for political gain.

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