A planted question at a meeting of the American Bar Association meeting. Good grief.
And then Celia Roady, an intelligent, successful tax lawyer in DC, has the temerity to later say that she had no idea what was going on, she was just asked to ask a question.
Okay. A senior official at the IRS singles you out to ask a question after the official gives a presentation at an annual ABA meeting. The question is obviously about a sensitive political matter. You just say, “Sure! Love to! This’ll be fun!”?
Could be. I’m just sayin’. . . . At least it didn’t happen in the Rose Garden where POTUS was busy deflecting unusually nonfawning questions from the national press about Benghazi and (gasp!) AP phone traffic monitoring.
So the world learns of the invasive, oppressive and Naziesque handling of conservative 501(c)(4) political organizations. As you recall, these groups were the brainchild of the horribly misguided campaign reform law authored by Messrs. McCain and Feingold. The idea was allow the free flow of political expression by some groups while limiting the right of free speech for individuals, corporations and PACs.
In a word, “Brilliant!” Let’s let the $50,000 per clip fat cats have a go at it while individual First Amendment rights are sacrificed.
It was bad law when it was passed, it is bad law now, and now we know why. It gives the White House (d/b/a the IRS) the opportunity to make sure that the laws are only implemented in a firm, fair and impartial manner when it benefits. At one time this was referred to as illegal harassment. There was a time when people went to jail for such shenanigans.
It should be repealed along with all other such laws. This is a different time and different age. Political money doesn’t change hands in garage parking lots any longer. The internet affords all the transparency one could hope for in rooting out the evil these 40 year old or so laws were designed to prevent: money for influence.
Ban corporate money if you wish, but let individuals give as much as they want and the politicians take as much as they want. Just make sure the transaction is fully disclosed on the internet at both ends within 24 hours of the transaction. Heck, it could even be set up so that disclosure could be simultaneous with the contribution. Let the realm of public opinion take it from there.
A discussion about how this simplifies the tax code, takes away work from lawyers, curtails the importance of political consultants, weakens the foundation of the lobbyist culture, and takes several federal criminal statues off the books is reserved for another day.
And shame on the ABA for participating in such a ruse.
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