Tester-Wyden bill would result in donor intimidation

Dec. 11, 2018, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following stating blasting S.J. Res. 64:

“The effect of the landmark NAACP v. Alabama was to protect organization members and donors from threats of political violence. The Treasury Department guidance rescinding the requirement that 501(c)(4) members’ names be submitted to the IRS protects their First Amendment rights and meets the full intent of that Supreme Court case. A vote for the Tester-Wyden bill S.J. Res. 64 is vote for donor intimidation, and is inconsistent with the basic right to free speech. We praise the Treasury Department for ending the temptation of illegally leaking information in the wake of the recent IRS politicization scandals. It is unconscionable for any senator to even contemplate rolling back this important regulatory change that affirms NAACP v. Alabama.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1003 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts.

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After advocating IRS 501(c)(4) targeting, Henry Kerner should be fired by President Trump

June 21, 2018, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging President Donald Trump to fire Henry Kerner from the Office of Special Counsel after it was revealed from the notes of a 2013 meeting with IRS officials that as a committee staffer for Sen. John McCain, Kerner reportedly advocated, “audit so many [501(c)(4) organizations] that it becomes financially ruinous”:

“It is stunning that Sen. John McCain’s former committee staffer colluded with the IRS’ Lois Lerner and other Obama officials to target political opponents, saying, ‘audit so many [501(c)(4) organizations] that it becomes financially ruinous.’ But what is even more shocking is that he is now a trusted member of the Trump administration, serving as the Special Counsel for the Office of Special Counsel. President Donald Trump should investigate these charges thoroughly. Kerner should be questioned if he was advocating Sen. McCain’s position, or his own.

“Either way, if the notes of the 2013 meeting are accurate, Kerner needs to be fired immediately. It is bad enough that career civil servants at the IRS engaged in political targeting of tea party groups. If true, it would be beyond outrageous that John McCain’s staff did the same, and it would be a complete breach of faith for President Trump to allow Kerner’s continued employment.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts.

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Obama drops IRS regulation to require non-profits to gather donor Social Security numbers

Jan. 7, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to the withdrawal by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of a regulation that would have required non-profit organizations to record to the Social Security numbers of donors:

“We are relieved that the IRS has withdrawn the excessive regulation that would have required non-profit groups to record the Social Security numbers of donors and submit them to the agency, creating glaring security and privacy issues in violation of their First Amendment rights. This is the second time the IRS has ham-handedly tried to increase their capacity to target and harass conservative non-profits in the last three years. The last time it was a regulation severely restricting the political activity of 501(c)(4) organizations, that similarly had to be withdrawn. Hopefully this latest dropping of a politically motivated regulation signals an end to Obama’s weaponization of the IRS.”

Attachments:

Comment on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Substantiation Requirement for Certain Contributions, Americans for Limited Government, Dec. 15, 2015 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ALG_IRS_Comment_12.15.15.pdf

Comment on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Substantiation Requirement for Certain Contributions, Americans for Limited Government Foundation, Dec. 14, 2015 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ALGF-Comment-to-IRS-Re-NPRM-on-Donor-Substantiation_12.14.15.pdf

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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ALG urges Congress to oppose any omnibus that funds Obama executive actions

Dec. 2, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging members of both chambers of Congress to oppose any omnibus funding bill that funds key White House executive actions:

“If Congressional leaders believe the December continuing resolution is not a viable tool to defund Obama’s agenda on executive amnesty, the EPA war on coal, the IRS assault on political speech, the Internet giveaway, or the HUD takeover of neighborhood zoning in, the only solution is to pass a short-term continuing resolution into early 2015. That will leave these vital matters for the new Congress to decide — while there is still time to do something about it.

“The fact is, the executive amnesty will be a year old by the time a budget for Fiscal Year 2016 can be approved. The HUD regulation is now set to go into effect this month. Transferring control over the Internet’s domain name system and assigned numbers functions from the Commerce Department will be done by September 30, 2015 when the current contract expires. The IRS rulemaking on 501(c)(4)s has merely been delayed by the agency. The EPA coal power plant regulations will go into effect by June 2015.

“Which means if Congress fully funds the government for the remainder of the Fiscal Year, they will be funding the implementation of these executive actions — legitimizing and legalizing the policies incoming Republican leaders have said they oppose. At some point, if you fund it, you own it.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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House should subpoena Lerner emails outside IRS to other federal offices

June 19, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ind.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) to subpoena every federal department, agency, and office that former IRS Exempt Organizations head Lois Lerner might have sent an email to or received one from:

“The IRS is claiming it recycled the backup tapes on its server and that it threw Lerner’s hard drive away after it supposedly crashed, making it impossible for the agency to retrieve email communications from January 2009 to April 2011 that were not internal. That means the search must now branch outside the IRS. The House should subpoena every single federal department, agency, and office Lerner might have emailed or received an email from, including the White House.

“The IRS may not have followed the requirements of the Federal Records Act, but it is unimaginable that every federal entity would be so negligent, or corrupt, as the case may be. Any emails to or from her should still be on those servers. What is clear is that to get to the truth, the House of Representatives will have to expand its investigation beyond the agency itself and focus on those who Lerner may have been collaborating with in the targeting of the tea party and other 501(c)(4) organizations.”

Attachments:

“House must enforce Lerner email subpoenas in federal court,” By Americans for Limited Government senior editor Robert Romano, June 18, 2014 at http://netrightdaily.com/2014/06/house-must-enforce-lerner-email-subpoenas-federal-court/

IRS claims to have lost over 2 Years of Lerner emails, House Ways and Means Committee, June 13, 2014 at http://waysandmeans.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=384506

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Did the IRS delete Lois Lerner emails from Jan. 2009 to April 2011?

June 13, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement blasting the IRS for supposedly losing over two years of Lois Lerner email relevant to continued Congressional investigations of the agency targeting of tea party and other 501(c)(4) non-profit groups:

“Lois Lerner’s two years of lost emails are going to make the 18-minute gap in the Nixon tapes look like nothing at all. We will never learn what was in those 18 minutes, but every federal government agency operates under recordkeeping requirements that mandate the agency preserve records that contain proper documentation of the functions, policies, and decisions made by the agency and its officials. It would take a massive, concerted cover up in order to delete those emails. We may never know the contents, but the very fact the emails are supposedly missing is grounds to investigate everyone involved in the chain of custody of these emails.  In short, this two-year email gap makes Richard Nixon look open and transparent.”

Attachments:

IRS claims to have lost over 2 Years of Lerner emails, House Ways and Means Committee, June 13, 2014 at http://waysandmeans.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=384506

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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IRS scuttles freedom-killing 501(c)(4) regulations

May 22, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement in response to the IRS announcement that it will restart its remaking process regulating 501(c)(4) non-profit organizations:

“Today’s announcement that the IRS will be going back to square one to create regulations overseeing 501(c)(4) activity is a victory for the American people. The IRS’s dramatic overreach in its scuttled regulations impacted the First Amendment rights of every American.

“As our nation grapples with continuing revelations of IRS abuses of power, with reports that the enforcement arm targeted conservative donors through its auditing process, the IRS Commissioner must fully comply with all Congressional investigations before considering any new regulations.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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ALG urges IRS to withdraw anti-free speech regulations, notes failure to include labor union political spending

More than $772 million in union political expenditures ignored by proposed IRS regulation

Fairfax, VA – Americans for Limited Government president Nathan Mehrens filed comments with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen today urging the withdrawal of newly proposed regulations governing tax exempt social welfare groups, because they fail to treat labor union political expenditures in a similar manner.

Mehrens details more than $772 million in reported labor union expenditures in 2012 alone, which would be ignored under the newly proposed regulations affecting social welfare tax exempt 501(c)(4) organizations.  Labor unions are tax exempt organizations that fall under section 501(c)(5) of the tax code, and for purposes are similar organizations as their social welfare brothers.

The Service Employees International Union led the political spending charge with almost $114 million in political activity, according to official filings submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor.  Not including SEIU and AFL-CIO spending (each of which have significant public employee membership), the top public employee unions spent more than $144 million on political activity and lobbying with AFSCME alone totaling more than $70 million in expenditures.

Mehrens concludes his comment saying, “As demonstrated above, the NPRM (regulation) fails to treat similar organizations in a similar manner. Additionally, the IRS doesn’t even bother to explain why they are proposing to treat similar organizations differently. Based on the foregoing, the NPRM should be immediately withdrawn.”

Among many provisions of the proposed regulation (NPRM), it would highly restrict the ability of tax exempt social welfare groups to mention any politician’s name in any communications within 30 days of the primary election or 60 days of the general election, and it redefines the terms candidate and political activity from the legal definitions found under federal election law.  The net effect of the changes would be to disembowel 501(c)(4) organizations capacity to engage in political discourse and education while leaving labor unions and other tax exempt organizations unscathed.

The deadline for comment submissions on the IRS regulation targeting tea party organizations is Thursday, February 27th.

A copy of Mr. Mehrens comment including a breakdown of the top fifteen union spenders is available here.

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Clean debt ceiling vote fails to rein in IRS

Feb. 11, 2014, Fairfax, VA.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement responding to a planned vote in the House on a clean debt ceiling this week:

“House Republicans’ decision to vote on a clean debt ceiling in order to win Democrat votes for passage was somewhat predictable, but it is a shame that they couldn’t find common ground among themselves around a desire to stop President Obama’s IRS abuse of power. This is a win for Sen. Harry Reid and the Obama administration.

“The debt ceiling is the last piece of must-pass legislation during this session of Congress, and is the last opportunity for members to deal with IRS targeting before new regulations restricting 501(c)(4)s go into effect. While regular legislative efforts are expected in the House on this important issue, there is no chance that they will become law. We are profoundly disappointed by this failure to rein in IRS abuse.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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GOP’s debt ceiling play a waste of the power of the purse

Feb. 11, 2014, Fairfax, VA.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging the House of Representatives to reconsider their debt ceiling strategy to include restrictions on the IRS targeting of the tea party and other 501(c)(4) organizations:

“House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan made a huge error in agreeing to cut military pension benefits for the nation’s veterans as a part of the much ballyhooed Ryan-Murray budget deal. Now, Speaker Boehner is desperately trying to pull Chairman Ryan’s political bacon out of the fire by attaching a military pension fix to the upcoming debt ceiling increase, the last piece of must-pass legislation in this session of Congress.

“While Speaker Boehner’s cronies claim that there are not enough House Republican votes to use the debt ceiling to rein in the IRS targeting of conservative groups, he somehow is mustering forces to save Chairman Ryan from future political annihilation by restoring veterans’ pensions. It would be nice if Speaker Boehner had the same concern for the thousands of conservative allies who have been targeted and abused by President Obama’s weaponized IRS.

“It’s time for the House to use its power of the purse to both restore the rightfully earned military pensions and end the IRS abuse of power. Anything less is a dereliction of members’ constitutional duty.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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