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Want To Protect Your Privacy? Conservative Organizations Should Sign Onto This Supreme Court Brief

Disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner targeted conservative and Tea Party groups and their donors for abuse.  She has yet to be held accountable and punished by the legal system.

Kamala HarrisNow, ultra-leftwing, Planned Parenthood supporter California Attorney General Kamala Harris (pictured), a candidate for U.S. Senate, is telling nonprofit organizations they can’t speak to donors in her state unless they fork over the names and addresses of their top donors to her so she can investigate them and your organization if she wants.

For conservative and Tea Party groups and their donors, this is like the landmark Supreme Court case NAACP v. Alabama, where the state Attorney General demanded the membership list of the NAACP.  The Supreme Court decided that the danger of abuse and harassment violated the “right of association” guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Your organization can do something about this latest attempt to violate privacy and the right of association by signing onto an “amicus” brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to tell Kamala Harris that she is acting unconstitutionally and illegally.

Below is a clip from the amicus brief to be filed with the Supreme Court describing how Lois Lerner “collaborated” with state officials like Kamala Harris who oversee nonprofit organizations.

Your conservative or Tea Party organization may sign on to this brief as a “co-amicus” (friend of the court).  To get a copy and to sign on to this brief, which will be filed later in August, contact constitutional lawyer Mark Fitzgibbons at [email protected].  Use the subject line “Supreme Court” in your email.

Here is a clip from the amicus brief to be filed in the case Center for Competitive Politics v. Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General of California:

A bipartisan report of the Senate Finance Committee about the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment of nonprofit organizations, issued August 5, 2015, references various unlawful disclosures of confidential tax information by the IRS, including the Form 990 Schedule B information of the National Organization of Marriage.[1]

Recent publicized violations of disclosure of confidential tax return information by the IRS -- and of course what is publicized is based only on the times that the IRS was caught -- demonstrate that even the federal service with its supposedly sophisticated guards of confidentiality is untrustworthy.  It defies logic to believe that state attorneys general, a partisan elected position subject to the temptations and whims of partisan politics no matter how dedicated and professional, would have better safeguards of such confidential tax return information.

*****

It should be noted that controversial former IRS official Lois Lerner collaborated extensively about Form 990 information and enforcement issues with state charitable solicitation officials and their umbrella organization, the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO), an affiliate of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).

At the same time her Tax Exempt division at the IRS was engaging in ideologically discriminatory policies, Ms. Lerner was collaborating with state officials to help “ramp up” their regulation of nonprofit organizations.  As reported in the BNA Daily Tax Report  (“States Ramp Up Regulation of Nonprofits – With Help from the Feds”):

The increase in federal-state cooperation is not imagined, but confirmed by both federal and state officials.  According to both Lois Lerner, IRS Director, Exempt Organizations, and Mark Pacella, chief deputy attorney of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, information sharing between the IRS and state AGs is ramping up.  Over the past four years, Lerner said in April, state charity oversight officials referred 600 organizations to the IRS, and 90 percent of those referrals led to examinations.

And as reported at CNSNews.com:[2]

In her Exempt Organizations 2011 Annual Report, Ms. Lerner touts a proposed rulemaking … to reduce barriers to states’ participation in the [IRS’] information-sharing program * * *  Lerner explained that the IRS expected to have regular interaction with NASCO about the new filing and monitor trends that arise with the new Form 990 and hoped the feedback would help shape future adjustments.

Ms. Lerner collaborated with state charity officials on her office’s redesign of IRS Form 990, noting their existing “compliance relationship” would increase.  As reported in 2009 by The NonProfit Times:[3]

Overall, the Form 900 is going to provide state charity regulators with a lot more information, “particularly in the areas of governance and also compensation issues because although the states and the IRS have two different jurisdictions, many of the things that we are looking at are important to the states for different reasons because of their areas of charitable oversight,” said Lois G. Lerner, director of the Exempt Organizations (EO) Division of the IRS. “When you look at the facts we look at to determine whether an organization meets the requirements for tax-exemption, those same facts can also give rise to some of the violations at the state level.”

Lerner explained that the IRS expected to have regular interaction with NASCO about the new filing and monitor trends that arise with the new Form 990 and hoped the feedback would help shape future adjustments. The IRS and state regulators already have a compliance relationship — the IRS can give some information to state regulators about enforcement activities under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, while the state regulators can lead the IRS to potential tax violations. In 2008, EO disclosed nearly 200 enforcement activities to state agencies, including terminations and revocations, and state officials made 83 referrals to EO, including political activities, employment tax and failures in operating within designated exemption status.

The formerly accessible and collaborative Ms. Lerner has since been held in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about her activities at the center of an IRS scandal involving its treatment of conservative nonprofit organizations and their donors (“House votes to hold Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress,” The Washington Post, May 7, 2014).[4]  Ms. Lerner remains in the news regularly, if not weekly, as information continues to come forth about IRS targeting groups and individuals for apparent ideological reasons (“Lois Lerner Wanted To Audit A Group With Ties To Bristol Palin,” The Daily Caller, August 5, 2015),[5] crass partisan statements (“Lois Lerner Criticized GOP As 'Crazies,' 'Assholes' In Emails,” The Huffington Post, September 29, 2014),[6] and various alleged lawless abuses of power.

Which is to say that the presumption of benevolence the court of appeals accorded the government is misplaced.  Information continues to trickle out under congressional investigations,[7] inspector general investigations,[8] private lawsuits,[9] and threats of contempt[10] involving government malevolence towards conservative nonprofits.




[1] THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE’S PROCESSING OF 501(C)(3) AND 501(C)(4) APPLICATIONS FOR TAX-EXEMPT STATUS SUBMITTED BY “POLITICAL ADVOCACY” ORGANIZATIONS FROM 2010-2013, at 136, http://op.bna.com/der.nsf/id/klan-9z4sa5/$File/FINAL%20Bipartisan%20Staff%20Report.pdf

[2] “CA, NY Attorneys General Accused of Violating Donor Confidentiality Laws,” August 2, 2103, http://cnsnews.com/news/article/ca-ny-attorneys-general-accused-violating-donor-confidentiality-laws.

[3] “Attorney General Focusing On Fiduciary Responsibilities,” February 1, 2009, http://www.thenonprofittimes.com/news-articles/attorney-general-focusing-on-fiduciary-responsibilities/

[7] See Footnote ___, supra.

[8] ”Treasury Inspector General: ‘Potential Criminal Activity’ Surrounding Lerner Emails,” Breitbat.com, February 27, 2015, http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/02/27/treasury-inspector-general-potential-criminal-activity-surrounding-lerner-emails/.

[9] “Pro-Israel Z Street Trumps IRS in Federal Appellate Court Ruling,” The Jewish Press, June 21, 2015,

http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pro-israel-z-street-trumps-irs-in-federal-appellate-court-ruling/2015/06/21/.

[10] “Federal judge threatens to hold IRS chief in contempt,” FoxNews.com, July 30, 2015, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/07/30/federal-judge-threatens-to-hold-irs-chief-in-contempt/.

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They are everywhere and they are horrid people

Harris is just another brain dead left wing automaton. To give this arrogant-as-all-outdoors nut more power is to add another Obama wannabe cupid-doll to our political pile, or junkyard, take your pick. We can do better. We must.