Wednesday, March 7, 2012

IRS plans to press nonprofit political groups

(Commentary:  While the NY Times actually did report it, I find it amazing that their headline does not reflect the truth.  The headline should be, "IRS Attacks the TEA Party".  It's clear that this is a partisan attack on the organization.  It has happened on State, County, and Municipal levels as well.  When has the IRS looked into OWS, N.O.W., AARP, SEIU, or other left wing organizations?  When is the last time a city made OWS get a permit for a protest?  This is a clear attempt to intimidate TEA Party groups.)

By Jonathan Weisman - New York Times

March 07, 2012

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service is caught in an election-year struggle between Democratic lawmakers pressing for a crackdown on nonprofit political groups and conservative organizations accusing the tax agency of conducting a politically charged witch hunt.

In recent weeks, the IRS has sent dozens of detailed, lengthy questionnaires to Tea Party movement organizations applying for nonprofit tax status, demanding to know their political leanings and activities.
The agency plans this year to press nonprofits such as American Crossroads, on the Republican side, and Priorities USA, on the Democratic side, to justify their tax-protected status as “social welfare’’ organizations, a status that many tax professionals believe is being abused.

Senate Democrats are readying a fresh legislative push to demand that such groups disclose their donors and attach disclaimers to their political advertising identifying the advertisement’s primary funders.

“The shadowy attack ads we see every day should be brought into the light,’’ said Senator Michael Bennet, Democrat of Colorado.

The pushback is likely to be just as fierce. Jay Sekulow, a conservative lawyer known more for his stands on religious freedom than for his tax work, said he is representing 16 Tea Party groups that are asserting harassment by the IRS, and the number is growing.

“This is obviously a coordinated effort by the IRS to stifle these Tea Party and Tea Party-affiliated groups, and to stifle free speech activities,’’ Sekulow said. “It’s as onerous as what they did to the NAACP in the 1950s, and I plan to make that point.’’

At issue are groups large and small formed as 501(c)(4)s under the tax code, a designation created for social welfare groups but which includes overtly political organizations.


DuPage County Tea Party Endorses Debbie Boyle

(Commentary:  Another strong woman endorsed by the TEA Party.  Debbie Boyle would make a fine representative.)

The DuPage Tea Party has endorsed Debbie Boyle as the Republican candidate for the 81st State Representative.

“The decision was made as a result of widespread fiscal irresponsibility that has plagued our state," according to Claire Van Horner, organizer of the DuPage Tea Party, in a press release.

"Debbie is a true Conservative candidate who reflects fiscal values as well as other beliefs and values of the DuPage Tea Party such as the opposition to the Dream Act, Amazon Tax, and the Smart Grid. We encourage all voters to vote for Debbie Boyle."

“As a life-long resident of Downers Grove, I am pleased to receive the endorsements of the local residents of our district," Boyle responded in the release.

"These are the people that have been directly affected by the destructive policies and severe lack of leadership we’ve seen from Springfield Democrats, and even some members of our own party. They know the needs of our district, and they recognize that I am the only candidate with the character, integrity, and resolve to fight for them.”

Boyle has also received endorsements from the Downers Grove Township Republican Organization, the Illinois Liberty PAC has received support from the anti-tax watchdog group, Downers Grove Watch.

Ron Sandack is also running for the Republican nomination for the 81st District. Sandack began serving as a village commissioner for Downers Grove in 2003 and was elected mayor in 2007. He currently serves as a state senator for the 21st district, having been appointed last fall to replace Dan Cronin, who was elected DuPage County Board Chairman.

The 81st district constitutes half of the previous 47th district. Petricia Bellock, who currently serves the 47th district, has decided not to run for the 81st, so there is no incumbent candidate.

The newly created 81st district includes parts of Downers Grove, Darien, Lisle, Woodridge, Westmont and Naperville.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Support of conservatives, GOP loyalists, tea party backers propels Romney to Va. primary win

RICHMOND, Va. — Mitt Romney won the Virginia Republican presidential primary Tuesday with a strong showing among party loyalists, conservatives, tea party supporters and voters who consider the ability to defeat President Barack Obama the most important quality in a candidate.

Results of an exit poll in Virginia showed that Texas Congressman Ron Paul fared well among moderates and independents, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a front-runner who had the support of the state’s GOP establishment, including Gov. Bob McDonnell and U.S. House Minority leader Eric Cantor.

Paul and Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, were the only candidates competing for Virginia’s 46 delegates after Newt Gingrich and Ron Santorum failed to submit the required 10,000 voter signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Virginia does not register voters by party, so the primary was open to all voters. Sixty-three percent identified themselves as Republicans, and about seven in 10 of that group voted for Romney. Approximately one-third said they were independent or something else, and nearly two-thirds of them voted for Paul.

The breakdown was similar among the nearly two-thirds who labeled themselves conservatives. Romney got the support of more than six in 10 conservatives, while the vote was evenly split among the approximately one-third who considered themselves moderate or liberal.

Six in 10 voters said they support the tea party, and Romney got 60 percent of that vote. He received similar support among the slightly less than half who identified themselves as born-again or evangelical Christians.

Judicial Watch Files Brief with U.S. Supreme Court Challenging Constitutionality of Obamacare

(Commentary:  The Individual Mandate cannot stand.  For the first time in history the U.S. Government is forcing private citizens to buy a product or service.)

HHS “trying to defend a provision in an act passed by Congress that exceeds its enumerated powers.”

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch, the organization that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it filed an amicus curiae brief on February 13, 2012, with the United States Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare (United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al., State of Florida, et al. (No. 11-398)). The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for the Obamacare case on March 26, 27 and 28, 2012.

With its amicus curiae brief Judicial Watch maintains that the “individual mandate” provision of Obamacare, which requires every American citizen to purchase health care insurance or pay a penalty, is unconstitutional, whether considered under Congress’ commerce power or taxing power:

Petitioners are trying to defend a provision in an act passed by Congress that exceeds its enumerated powers. Though Congress enacted this provision under the Commerce Clause, Congress’ power under the clause is not broad enough to compel Americans to engage in commerce by purchasing a particular product. Though Petitioners try to rescue the provision by arguing that it is valid under Congress’ taxing power even if it is invalid under Congress’ commerce power, a provision of an act that is not a tax may not be construed as a tax merely to save it from being declared unconstitutional.

Judicial Watch further argues that if the Supreme Court affirms the constitutionality of the so-called individual mandate, “it must be willing to hold that Congress’ powers under the Commerce clause are plenary and unlimited, for there remains no principled way to limit Congress’ power if it is stretched as far as Petitioners (the Obama administration) ask.”

The Judicial Watch amicus was filed in support of a challenge to Obamacare by Florida and 25 other states.
Demonstrating the importance of the legal battle over Obamacare, the Supreme Court will hear five-and-a-half hours of oral argument, a rare allotment of time in the court’s modern era. The Supreme Court’s scrutiny will focus on the constitutionality of the Obamacare individual mandate. The court will also consider whether other components of Obamacare could take effect even if the individual mandate is ruled unconstitutional, among other issues.
In a December 14, 2010, editorial published in The Washington Post Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued that the individual mandate is essential to Obamacare: “Without an individual responsibility provision (or mandate), controlling costs and ending discrimination against people with preexisting conditions doesn’t work.”

“The President’s socialist healthcare overhaul is an affront to the U.S. Constitution’s provisions for limited government,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The time has come for the U.S. Supreme Court to put an end to Obamacare once and for all.”


Tea party hosts evening with David Simpson

(Commentary:  David Simpson is a great asset to the TEA Party movement.  Also, to the author of this article, thanks for the coverage, but it's "TEA Party".... not "Tea Party". )

By Glenn Evans

Texas Rep. David Simpson of Longview got a free pass to criticize under-funded schools and a state budget wired by accounting gimmicks Monday at a tea party event envisioned as a debate between Simpson and fellow Republican Tommy Merritt.

It was reminiscent of the personal privilege speech with which Simpson closed out the 82nd Legislative Session last year by railing at state leaders he described as conservative in name only.

Merritt, of Longview, declined last week to attend Monday’s debate produced by We The People Longview, the tea party standard bearer for the Gregg County area.

The group’s two founders, he said, were biased against him. Half of that couple, Mike Schwartz, quipped Monday to a crowd exceeding 110 that Merritt’s claim lacked the promise suggested by his last name — merit.

“They had 30 minutes to go back and forth and go after it,” Schwartz defended the formal debate format the group had proposed in January. “Apparently, Tommy feels like answering the same questions that Mr. Simpson had to answer is somehow biased.”

The incumbent, who ousted Merritt after seven terms in Austin during 2010’s tea party wave, mentioned his opponent maybe three times, two of those times noting Merritt’s opposition to the bill requiring voters to show photo ID.

Passage of the voter ID bill was among successes Simpson touted from his freshman session.
The law requiring doctors to administer sonograms and describe the fetus in the womb 24 hours before performing an abortion was another success Simpson recalled to an applauding crowd.

He was critical of the two-year state spending plan, which he had opposed, noting it funded Medicaid only 18 of the 24-month period and short-changed schools, especially in rural areas.

Simpson during the session had proposed gutting the governor’s Economic Stabilization Fund used to give tax breaks and incentives to lure businesses to Texas. That money, he said then and repeated Monday, should have gone to public schools.

Tea Party Not Settled On Any One Candidate

(Commentary:  Score 1 for CNN.  They got the story right.  The TEA Party does not endorse any of these candidates.  They all have their flaws and they all have their good points.  Ron Paul would be the closest candidate to align with the TEA Party.)

By Janet DiGiacomo CNN

Ask different tea party volunteers in the days before Super Tuesday who the leading presidential candidate is and you will get different answers. Rick Santorum has a lot of support in our unscientific polls, said Mark West of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, Tea Party.

Ron Paul is closest to our core values, said Michael Wilson of the Cincinnati, Ohio, chapter.

We liked Michele Bachmann, said National Tea Party Coalition co-founder Michael Patrick Leahy.

The difference of opinion only proves what tea party volunteers say about the movement as a whole: Its followers are diverse in terms of conservative values and their own beliefs, which according to the various chapter leaders explains why no candidate is separating himself from the pack for the movement's support."In my opinion and through the informal polls our volunteers have taken, it's all over the place," said Tom Maloy of the Georgia chapter. "The tea party doesn't endorse candidates, it endorses policies."Leahy said, "None of the candidates is an aligned with our core values as we would like."

He identified the core values as constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility and free markets.Leahy served as a delegate for Mitt Romney in the former Massachusetts governor's 2008 presidential bid -- prior to the tea party's existence. Now? "Romney doesn't talk our language," he said. "He has tried to reach out to the party, but it's been lukewarm."Leahy, who voted early in Tennessee, revealed that he cast his ballot for Rick Santorum, even though he doesn't like Santorum's tax policy of giving special tax breaks to manufacturers.

Newt Gingrich, who was involved in the movement's start-up, receives a combination of support and criticism. Leahy credits the former Speaker of the House with early involvement in the tea party, but is quick to add that Gingrich proved to be inconsistent and even tried to manipulate rather than help the movement reach its goal."That's a fair assessment," West said. "Many people in the movement could vote for him, but he is not the first choice. He has made some interesting and questionable choices that has caused membership to be concerned that he is (not) a leader in the conservative movement."West said Bachmann did have a lot of support, but he throws Rick Perry and Herman Cain into that category, too. "

The tea party is often maligned in the media as being racist, but the support given to Herman Cain shows the movement is about policy, not skin color."Wilson, in the crucial Super Tuesday state of Ohio, said all candidates have been around enough to have records that are spotty. He credits the field with trying to engage their group."Romney's campaign has reached out to me," he said. "There have definitely been efforts to get information in front of us, but little in the way of outreach, otherwise."

Many grass-roots events have been planned for this weekend ahead last before Tuesday's vote, Wilson said.A candidate who is getting accolades from the Georgia chapter this week is Ron Paul.Maloy said Paul is the first presidential candidate to sign the chapter's "Marietta Declaration," which challenges candidates and elected officials to end what they believe are government abuses of the Constitution. The document, released in February, was sent to politicians in both parties, including President Barack Obama, with the invitation to sign and support.Georgia Tea Party board member Jim Jess said of Paul's signature: "

It is certainly consistent with the strong pro-Constitution stance that he has taken during the campaign."Does that make Paul a tea party shoo-in for Super Tuesday?"Super Tuesday is wide open," Maloy said. "I've heard Gingrich has a strong lead in Georgia and Virginia. Santorum may have an edge in Ohio. But at the end of the day, when all the votes are counted, we will still be up in the air."


Colorado Tea Party Candidate Dumps the Republican Party

(Commentary:  The TEA Party is not the Republican Party no matter what the National News Media claims.  Tisha Casida did the right thing.  It would be best if our nation had "run offs" in every election until one person received 50% + 1 vote.)

Just after Tisha Casida announced her candidacy last year to represent Colorado's 3rd congressional district (the race featuring Republican incumbent Scott Tipton and Democrat Sal Pace) she got a call from Ryan Call, the Chair of Colorado's Republican Party.

Call asked Casida not to run for Congress because it could hurt the Republican Party's chances, according to a report in the Colorado Statesman.

"He was very polite," Casida told me yesterday. "After I made it clear that I was going to run for Congress, he tried to get me to run in a different district."

She immediately rejected Call's suggestion, she told me, because it would be "carpet-bagging."

"I've lived here my whole life," she said. "This is the part of the state that I love and want to represent."
It's no surprise that Call would try to talk Casida out of running. Apparently, Call's assumption is that, as an unaffiliated candidate with ties to Tea Party folks disillusioned with the GOP, Casida could siphon off voters who might otherwise back the Republican. For example, Casida has the support of Bob McConnell, who ran for the 3rd congressional seat in the GOP primary in 2010. You never know whom third-party voters will go for, so Casida could pick up Dems too, but if you look at Casida's positions, you think Tea Party.

Tea party had mixed feelings about Snowe (According to the National News Media)

(Article Commentary:  While the National News Media claims the TEA Party has mixed feelings, if you ask actual TEA Party members, you will learn that a massive majority are fine with Senator Snowe's departure.  The opportunity to fill the seat with a true TEA Party like Scott D'Amboise is exciting to our movement.)

David Sharp / The Associated Press

PORTLAND — While it's common knowledge that the tea party was frustrated with Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, activists were divided over whether the woman sometimes described as the most liberal Republican in the Senate should exit Congress.

With no formal organization or leadership, tea party activists were fractured over whether to work with the senator, or to work for her ouster. Some were hoping for a more conservative candidate, though Snowe seemed a shoo-in for re-election.

"You have to be careful of what you wish for," said Peter Harring, an Auburn carpenter who's a leading voice in the movement. "The replacement could be worse."

Snowe's announcement last week that she would not seek a fourth term because of excessive partisanship put a seat that was expected to remain in GOP hands up for grabs, with nearly a dozen Republicans and Democrats deciding whether to run or step aside to make way for others.

The move gives Democrats a shot at the seat. One of the potential candidates is Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree, who represents Maine's liberal, coastal congressional district. Another Democrat weighing a bid is former Gov. John Baldacci. Four other Democrats already are in the race.

On the GOP side, conservative Scott D'Amboise was the choice of tea party activists who felt Snowe was out of step. But instead of coasting unopposed with Snowe's departure, D'Amboise now faces up to four GOP competitors, including former state Sen. Rick Bennett. They could be joined by Secretary of State Charles Summers, Attorney General William Schneider and state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin.