WASHINGTON, D.C., January 17, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The father of former GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been harassed six times since 2008, says the Tea Party favorite’s brother.
“My father, who worked multiple jobs and faithfully and honestly paid his taxes for fifty years, had never heard a word from the IRS,” wrote Chuck Heath, Jr. on his Facebook page. “In 2008, his daughter was tapped to run for vice president of the United States. Since that time, he has been, in his words ‘horribly harassed’ six times by the agency.”
In 2010, the IRS began investigating organizations with the terms “Patriot” and “Tea Party” in their names, among others. Pro-life groups were also targeted. All of the groups were either 501(c)(4) non-profits or applying to become such non-profits. These organizations must have “social welfare,” such as education, as their primary purpose.
The effort was made public in a planted statement in May 2013, when the IRS official in charge of the department in question admitted the targeting. The official, Lois Lerner, made the admission because the IRS' watchdog – the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration – was releasing a report on the targeting.
This week, the FBI declined to file charges against the IRS. It appears the FBI believes mismanagement, not illegal intent, were at fault in the IRS.
Democrats have long claimed the enhanced investigative treatment was bipartisan. A handful of liberal groups did receive extra attention, but, according to Tea Party Patriots co-founder and National Coordinator Jenny Beth Martin in a public statement this week, “100 percent of Tea Party groups were targeted.”
Martin also noted that “the IRS perjured themselves about targeting and released donor information of at least one group, both of which are crimes, [yet] the FBI still found no reason to press charges.”
Criticism of the Obama administration intensified after the person heading the investigation into the IRS was found to be an Obama and Democratic Party donor. USA TODAY reported last year that about 80 percent of 162 organizations given closer scrutiny by the IRS were conservative.
Thomas Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, which was one of the targeted groups, told LifeSiteNews.com that “the IRS scandal is about more than the Tea Party. The scandal erupted … and Congress has stepped down, and allowed this Administration to investigate itself.”
Since May, the IRS has looked into changing some of the rules surrounding 501(c)(4) organizations. The Washington Post reports that new rules have been proposed and opened for public comment that would “explicitly define which kind of activities are political and fall outside of the social welfare category, forcing such groups to be more careful about how they spend their funds.”
The Post says the regulations – which are not finalized – would prevent ads mentioning candidates after a certain date before Election Day and enact other limitations on speech. This has been described as codifying the suppression the IRS engaged in starting in 2010 by several prominent conservative organizations and individuals.
Heath says his father is innocent of any wrongdoing. “They've tried to dig up something on him but he's always operated above board.”