Conservative activists have been working overtime to stop the proposed IRS regulation for 501 (C) (4) social welfare groups that is designed to silence conservatives. The new regulation “popped up” without prior notice on Thanksgiving weekend, last year, when most of America was focused on the holidays, giving them only two months to act. In the end, over 140,000 comments were posted on regulations.gov by the deadline of Feb 27. This means the IRS has to comb through and address every single one of them, comment by comment. They have gummed up the works for the IRS on this rule change in a huge way.
Conservative leaders Andrew Langer from the Institute of Liberty, Ralph Reed of the rapidly growing Faith and Freedom Coalition and Phil Kerpin of the American Commitment were on hand at CPAC 2014 to explain how they were able to achieve this herculean effort.
As Langer would tell us, “my dream has always been… to slow down the wheels of the bureaucracy – bury them under an avalanche of comments – that we can now do.”
Andrew Langer: “Congress passes a law, and it goes to the agencies for interpretation through the regulatory process, and you file substantive comments – comments that get to the heart of the rule, and why it’s bad. But you also need to get grassroots comments in. This is what the left has always done very well. It’s how weird interpretations of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, OSHA rules – how those all move forward, is because they all go out – the Sierra Club will go out and get tens of thousands of postcard comments. So we knew we had to do the same thing with this.”
Ralph Reed: “We feel strongly about this because we think that one of the things that separate the United States from every other nation in recorded history until the time of our founding – the thing that makes us unique and exceptional, and it’s the reason why people are willing to crawl across broken glass and cross oceans at the risk of their own lives to become Americans – is because we believe the government derives its legitimacy from the consent of the governed. And if you don’t think that is different than what goes on in the rest of the world, just look at Syria where there’s over 140,000 innocents that have been slaughtered recently, look at what’s going on in the Ukraine and Crimea, look at what’s happening in Egypt, in Iran and I can go on. What happens here – is not normal. It is not the normative human experience. Now, the right to organize – to mobilize, to educate, to register people to vote, to ensure that they’re properly activated – that they have an effective means of petitioning their elected officials – is critical to this Democratic experiment.”
Phil Kerpin: “Elected Democrats are behind this…they think the only way they can survive is to shut us all up. They’re willing to throw their own grassroots overboard and the First Amendment of the Constitution to do it, and given the fact that the IRS has already taken it as far as they have, in the face of all the opposition across the ideological spectrum, I think it’s very likely that they’ll take the next step and attempt to finalize the rule before the election. If they do that, I’m not going to abide by the rule. I think it’s an illegal rule and we’re going to litigate it..”
These conservative men may look like mild mannered milquetoasts but they are warriors who are doing God’s work. We should support their organizations in any way we can.