May 14, 2013

Nancy Pelosi blames the IRS scandal on Citizens United [Darleen Click] UPDATED

… because one should never let a crisis go to waste

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Well, I think it’s an opportunity. Let me say it this way, if, in fact, the IRS was targeting people because of their title, that would be wrong. It should be condemned. The whole idea, of 501(c)(4)s being engaged in politics is something we’ve got to put in a spotlight and maybe this is that opportunity.

The fact is that the law says that as long as the funds, the 501(c)(4)s do not use as the primary purpose politics but instead promoting social well being, welfare. Well, that’s what primary purpose means, could be the secondary purpose. And here’s what I’m calling for: As we look at this and we should, and I think it’s very wrong that they would have targeted them, we should be saying what are these groups? Let’s have transparency, disclosure. Who are these contributors, a.? B., Let’s have accountability for what it is. This is a very vague law, let’s bring a clear definition of what a 501(c)(4) — is that somebody could give them money and they don’t have to pay taxes on it.

We need accountability at the IRS, of course, as to how this happened. But we’ve really got to overturn Citizens United which has exacerbated the situation. So I’ve called for DISCLOSE, that’s a dare, disclose… I’ve been calling for it for over a year, disclose, who are these people? Transparency, amend the constitution to overturn Citizens United, reform the political system, let’s take money down as far as possible. Public financing of campaigns, clean campaigns and empowerment of people because people feel very left out of the loop. But I do think that some scrutiny has to be placed on what these 501(c)(4)s are. (All In With Chris Hayes, May 13, 2013)

*******************************
UPDATE: via William Jacobson comes Dan Abrams’ The Media’s Shameful, Inexcusable Distortion Of The Supreme Court’s Citizens United Decision:

There are two media myths and inventions that are most commonly cited.

Myth 1: The Court invalidated disclosure requirements in political advertising, thereby allowing donors to remain anonymous.

Wrong. The Court ruled just the opposite and upheld, by an 8-1 vote, the McCain-Feingold requirement of identifying donors.

Myth 2: That the Court’s ruling in Citizens United opened the door to wealthy individuals like Sheldon Adelson to pour millions of dollars into PACs.

Wrong again. The Citizens United ruling had NOTHING to do with the ability of individuals to spend their money to support candidates. That had been decided back in 1976, when the Supreme Court decided that the First Amendment protected the right of individuals to make unlimited independent expenditures supporting or opposing candidates for federal office. In Citizens United, the Court ruled that corporations and unions were entitled to the same rights. It wasn’t that long ago, after all, that the Swift Boat ads, legally paid for by individuals, soiled John Kerry during the 2004 campaign.

But reading the New York Times, Washington Post and watching MSNBC in particular, it is hardly surprising that the public would be confused.

Posted by Darleen @ 7:13am
13 comments | Trackback

Tags: , , ,

Comments (13)

  1. I see. We fix violations of the First Amendment by limiting the First Amendment.

  2. Yes, because if we just outlawed political organizations, the government wouldn’t be forced to discriminate against some of them, and look how short that skirt is!

  3. Shorter Nancy Pelosi: We need to change the law so the IRS can keep doing what they’ve been doing only legally from now on.

  4. “Let’s have transparency, disclosure. Who are these contributors,”

    Yes. Let’s have a list of all contributors to the Tides Foundation.

    Something tells me that SanFranNan wouldn’t be so happy about that.

  5. Quite discouraging to me is the right’s failure to see that having artificiality — the IRS, IRS rules on speech, private versus public sectors, protected special interest, lobbying, et al — is itself the problem.

    That the mighty fool Pelosi points out that rules exist is expected. She’s also correct: We do, damn them, and to a fool this disclosure thing is a natural, predictable out and one she naturally took.

    So eliminate it and have done so years ago. That the right refuses to tear down prior constitutional illegality is galling. In this the right is progressive.

    Like I wrote Jeff this morning, this month is a gift; a sterling indicator of the left’s very soul and about as perfect a storm as needed to sweep the halls clean of their infestation. Which is why the establishment right won’t do much more than bitch at the weekly news cycle when they should be organizing a profound national pushback.

  6. And here’s what I’m calling for: As we look at this and we should, and I think it’s very wrong that they would have targeted them, we should be saying what are these groups? Let’s have transparency, disclosure.

    “It’s wrong for the IRS to target them. I should do it instead.”

    C 4’s are allowed to do political work. The law is not vague, that’s what it says and it’s how they’re different from c 3’s. It’s also why donations to them are not deductible.

  7. But we’ve really got to overturn Citizens United which has exacerbated the situation.

    I say, what an extravagant notion. A couple, three pillows; Scalia, Alito, Kennedy snuffle off in the night. Three shiny new justices appointed in His Radiance’s image. Hey presto, overturned! I have to say Nancy, the rumour is you’re mad as a snakebit dingo, but I like your style.

  8. Quite discouraging to me is the right’s failure to see that having artificiality — the IRS, IRS rules on speech, private versus public sectors, protected special interest, lobbying, et al — is itself the problem.

    And then there’s that.

  9. C 4?s are allowed to do political work. The law is not vague, that’s what it says and it’s how they’re different from c 3?s. It’s also why donations to them are not deductible.

    Funny how they don’t have the same gusto to investigate c(3)s political activity, where the c(3)s are American Universities and colleges.

  10. This is a very vague law, let’s bring a clear definition of what a 501(c)(4) — is that somebody could give them money and they don’t have to pay taxes on it.

    God forbid that money should change hands without one of them being mine.

  11. Funny how they don’t have the same gusto to investigate c(3)s political activity, where the c(3)s are American Universities and colleges.

    Or Media Matters or the Center For American Progress.

  12. The other error the right commits is comparing this “scandal” to Watergate. I see even Reynolds is linking scads of such fallacies.

    This isn’t even remotely in the same galaxy as Watergate. This is rampant political oppression of patriotic American structuralists done over years by an official agency of the State. Then this is wiretapping on a huge scale against what should be an objective Press. And it comes on the back of the unresolved Benghazi coverup behind which Americans died and the State lied about it.

    If little collectivist man had a shred of integrity he wouldn’t choose to pollute the office past this coming weekend. Then a hundred other heads would roll. An entire agency would be shuttered.

    Watergate my ass.

    Which is why the Establicans won’t act on it, and why the words Watergate and apology will be bandied about until the cycle dies and we can be consumed with somebody’s murder trial or how Hilary is a hypocrite all over again.

Leave a Reply