Conservative Leaders Testify On IRS Targeting Because Of Beliefs

US Capitol West FrontToday the House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony from leaders of groups targeted by the IRS for their personal beliefs.

Here is the list of witnesses with links to their written testimony.

Witness List:

  • Mr. John Eastman, Chairman, National Organization for Marriage, Testimony
  • Ms. Dianne Belsom, Laurens County Tea Party, Testimony
  • Ms. Becky Gerritson, Wetumpka Tea Party, Testimony
  • Ms. Karen Kenney, San Fernando Valley Patriots, Testimony
  • Mr. Kevin Kookogey, Founder and President, Linchpins of Liberty, Testimony
  • Ms. Sue Martinek, Coalition for Life of Iowa, Testimony

Everything I’ve read today about the testimony of leaders of these targeted conservatives groups proves how right the Obama administration was to fear them. They’ve shown their integrity, their intelligence and their courage. They’re listed below in the same order as above, but this is not the order in which they testified. You can view the entire hearing at C-Span: IRS Scrutiny of Non-Profit Organizations, Jun 4, 2013, House Committee Ways and Means.

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John Eastman on the “scurrilous” comments of two Democrats:

Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon…had just finished arguing that the groups before the committee were political and should not be considered social-welfare organizations.

“It’s your kind of statements that have empowered IRS agents to make determinations about which organizations qualify for the public good and which don’t,” Eastman said to a round of applause. “The notion that defending traditional marriage doesn’t qualify as a defense of the public good is preposterous.”

Later, Eastman spoke to Representative Lloyd Doggett of Texas. “How sad it is that efforts to educate about our Constitution have become a partisan, political issue that you think people ought not to get tax-exempt status for that,” Eastman said.

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Dianne Belsom, I am outraged by the accusation we are subsidized by the taxpayer:

…donations her C4 group receives are not tax deductible and have already been taxed when they were earned. The point, she says, of C4 is to ensure those donations don’t get taxed again at the end of the year.

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Becky Gerritson:

“I’m not here as a serf or a vassal….I’m not begging my lords for mercy. I’m a born-free American woman, wife, mother, and citizen. And I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place.”

“It’s not your responsibility to look out for my well being and to monitor my speech. It’s not your right to assert an agenda. The post that you occupy exists to preserve American liberty. You’ve sworn to perform that duty and you have faltered.”

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Karen Kenny:

This dialogue is about the jackboot of tyranny on the field of our founding documents.

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Kevin Kookogey:

Kevin Kookogey, founder of group Linchpins of Liberty, which teaches students about conservative political philosophy, said when the IRS asked for the names of those his group mentored, it was effectively asking for the names of minors — something that he said could have opened him up to a lawsuit from his students’ parents.

“That the IRS would ask to know the identity of those students is unbelievably, unconscionably chilling,” he said.

Mr. Kookogey said he submitted his application to gain status as a tax-exempt educational organization has been pending for 29 months, and the wait has cost him a $30,000 grant from another non-profit who would only contribute to a group that had earned the special classification.

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Sue Martinek:

“In June of 2009, [IRS Agent] Richards told me verbally that we needed to send in a letter with the entire board’s signatures stating that under penalty of perjury we would not picket/protest or organize groups to picket/protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” Martinek said. “Upon receiving such a letter, she indicated that the IRS would allow our application to go through.”

…“We had worked so hard to get the application correct. We had a local attorney skilled with this process helping us. We understood that we could hold up signs with educational information about abortion and the sanctity of life, without the IRS questioning their validity. We never thought we would have to defend our prayer activities. As Christians we knew we needed to pray for a better solution to unplanned pregnancy than abortion, why not at the source?”

John Eastman wrote an excellent analysis of the two cases SCOTUS heard on marriage  this past March. I’ve linked to this numerous times, but now you know the face behind this legal memorandum: The Constitutionality of Traditional Marriage.


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