April 11, 2014

Taking a high level overview here, I'd say Republicans have settled on their chosen scandal for the midterms. Given that Benghazi just isn't going anywhere and the ACA's benefits are kicking in, they've decided on the IRS non-scandal as their chief anger-generating machine to keep the base motivated for November.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who will be the next Chairman of the House Oversight Committee if we don't win back the House in November, went on Fox News to lie and scheme about Rep. Cummings insinuating that maybe he "crossed a line" when he requested information from the IRS about True the Vote.

Chaffetz' message is very carefully crafted to make viewers feel like Cummings must have done something bad, but Chaffetz knows that is not the case. The emails published by Chaffetz' committee prove that Cummings neither requested confidential information, nor did the IRS ever consider giving him anything confidential.

It goes like this, from emails published on the Oversight Committee's website:

March 28, 2012 - House Democrats send a letter to the IRS commissioner asking him to look into 501c4 organizations and their political activity.

March 28, 2012 - A Texas judge rules that KSP/True the Vote is a PAC, not a non-profit organization. As such, they illegally helped Republicans in exclusive ways, from campaign donations to poll watcher training only for Republican candidates.

January 25, 2013 - An email goes out to Lois Lerner, Holly Paz, and Nancy Marks requesting specific information requested by the House Oversight Committee Minority Staff on KSP/True the Vote's publicly available documents. Specific language:

They believe the entity has filed tax returns in the past and would like copies of those if they are publicly available in addition to any other information that is publicly available about the entity's tax-exempt status.

Also on January 25, 2013, King Street Patriots/True the Vote launched their big "rebranding campaign" with the spurious claim that President Obama was re-elected because of voter fraud.

“Make no mistake, there was fraud.” That’s how Catherine Engelbrecht, who heads both groups, helped explain what happened at King Street’s post-election recap earlier this month.

Conservative groups across the country are soul-searching and charting new courses after this election, and King Street Patriots and True The Vote are no different. As Engelbrecht stressed from the stage two weeks ago, that course runs back through Houston.

Houston is where the highest concentration of African-American voters in Texas is. No coincidence.

Engelbrecht also announced that former FBI informant and current Breitbart Texas editor Brandon Darby would be assisting her with the rebranding effort.

To handle this new plan—itself a resuscitation of the group’s dormant “Citizen Patriot Response,” or CPR, program—King Street has tapped another friend of the program, anarchist-turned-tea-partier Brandon Darby. Darby explained his plans to “take a small area of Harris County, probably close by,” and “begin to work with them, and get our communities…involved in their communities.” He went on:

“I’m going to walk the streets and I’m gonna talk to ‘em and I’m gonna ask, ‘Who helps you? Who really helps and cares in this area?’ And people are gonna tell me. And when we find those people who are actually helping, not receiving the dollars from the federal government, and trying to get people off that dependence, when we find em, I’m gonna ask you all to help me work with them.

“I’ll do the walking, you don’t need to walk with me,” he cooed. All he’ll need is support from the Patriots when the time comes. “There’s probably some elderly lady taking care of her dying husband right now, whose yard is high. And we could cut that grass.”

Who knows what you’ll find! There’s just no telling.

Well, except for one thing: Darby was quite sure they’ll encounter a few of those scammers and layabouts who while away the hours sucking your tax dollars away. And what’s he going to do then? “We would call out charlatans in the low-income communities and the black communities,” he said.

January 25-28, 2013: Holly Paz affirms she is looking for all publicly available information, but has not located it yet. This is probably because True the Vote originally incorporated as King Street Patriots, and rebranded after they were called out as a group of thugs. KSP was so threatening in the Houston area it was necessary to bring in the Justice Department to protect voter registration groups after they received threats from True the Vote and associated tea party groups.

That's it. Chaffetz is breathlessly informing uninformed ignorant Fox viewers about a whole lot of nothing, carefully phrased to sound like something. Because it's really all about the black dudes voting.

Here's a bit of trivia for you all about Catherine Engelbrecht and True the Vote: Her own hand-picked candidate voted from two places in one election. I think that's called...um...voter fraud.

It would be funny if Engelbrecht didn't have the ear of a Supreme Court Justice who wants to gut voting rights altogether. When viewed in that light, it's just pathetic.

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