Former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul rebuffed the Internal Revenue Service’s demand that his group Campaign for Liberty turn over a list of its donors, declaring he would fight the order and calling the IRS’ treatment of such groups “the most abuse I’ve ever seen.”
Paul spoke with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Wednesday about the IRS fining his 501(c)4 nonprofit $13,000 for failing to disclose their donor lists and promising further fines unless the names are delivered. The rule is technically part of the tax code but is rarely enforced, and similar provisions have been struck down by federal courts.
Paul announced Tuesday that Campaign for Liberty would ignore the fine and fight the demand in court, and explained his reasoning to Cavuto on Wednesday.
“They’ve done this before,” he said. “They did this two years ago, and we presented the case in some legal cases where we don’t have to do it, although technically there is a regulation that says this.”
“But the NAACP fought this way back in ’58, and it was ruled by the Supreme Court you don’t have to turn over names for privacy reasons,” he continued. “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.”
Paul doubted that the IRS new they were targeting his organization specifically, but noted that IRS pressure on right-wing groups has reached a boiling point.
“The abuse has been bipartisan in recent years. It’s the party in power — and I think you remember who’s in power right now — and it’s been the most abuse I’ve ever seen or heard of in abuse of conservative groups,” he told Cavuto.
But the even though the penalties keep piling up — which Paul worries may prove “devastating” to his group — Paul remains hopeful.
“We have the law, we have morality on our side, we have the people on our side,” he asserted. “We just have to do our very best to try to curtail this runaway power.”
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