O’Keefe Hoist by his own Petard?
Remember Eric O’Keefe? You know, from my Wisconsin series*? And my Howie Rich series*? And from the Sam Adams Alliance’s role in the genesis of the Tea Party*, and, finally in possible collusion with Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker, something called the The John Doe Investigation*; thence the high-powered Washington D.C. law firm, the countersuit in Federal court that stopped the investigation and left the prosecutors PERSONALLY liable in civil court?
Complaint: Wisconsin Club for Growth violated IRS rules
October 28, 2014 6:30 am
By Matthew DeFour | Wisconsin State Journal
[A liberal group has asked the IRS to investigate
Wisconsin Club for Growth and its director
Eric O’Keefe.] caption
photo from O’Keefe’ s webpage
It’s straight out of Dostoevsky:
A conservative group at the center of a John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign should be prosecuted for violating Internal Revenue Service laws and have its tax-exempt status revoked, according to a complaint filed Monday by the liberal Center for Media and Democracy.
The Wisconsin Club for Growth filed as a tax-exempt 501(c)4 “social welfare” organization in 2011 and 2012, telling the IRS that it spent $0 for political purposes.
But according to the complaint, Club for Growth spent almost all of the more than $20 million it raised to help elect Republican candidates in the Wisconsin Senate and gubernatorial recall elections.
Andrew Grossman, a lawyer for Club for Growth, chided the liberal center for “trying to silence political speech.”
“If they want to waste their money on filing a frivolous complaint for a blip of news coverage, that’s their business,” Grossman said. “The Wisconsin Club for Growth is proud of its record of speaking out on the issues that matter to Wisconsin.”
As evidence, the complaint presents documents accidentally made public as part of a federal lawsuit Club for Growth and director Eric O’Keefe filed against the John Doe prosecutors….
Here is a more detailed explanation from the filed complaint:
… according to documents made public in the course of a state criminal investigation, WiCFG allegedly coordinated many of those communications with candidates for elective office and state political party leaders.
… We believe the evidence demonstrates that WiCFG misled the IRS by claiming to have spent $0 on political campaign activities in 2011 and 2012, when it actually spent millions on such activities.
In addition to misleading the IRS as to its expenditures on political campaign activities in 2011 and 2012, WiCFG engaged in such a degree of political intervention during those years that all facts and circumstances suggest it was primarily engaged in non”exempt political activities, and thus ineligible for 501(c)(4) tax”exempt status. Section 501(c)(4) organizations are required to primarily engage in the promotion of social welfare; these organizations cannot engage in more than an insubstantial amount of non” exempt activity, such as direct or indirect political intervention.
WiCFG spent an estimated $9.1 million in connection with Wisconsin’s 2011 and 2012 recall elections, and funneled at least $9,624,000 to other groups – some of which were controlled by WiCFG’s leaders “” that spent those funds on political campaign ads. This amounts to almost all of WiCFG’s $20 million in total expenditures in 2011 and 2012 …
2009 Club for Growth payments to Chris Kliesmet’s organization.
According to an Enrolled Agent (tax representative) I have consulted on this, the penalty for being found in violation is revocation of tax exempt status, RETROACTIVELY, and payment of ALL taxes owed by the now NOT FINANCED ON THE TAXPAYER’S DIME supposed “civic league.”
And notice the thuggish tone of Wisconsin Club for Growth’s D.C. lawyer?
It’s not an aberration in this operation.
This year, they went after judges, including four of the sitting Wisconsin Supreme Court judges who will ultimately decide on the “John Doe” investigation that is now no longer banned. A three-judge panel of Seventh Circuit overturned the initial victory for O’Keefe, et al, and then refused to hear the appeal en banc.
Their reasoning was that the Republican-anointed federal judge who heard the initial case didn’t have jurisdiction, and even had he, he’d jumped the gun by not allowing the Wisconsin courts to make the finding that his opinion asserts they made.
Wisconsin Club for Growth board of directors, 2009
But in the course of this attempt to stifle a criminal investigation into O’Keefe’s dark money, O’Keefe, et al, let the cat out of the bag as far as “tax exempt” status is concerned.
Had the case NOT been filed, it is doubtful that the documents in question would have become public knowledge AND have established that Wisconsin Club for Growth spent ALL its money on political activity, which is prohibited by federal law.
Well, as we know from fiction, and which seems to have been taken originally from real life, the problem that alleged crooks have when allegedly committing evil, as allegedly Eric O’Keefe has, is that the alleged evil always allegedly does itself in.
Why this is, is a matter of widespread philosophical debate, but, to paraphrase the I Ching, written back in the BC(E) days, evil, having nothing good left to destroy, destroys itself, because that is its nature and nothing is spared in the end, not even itself.
Oh what wicked webs we weave …
A special vorpal hat tip to eagle-eyed reader angelo ferrara (sic) for the tip.
Large, nuclear petards blew open the doors to Japan.
And a “petard” was a shaped explosive charge for blowing open doors. Sometimes, the demolitions fellow (the petard goes back to the 1500s) would end up blowing himself up, thus the old phrase “hoist by one’s own petard”, “hoist” meaning “blown upwards,” as in ‘Oh, the gate was blown open, all right, but in this case, it was the Pearly Gate.’
Petard gone bad. Real bad.
* NOTE: After a ten year run — from the day after the 2004 election to the day after the 2014 election, his vorpal sword in all incarnations will end on Wednesday, November 5, 2014. So if you want to read the series, better do it now. Click on the tags for “Eric O’Keefe” and “Howie Rich gang” for dozens and dozens of articles. — HW