Delicious Ironies: Tea Party Groups and Tax Exemptions

Tea Party

New Orleans    You just have to love the irony of the government bashing, back-to-the-basics, tri-corner hat wearing Tea-people now lining up at the whining wall to weep about the fact that the Internal Revenue Service is not bending over backwards to give them tax exemptions by joining the pretend party that somehow their purposes are in any way “charitable.”  Even in the tedious and trying world of IRS regulations, charity is still not defined as kicking around women, immigrants, and just about everyone other than your buddies at the VFW bar.

Seems a sweet sixteen of the groups banned together and hired a rightwing shyster who normally works on trying to break down the barriers between church and state to pretend he was a tax expert and yell at the IRS to give them tax breaks for their miserly contributions to their hater groups.  Some of the sweet-16 are the old Glenn Beck (remember him?) 9/12 groups which I got to know well in 2009 in Springfield and Memphis when they picketed events where I spoke.

The IRS didn’t comment but issued a statement in response to inquiries by the Times:

To be tax-exempt as a social welfare organization described in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501( c) 4, an organization must be primarily engaged in the promotion of social welfare.  The promotion of social welfare does not include any unrelated business activities or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.

Heck that might even include your main activity of showing up and heckling Congressional representatives when they hold “town hall” meetings in their districts to get constituent input?

Don’t get me wrong; go wild, Tea-people!  Just don’t ask for special tax breaks for doing it.    And, don’t cry about it, just cuz you’re cheap!

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O’Keefe Pro and Con

KyleandBeckNew Orleans What’s a guy to do?  Can’t make people happy for sure!  My conservative comrades in the blogosphere are dividing sharply on the positions I have taken on James O’Keefe III and he and his rightwing dunderkind and their telephone bungle up at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office.  I have pretty much come down on the side that argues the guy is a self-aggrandizing hustler (not a pimp) who believes that all means justify any ends that put him in the center of the camera and story.  I’ve also sided with several of the august Senators, including Republicans from Nebraska and elsewhere in the heartland who have said his credibility is shot and maybe, heaven forbid, we should even take a look at what he had the chippie did on the ACORN sting.

O’Keefe’s employer, Andrew Brietbart and www.biggoverment.com had one of their fair haired boys, Kyle Olson, write a piece whose headline was “Sorry Wade, James O’Keefe’s Actions Don’t Excuse ACORN.”  Olson probably feels he has the right to do a “Wade” shout out, because he and I are old comrades.  He had been on Glenn Beck helping promote my book, Citizen Wealth, claiming he had an exclusive “interview” with me at the Octavia Book Store book signing.  Dressed in short pants, he and a buddy claimed that they were health care bloggers from Michigan, and wanted to get some video from me for their blog about health care reform.  The highlights of the “interview,” which consisted of Fox viewers watching me talk while signing Citizen Wealth last summer were there question about whether SEIU was working for healthcare reform and my “admission” that yes, by gum, they were (no, duh?!?) and them asking about ACORN and Health Care for America Now (HCAN), where I said I didn’t work for ACORN and asked Marie Hurt, the Louisiana director their question, and she answered in the background.  Olson and O’Keefe come from the same “school” of “journalism,” Olson is just better looking.  The rest of his piece was a rehash of whatever few remaining charges are still outstanding against ACORN back to the 2008 election and the highly documented partisan charges by the Republicans against the organization at that time.

Continue reading “O’Keefe Pro and Con”

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