By Howard Rich - Originally found at GetLiberty.org
America’s Founding Fathers envisioned a limited government in which laws were fairly and evenly enforced and justice was blind. Yet as government’s lust for additional power and its appetite for new spending have both exploded in recent years, so too has Washington’s apparent willingness to play politics with prosecutions and government leaks.
We saw this trend at work in the recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit against Goldman Sachs, which even a kindergartner could tell was timed to coincide with President Barack Obama’s “War on Wall Street” and the perpetuation of his failed bailout method of financial reform. We also saw it at work in the Florida U.S. Senate race, where an organized effort is underway to smear conservative candidate Marco Rubio.
In both cases these underhanded tactics worked – at least from public relations standpoint.
“Goldman case boosts financial reform efforts” one headline screamed. “Goldman charges bolster case for bank reform,” trumpeted another. “Goldman Sachs case could help Obama shift voter anger,” still another opined.
Of course Obama “categorically” denied that his administration had any involvement in the charges against Goldman – or any advance knowledge that the charges were being filed. In fact, he told reporters that his administration first heard of the lawsuit on television.
“We found out about it from CNBC,” Obama said.
That explanation strains credulity – particularly when you consider that Obama’s political machine, Organizing for America, purchased Google advertisements linked to the keywords “SEC” and “Goldman Sachs” just prior to the SEC announcing its lawsuit against the company. This was clearly a calculated move, which begs the question: What did Obama’s campaign team know that the White House (ostensibly) didn’t?
The Rubio case is every bit as suspicious. On the eve of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s decision to bolt the Republican Party and run for the U.S. Senate as an “independent” – headlines in the Sunshine State screamed of another curiously-timed scandal. Citing “sources familiar (with) the probe,” the anonymous allegation was made that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was investigating Rubio.
Rubio has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing and maintains that no one from the IRS has contacted him. In fact, he has said that he “welcomes” any investigation into his finances. But the smears have damaged his campaign, as polls taken just prior to the leak showed Rubio leading Crist in a three-way race by seven points while two weeks later Rubio trails Crist by four percent.
It’s no secret why Rubio is being targeted. Months ago Crist was a shoe-in for the GOP nomination, but his Senate campaign collapsed when he began to embrace Obama and his failed economic policies. Could it be that Obama is now using the IRS as an “IOU” to bail out Crist’s flagging candidacy?
Internal Revenue Code prohibits the disclosure of confidential tax information or releasing details of an ongoing investigation – not only by the IRS but by any government employee at any agency, including the President. In fact, it’s a felony punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. In the interests of uncovering the source of this illegal leak, Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has filed requests with the Inspectors General at the IRS and the Justice Department asking both agencies to investigate. Additionally, we are asking members of Congress and the Obama administration to support this investigation as well as the prosecution of the perpetrator.
Only then can we be sure that this wasn’t a taxpayer-funded hit job.
In a broader sense, though, Obama’s allies need to be mindful that the executive branch of government exists for the purpose of administering our laws, not violating them. Their job is to conduct the people’s business, not engage in political espionage. America has already survived one administration full of taxpayer-funded “plumbers.” We cannot afford another.
The author is chairman of Americans for Limited Government.