“My life before I spoke out for good government stands in stark contrast to the life I now lead. As a wife, a mother, and small businesswoman working with my husband, raising our children and participating in my church and PTA, the government collected my taxes and left me and my family in peace. But when I helped found and led True the Vote and King Street Patriots, I found myself a target of this federal government.” -Catherine Engelbrecht
Catherine Engelbrecht is the founder of King Street Patriots and Chairwoman of True the Vote, conservative organizations aimed at cutting down on voter fraud, and involving local groups in grass roots activism. As she says in her congressional testimony in the above video, previous to starting King Street Patriots, she was never audited by the IRS, nor contacted by the FBI, or ATF. The moment when she became politically active is the moment that all changed.
What Catherine speaks of goes far beyond intrusive questionnaires from the IRS, and actual inquiries by the agency in regards to seeking non-profit status for her organizations. She became the target of a political hit, intimidation brought on by the federal government in an attempt to suppress political involvement of Catherine, and others in and outside her organization. Various federal agencies worked in collusion to not only scrutinize her political activity, but harass her through a business that she owns: Engelbrecht Manufacturing.
Catherine filed for non-profit status in 2010. In 2011 her personal and business tax returns were audited not only for that year, but going back a few as well. These returns had nothing to do with her applications for non-profit status. This alone would be a major coincidence if an audit of this magnitude just so happened to come the year following Catherine identifying herself as a conservative to the IRS. But it didn’t stop there.
OSHA, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, visited her business while neither she nor her husband were there, and issued in excess of $20,000 in fines “though the agency wrote that it found nothing serious or significant”. (As an aside, this is why the government has millions of “insignificant regulations”, so that they can find a “violation” at literally any business in America which they decide to target).
In 2012 and again in 2013 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms conducted comprehensive audits at my place [of] business.
You see, it is not just the IRS that harassed Catherine Engelbrecht and others over political affiliations. Other government agencies got in on the action. I bring this up because I’ve heard people say that these organizations deserved IRS scrutiny because they are political and applying for tax exempt status. How would these same people defend multiple government agencies scrutinizing every piece of Catherine’s life that has nothing to do with politics, nor her conservative groups?
Would these people still pretend that this is just a coincidence, or just a few rogue IRS agents? What kind of sway would one IRS office have to influence the ATF and OSHA to target this woman? It therefore must go higher than “rogue” agents, and actual scrutiny for organizations who seek tax exempt status. Because even just looking at the procedures taken against Catherine in regards to the King Street Patriots and True the Vote, something is more than fishy.
Beginning in 2010, the FBI contacted my nonprofit organization on six separate occasions – wanting to cull through membership manifests in conjunction with domestic terrorism cases. They eventually dropped all matters and have now redacted nearly all my files.
All of these incursions into my affairs began after filing applications for tax-exemption. There is no other remarkable event, no other reason, to explain away how for decades I went unnoticed, but now find myself on the receiving end of interagency coordination into and against all facets of my life, both public and private.
Bear in mind, distinguished ladies and gentlemen of this sub-committee, these events were occuring while the IRS was subjecting me to multiple rounds of abusive inquiries, with requests to provide every Facebook and Twitter entry I’d every posted, questions about my political aspirations, and demands to know the names of every group I’d ever made presentations to, the content of what I’d said, and where I intended to speak for the coming year. The answers to these sorts of questions are not of interest to the typical IRS analyst, but they are of great interest to a political machine that puts its own survival above the civil liberties of any private citizen.
Anyone not looking at this situation through the lens of partisan politics knows full well that the federal government coordinated attacks against Catherine Engelbrecht, her business, and her organizations. Various agencies colluded to harass and suppress political involvement of Catherine and those in and outside her organization. The message is clear to business owners: keep you mouth shut if you don’t like the government, because we will send the ATF and OSHA to destroy your livelihood. The message is clear to activists: expect an IRS audit if your name shows up on conservative donor lists, or conservative mailing lists. Think your safe if you favorite a certain Tweet or like a certain Facebook page? No, the FBI will intrude into your life, “suspecting” you to be a terrorist, maybe even giving that impression to your neighbors, co-workers, and friends.
This is an intentional effort by the federal government to suppress involvement in and donations to conservative causes in order to kill opposition to big government programs and violations of our rights, laid out in the Bill of Rights.
And why is it that those who believe in democracy are the first to defend the actions of our government in suppressing political activism of certain types of people? This should be a wake up call to every war protester, every peace demonstrator, every internet user, everyone who has ever criticized a government program, organization or action. This is not about right versus left, this is about freedom versus tyranny. Anyone who cannot stand up to defend a person they disagree with from actual rights violations, suppression and harassment by the most power government in the world; deep down inside I think they know they are helping to usher in a new era of government oppression.
Let’s make sure everyone knows which side of history we’re on.