It’s no surprise to long-time observers of the Obama administration, the Internal Revenue Service, or government in general that the IRS has targeted non-lefty groups for reasons the agency laughably contends are non-ideological.
The current brouhaha is only part of the story. Here’s another part. Frank VanderSloot is a businessman who donated to the Romney campaign. In April of last year, an Obama campaign website chastised several Romney supporters for such high crimes as being “high-dollar donors” with “less-than-reputable records,” interested in “pursuing a specific agenda.” Just the kind of persons that government agencies might like to especially investigate, perhaps?
In any case, within two weeks of the publication of this enemies list, a recent employee of Senate Democrats began rooting around in VanderSloot’s divorce records. Next, the IRS launched audits of his tax returns for 2008 and 2009. He’d never before been audited. Next, the Department of Labor decided to audit the three workers he employed on a cattle ranch under the terms of a visa program for temporary workers.
Coincidence(s)? VanderSloot himself suspects that the audits were retaliation for his political leanings. Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel noted at the time that to what extent the harassment had been centrally planned was both undiscoverable and somewhat beside the point. “If this isn’t a chilling glimpse of a society Americans reject, it is hard to know what is. It’s why presidents are held to different rules, and should not keep lists.”
At least, not lists of political enemies.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.