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.Tags: indecency, irs, nancy pelosi, tea party
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.