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Public Statements

The Abuse of Power by the IRS

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

I thank the gentleman from Texas for yielding, and Mr. Flores has really done a wonderful job of outlining the problem that we have come to the floor to address tonight.

Quite frankly, Mr. Speaker, it is a problem and a situation that so many of our constituents never thought that they would witness or experience in this great Nation. They always felt that they had the right to free speech because it is a guaranteed right.

How dare that they, or their groups, find themselves subjected to mistreatment by a Federal Government agency because of what they chose to say or to do, all in defense of liberty and the Constitution of this great land.

Well, we had some of our Tennessee groups that were unjustly targeted through this process. They brought that to our attention because they realized that they were the brunt of this mistreatment, that they were facing a Federal Government agency who came bearing the power of the Federal Government to try to fear and intimidate citizens.

Yes, indeed, it is the example of the government turning against the citizens and the power of the government being used to silence the citizens.

So many of our constituents that were involved with this process said, What happened? How did this change? What has caused this to take place?

And what they began to say to us was, if they can do this to others, what are they going to do to us?

If they can do this to us in our group, what will they end up doing to others?

So we have worked very closely and continue to follow what is happening with these groups and, of course, have been very concerned, as we have heard and watched the hearings for how the IRS carried out this data-mining and these word searches.

I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, it is no doubt at all, no doubt in my mind at all why the American people are so concerned about the security of the President's health care law. They know that their data may be used against them because they have living proof with the IRS, that they took information, applications, donors to groups, and then they turned that information against those donors from those groups in order to silence them and to impair their free speech.

I want to read a letter tonight from one of the groups in my district, in our State, that has been unfairly and unjustly treated by the IRS. And this one comes from Linchpins of Liberty. It is stating their posture as of October 21 of this year.

And the gentleman who is the executive director of Linchpins of Liberty is a gentleman named Kevin Kookogey, who started his organization because he loves his country. He loves freedom. He wants to preserve this for his children and future generations.

So he did what a lot of Americans do, decided to put

together an organizational structure that individuals could come together under to further the cause of freedom, something more individuals could and should do.

But this is what happened to him, and I am quoting from his letter, which I will enter, Mr. Speaker, as a part of the permanent record for the proceedings of this evening:

Dear Congresswoman Blackburn,

As you know, I am president and founder of Linchpins of Liberty, an American Leadership Development Enterprise.

On January 2, 2011, we filed our application with the IRS seeking to obtain a 501(c)(3) status as an educational organization.

Now, Mr. Speaker, that date is important. January 2, 2011:

For over 33 months now, the IRS has unlawfully delayed and obstructed that application. Under threat of perjury, the IRS has demanded that I disclose the identities of my students, some of whom are minors. One letter from the IRS contained in excess of 90 inquiries of intimidation intended to force me to disclose my donors and to identify the political affiliation of my mentors.

This has come at great cost to me. I have already lost a $30,000 grant from a reputable nonprofit whose executive director advised me that he had never seen such treatment of a 501(c)(3) applicant in his 25 years of making grants.

On June 5, 2013, the day after I testified before Congress, I then lost most of my business when my largest client advised me that it was uncomfortable with the public expression of my political views in defending my constitutional rights.

A few days later, Congressman McDermott suggested on national television that I may have lied before Congress simply because I was not under oath when I testified. Perhaps he was projecting, because I don't make a distinction between whether or not I am under oath. I tell the truth all the time.

If the intent of the administration is to intimidate and silence the voices of freedom, then it has grossly misjudged its citizens. The government is not our master. It is our agent. We are the principals, and we delegate our rights. We do not surrender them.

I therefore respectfully appeal to you to confront this abuse of power by the executive branch, and, in so doing, to protect, defend and preserve human liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

Sincerely, Kevin Kookogey, president and founder, Linchpins of Liberty.

Mr. Speaker, when you read the letters such as the one from Mr. Kookogey, such as the ones that you are going to hear from other organizations tonight, what you realize is there is an outstanding field of questions relative to what has transpired with the IRS:

Why did they go about this?

What was their purpose?

Was it maliciousness?

Were their actions purposeful?

Was it intended to silence, to silence those that stand in opposition to the practices and the positions of this administration?

Those are some of the questions that our constituents are still seeking to find the answers to. They would like to have their IRS designation because they recognize we are a Nation of laws. We abide by the law, and they would seek to operate within the law.

October 21, 2013.
Re Linchpins of Liberty--The Cost of Speaking for Freedom

Hon. MARSHA BLACKBURN,
Washington, DC.

DEAR CONGRESSWOMAN BLACKBURN: As you know, I am President and Founder of Linchpins of Liberty: An American Leadership Development Enterprise.

On January 2, 2011, we filed our application with the IRS, seeking to obtain 501(c)(3) status as an educational organization.

For over 33 months now, the IRS has unlawfully delayed and obstructed that application. Under threat of perjury, the IRS has demanded that I disclose the identities of my students--some of whom are minors. One letter from the IRS contained in excess of ninety (90) inquiries of intimidation intended to force me to disclose my donors and to identify the political affiliation of my mentors!

This has come at great cost to me. I have already lost a $30,000 grant from a reputable non-profit whose Executive Director advised me that he had never seen such treatment of a 501(c)(3) applicant in his 25 years of making grants.

On June 5, 2013, the day after I testified before Congress, I then lost most of my business when my largest client advised me that it was uncomfortable with the public expression of my political views in defending my Constitutional rights.

A few days later, Congressman McDermott suggested on national television that I may have lied before Congress simply because I was not under oath when I testified. Perhaps he was projecting, because I don't make a distinction between whether or not I am under oath. I tell the truth ALL the time.

If the intent of the Administration is to intimidate and silence the voices of freedom, then it has grossly misjudged its citizens. The government is not our master. It is our agent. We are the principals, and we delegate our rights. We do not surrender them.

I therefore respectfully appeal to you to confront this abuse of power by the Executive Branch, and in so doing to protect, defend, and preserve human liberty, for ourselves and our posterity.

Sincerely,

KEVIN KOOKOGEY,
President & Founder, Linchpins of Liberty.

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