True the Vote: De-weaponize the IRS
Since the IRS scandal broke, many Tea Party and Patriot organizations have reported on the harassment and unethical investigations they have faced from the IRS. One of those organizations, True the Vote, has filed a lawsuit against the IRS. True the Vote has also been investigating voter fraud across the nation – including the 2012 election in which Colonel Allen West lost to Rep. Patrick Murrey (D-FL).
True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht sat down with Tea Party Patriots’ Dustin Siggins to discuss the IRS, Colonel West’s election, and other important issues related to voter fraud.
Dustin Siggins: What is True the Vote?
Catherine Engelbrecht: True the Vote is an election integrity and voters’ rights organization. We exist to inspire and equip citizens, with everything from helping people to vote, advocating for good election code, looking at voter fraud, etc.
Regardless of party, we believe in an election free of fraud and getting every eligible voter to the polls.
DS: I understand you’re suing the IRS over things related to the recent scandal. What’s going on?
CE: Yes, we are suing the IRS as a whole, unnamed employees, and named employees. We have three claims, potentially: first, declaratory judgment. In other words, we want the court to give us non-profit status.
Second, we want employees who knowingly and willfully participated in the scandal to be held accountable.
Lastly, we put in a claim for damages. We spent $85,000 on documents, attorneys, etc. plus lost opportunities, lost grants, etc.
We want to keep the focus on the discovery of information that shines the light on the IRS and reveals who knew what when with regards to targeting groups like True the Vote.
Colonel West lost his re-election in 2012. There were accusations of fraud, but eventually he conceded the race. You’ve kept up your investigations in that district. Why is that?
CE: We waited to see what would happen in that contest. It was not about who won. It was about the Supervisor of Elections, Gertrude Walker, admitting she was not sure what actually happened. When nothing happened to correct this at the federal level, we did something nobody has done before: The first-ever citizen-led audit of a federal election.
This means we will have the opportunity to examine all documents related to the race, to the district, etc. Who knows what we will find?
DS: Last week, the Chief of Staff for Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) resigned because of fraud within that election. Do you have any details on that?
CE: The thing of note here is how it relates to the St. Lucie County case True the Vote has worked on related to the Allen West/Patrick Murray race. The same man who retired for fraud in another Florida district was involved in the campaign of Patrick Murray, the man who beat Allen West in the 2012 election. It’s not unreasonable to think the man’s fraudulent activities extended to more than one race.
We actually won the settlement in St. Lucie County that gave us the right to investigate the election, but did not have the funding necessary to pay for all of the documentation fees necessary to continue our investigation. We’re grateful to Tea Party Patriots for covering a portion of the document costs via a grant, allowing us to move forward more quickly than we otherwise would have.
DS: If it is found that Colonel West actually won his election, what would be the practical implications?
CE: Unfortunately, the race has been conceded. We can’t un-ring the bell. What we can do is use this opportunity to shed light on the process, the protocols, and everything else involved in campaigns across the country, to prevent this kind of miscarriage of justice from happening in the future.
Do you have any ideas on reformation of how the IRS approves non-profits? How can we prevent another scandal like this one?
CE: There is so much room for improvement, and so many answers. The overarching issue is that the IRS has metastasized so it can be weaponized against individuals and organizations who can be considered political enemies.
That said, I think safeguards must be put in place to protect the citizenry. There are many other proposals on the table – flat tax, Fair Tax – that would de-fang the institution, and that’s what’s needed here.