Making a Joke of the IRS “Scandal”


As reported by the UK Daily Mail's U.S. political editor David Martsoko from the Western Conservative Summit this weekend in Denver–apparently, Centennial Institute director and WCS organizer John Andrews has found a slick way around his group's pesky 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity status, which ordinarily would not allow the WCS to talk about political candidates and the upcoming 2014 elections:

'Sirloin' and 'tofu' have become code words for 'Republican' and 'Democrat' in Colorado, and a former right-wing state legislator assigned liberals the role of pressed bean curd during a conservative convention in Denver.

John Andrews, president of the Colorado state Senate until 2005 and now Director of the Centennial Institute – an affiliate of Colorado Christian College – told a crowd estimated at 3,000 that speakers at the three-day session would not be permitted to talk about candidates, parties or elections…

'You have probably noticed that as we brought out Bob Beauprez and Cory Gardner, that something was missing,' he said. 'Something was not said about them or by them about how they're spending 2014.'

'I can give you the reason why in two words: Lois Lerner.'

'…So let's just make this agreement … If you form a mental association between "Republican" and "sirloin," and between "Democrat" and "tofu," and I was to say to you that every time I whiff Bob Beauprez or Cory Gardner it makes me wanna eat more sirloin and less tofu, you would know what I was talking about, right?' [Pols emphasis]

Note how Andrews invoked Lois Lerner, the former IRS official vilified by the right as part of the scandal over conservative-leaning groups "singled out" for scrutiny of their tax-exempt status applications. The truth of that story is not nearly so simple, or in the end controversial–many left-leaning organizations faced the same level of scrutiny as conservative ones. Nonetheless, it's become a part of the vast body of anti-Obama mythology accepted on faith by the conservative base today.

But never mind all that, because John Andrews just made a joke of the whole thing! It's tough to imagine a better way to justify IRS scrutiny than to start your 501(c)(3) "nonprofit" convention by explaining the event's partisan political code language. Might the IRS decide that's too ridiculous a pretense to ignore? Would Andrews still claim he's being persecuted if the IRS asks for a little clarification?

Hopefully. And probably.

28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ZappateroZappatero says:

    Of course the facts don't matter, and R's can say "Lois Lerner" until the end of time and get the result they want from their base, but their attempt to create scandal where there is none and a villain out of a bureaucrat will fail thanks to their Other God Reagan:

    WASHINGTON — Although legal experts warned at the time that little would come of Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-Calif.) attempt to prosecute former IRS official Lois Lerner for contempt of Congress, Republicans on Issa's Oversight and Government Reform Committee were infuriated to learn Thursday that a key obstacle is a Reagan administration legal opinion.

    Issa's committee and then the full House voted to hold Lerner in contempt because she twice asserted her Fifth Amendment right in refusing to testify about her role in the IRS's botched screening of political nonprofits. 

    When Congress finds a person in contempt, the matter is referred to federal prosecutors to be brought before a grand jury.

    Legal experts advised against taking the step, and one of them, Gregory Gilchrist, told HuffPost at the time that it was unlikely a prosecutor would take up such a case, even though federal law spells out that pathway.

    The reason, he said, is that not only were the facts in the case weak, but courts have historically given prosecutors wide leeway in deciding whether to bring cases.

    "I just can't imagine that they would proceed with the case," Gilchrist said. "Unless the U.S. attorney takes a different view of the merits than I do, which I don't expect he will, I don't see any way this ends up in an actual charge."

  2. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    Election law has always been a joke to the GOP, so this shouldn't be very surprising.

    No doubt if a progressive conference said something like this, the righties would scream bloody murder. It would be at the top of FOX News.

  3. FrankUnderwood says:

    I don't think of sirloin when I think of Beauprez or Gardner.  I do think of livestock.  I think of the back end of a horse when Beauprez' name is mentioned (flashbacks to his '06 campaign) and a hen laying eggs when I hear Gardner (thanks to his flip flop on personhood amendment).

  4. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    Last night, Jon Stewart gave a good explanation of why the story that Republicans were the only ones who got tagged in the 501(c)(3) kerfuffle won't die.

  5. Diogenesdemar says:

    The GOPers made the IRS let's-try-to-create-a-scandal a joke from it's conception.

    Pinhead is just letting the rest of the world share the laugh. 

    (No surprise at the Calderaesque smarm . . . )

  6. BlueCatBlueCat says:

    Another big non-surprise. It's no wonder self righteous, family values touting Rs assume the worst about everybody and believe every ridiculous conspiracy story that comes down the pike.  They just naturally assume that everyone is  trying to get away with something (like this) just like they are. 

    • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

      It's interesting this projection they do, considering their complete lack of empathy. "Everyone is deceitful at their core, just like I am; Everyone in hard times deserves their plight, that could never happen to me."  There's somethng about the psychology of this one way street, I'm just not sure what.

  7. FrankUnderwood says:

    Sarah Palin blew into town yesterday for the con confab.

  8. ct says:

    A number of the speakers have been blaming Obama for Putin and Hamas… meanwhile Rand Paul, isolationist, polls as the top GOP 'contender' in Colorado.  They can have their red meat event, but they cannot hide that their party is fractured.   

  9. dwyer says:

    It is not what they say, it is what they do…..these conferences activate and energize the base; and put conservative talking points all over the public airwaves for free to "inform" those who are not committed.  There were 3000 paid ticket holders at one event.  People also paid to attend workshops on how to organize and GOTV.  Will people who paid to attend various events of the conference vote? Organize?  I think so,

    The last Conservative Coference was held in New Hampshire where, surprise surpirse, Scott Brown is making a run for the Senate and may win.


    I would really like to see some polls taken after this conference; but what thing we are learning is that they are all over the board….so we may have to wait until the votes are counted to see how effective this strategy is.

    Don't forget, Organizing for America is also a 501 (c) 3.

  10. FrankUnderwood says:

    It's official.  Dr. Ben Carson, a man who once compared Obamacare unfavorably to slavery, won the wing nut confab straw poll for prez w/ 22%.  Second place went to Ted Cruz (13%) and Carribou Barbie took third (12%).  The total number of votes was 666.  Isn't that special?

  11. FrankUnderwood says:

    So it looks like Both Ways and Ken Buck spoke at the wing nut confab but the Post has nothing about Gardner.  Wonder way?  Since he "refudiated" his prior support for the egg amendment, did they rescind his invitation?  More like he was afraid appearing with these freaks would simply provide evidence to support Udall's charge that Gardner is still a wing nut at heart.

  12. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    El Gordo Klingenschmitt bragged about all the interviews he got for his "Pray in Jesus Name" broadcast (that's basically his money mine). Apparently he got Ted Cruz and a bunch of other RWNJs, but not Cory Gardner. Mixing religion and politics, tax-deductible and non- is a  campaign finance violations, probably.


    Gordon James Klingenschmitt

    Yesterday via iPhoto

    In two days at #WCS14 we got 20 interviews for our PIJN NEWS TV show, including: Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Jim DeMint, Bill Armstrong, Randy Baumgartner, Congressmen Allen West, Doug Lamborn, Ken Buck, Dr. Ben Carson, Dennis Prager, Ralph Reed, Bo Snerdley, artist David Garibaldi, Leslie Hanks, Frank Gaffney, Joanne Moudy, K.T. MacFarland, and a few more. Anybody want to subscribe to see our upcoming shows?

    • langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

      I note "chaps" adheres to the protocol established for wingnuts in calling Allen West a congressman. He's a former congresscritter-  who couldn't even win in a district gerrymandered for him just like he's a former lite colonel who was allowed to skip out of the Army one step ahead of a court martial. They have this tendency to address people like Palin as Governor though she quit her post halfway through her term.Not sure who they think they're fooling other than their foolish base.This confab sounds like CPAC lite.

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