The Left-Wing Money Machine and the IRS’s War on Conservatives
Posted By Arnold Ahlert On February 20, 2014
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Of all the donors who contribute to political causes, no one is more vilified by the mainstream media than the Koch brothers for their “outsized” influence on the national debate. But according to OpenSecrets.org, which complied a list of the “Top All-Time Donors, 1989-2014,” the Koch brothers didn’t even make the top fifty. Meanwhile, none of the top ten donors and only two of the top 20 tilted toward Republicans, with the rest supporting Democrats and only a few on the fence. These findings are hardly surprising. As David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin revealed in their 2012 book, The New Leviathan: How the Left-Wing Money Machine Shapes American Politics and Threatens America’s Future, the American right is severely outgunned by their leftist counterparts in the world of advocacy organizations. What is true of these groups is also true of political action committees and similar organizations, as OpenSecrets reveals. These facts only make the idea that IRS targeting of conservatives was “accidental” all the more ludicrous.
In The New Leviathan, Horowitz and Laksin demonstrate the massive disparity between political donations to the Left and Right. Regarding immigration policy, for example, they note that there are 117 progressive groups with an annual revenue of over $306 million dollars endeavoring to undermine traditional standards for citizenship and legalization, compared to only nine groups with a total of $15 million to defend those standards. On the environmental front, there are 552 groups with $3.56 billion in annual resources that promote greater government control over the environment, compared to only 32 groups with $96 million in annual resources promoting the preservation of private property and free-market solutions to the nation’s environmental problems.
This imbalance is further exacerbated by government funding that is disproportionately aimed at progressive organizations, even when conservative administrations have held sway in Washington, D.C. When Horowitz and Laskin add up the total amount of resources available to both sides of the ideological divide, it is easy to see why the nation is being pushed further and further leftward: there are 122 major leftist foundations with $104 billion worth of assets, compared to 86 conservative foundations, with just over $10 billion worth of assets. This ten-to-one ratio completely undermines the Left’s argument that conservative success is due to a massive funding advantage.
It is also instructive to compare the above statistics with recent IRS scrutiny of advocacy groups. During the IRS’s conservative targeting campaign, at least 292 conservative groups were selected for additional and unfair scrutiny between 2010 and 2012. The number of liberal groups subjected to the same scrutiny? Six.
Just recently, on Feb. 11, House Ways and Means Chairman Camp revealed that his committee’s continuing investigation discovered the IRS also singled out established conservative tax-exempt groups for audits. “We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s,” he said in a statement.
“At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.”
However, the work of groups on the left side of the spectrum has gone virtually unimpeded for decades. Though they have made surrogate partisan politics an art form, operating as virtual arms of the Democratic Party, left-wing groups have never been subjected to the kind of crackdown that conservative groups have faced under the Obama administration. For example, Media Matters for America, funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros, has served as both a mouthpiece and attack dog for the Democratic Party establishment since 2004. In 2012, emails obtained by the Daily Caller revealed that the Obama Justice Department was actively working with Media Matters to spin news and attack journalists reporting on department scandals. In 2013, President Obama easily converted his re-election campaign apparatus into the tax-exempt advocacy group Organizing for Action, which is now challenging the power and resources of the Democratic National Committee. In contrast, the small-time Tea Party group True the Vote struggled for three years to achieve tax-exempt status.
Thus, President Obama’s recent assertion that there’s not even a “smidgen” of corruption associated IRS is absurd and dishonest. There is also a great question as to whether any serious investigation of the case is being preformed at all. As both the New York Post and Washington Post rightly note, the Obama administration’s Justice Department is still purportedly engaged in an ongoing investigation, which should preclude the president from reaching any conclusion whatsoever. Yet the president has no apparent problem making pronouncements of innocence in advance of the facts. In fact, the Department of Justice has already declared no criminal charges are anticipated in the case.
Victims of the IRS are speaking out against the administration’s sham investigation. The American Center for Law and Justice revealed that the FBI didn’t ask to interview any of its 41 clients until December, seven months after the scandal broke, and still hasn’t interviewed a single one of them. Lawyer Cleta Mitchell, who represents several other targeted clients, also revealed that the FBI never interviewed any of her clients either. And despite promises to do so, the FBI declined to make lead investigator Valerie Parlave available to the House Oversight Committee.
For those familiar with the funding disparity between the Left and the Right, the persecution of conservative outsiders shouldn’t be any surprise. The Left is comfortable with the status quo and it covets its dominance over the coffers of political influence. When conservative Americans began to intensify their efforts in this arena, they paid the price — including by facing tens of thousands of dollars in abusive bureaucratic fines and litigation costs merely for exercising their civil and constitutional rights.
Unless conservatives recognize the enormity of the New Leviathan they are up against, the future only promises more of the same.
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