Ron Paul: IRS is coming after Campaign for Liberty

Ron Paul

Campaign for Liberty is doing everything it can to fight back against harassment from the Internal Revenue Service over access its donor list, but former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) warns that fines the organization faces could be “devastating.”

“Well, they’re after us,” Paul, a three-time presidential candidate, told Neil Cavuto on Wednesday. “They want money from us. They fined us almost $13,000 with daily penalties if we don’t cough it up.”

In an email to supporters on Thursday, Paul, who founded Campaign for Liberty in 2008, explained that the IRS had handed liberty-minded nonprofit with “a hefty fine” and “demanded” that it “turn over sensitive contributor information.”

Paul told Cavuto that the IRS asked for Campaign for Liberty’s donor list two years ago, but that the organization managed to get the tax agency to back off, citing a civil rights-era Supreme Court decision.

“[T]he NAACP fought this way back in 1958 and it was ruled by the Supreme Court [that] you don’t have to turnover names for privacy reasons,” he said. “And they asked us to do that two years ago. We didn’t do it. They accepted our letter, but they’re back at it again.”

The case Paul referenced, NAACP v. Alabama (1958), involved the latter’s attempt to compel the civil rights group to turnover information, including membership lists. The Supreme Court ruled that Alabama violated the rights of NAACP members by requesting the list.

“Effective advocacy of both public and private points of view, particularly controversial ones, is undeniably enhanced by group association,” wrote Justice John Harlan in the unanimous opinion. “It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the ‘liberty’ assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech.”

Paul said that the IRS “has been politicized,” calling the agency’s targeting of conservative groups “the most abuse I’ve ever seen or heard of.” He said that Campaign for Liberty has attorneys and accountants making its case to the powerful tax agency.

“The big thing now is, are they going to treat it the same way as they did before, or are they going to come down hard on us and expect us to pay a lot of money in fines. I mean, that would, of course, be devastating,” said Paul. “But we also strongly believe in the privacy issue, and it’s been proven by the Supreme Court that you don’t have to do it.”

“So we have the law and the morality on our side. We have the people on our side. We just have to do our very best to curtail this runaway power,” he added.


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