In May, Tea Party Patriots critiqued several prominent Democratic Senators for targeting conservative groups before the 2010 and 2012 elections, only to turn around and jump on the anti-IRS bandwagon after Tea Party harassment was made public.
These and other politicians claim their public statements, letters, etc. against conservative groups have nothing to do with the IRS’ illegal behavior. Not content with one complete flip-flop, however, a number of Democrats have come full circle. Having pressured the IRS to harass conservative organizations before decrying the persecution, they now claim the IRS scandal is a non-issue.
Now, a video of the IRS employee who launched the IRS scandal into the public consciousness has surfaced. The video shows Lois Lerner describing the political pressure the IRS was under to examine conservative groups in October 2010.
While Tea Party groups are not mentioned by name, Lerner’s point is clear – politicians were putting pressure on the IRS to go after big money in conservative politics. The Citizens United case was the excuse, and Lerner cited it as a major concern for the IRS.
How did hundreds of small and medium-sized Tea Party groups end up being targeted along with big money conservative organizations? Perhaps it’s because the mainstream media and politicians claim that the Koch brothers and others fund Tea Party groups with their millions – even though the average donation to Tea Party Patriots, for example, is $40.
Whatever the reason, it’s clear that Lerner took her predilection for targeting conservatives from the Federal Elections Commission to the IRS in 1995, and even prior to the 2010 harassment was keeping a close and possibly illegal eye on conservative groups. Between this video and public pressure from Senators and others pushing the IRS to target conservative organizations, it’s clear that this intimidation didn’t begin at the IRS. Politicians across Washington are responsible as well.