The non-profit Campaign for Liberty (C4L), founded by former presidential candidate and U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, is fighting a battle with the IRS’s demand that it reveal its donor list to the them, Campaign for Liberty reported on Wednesday.
The IRS has already levied a fine of $12, 900 against the non-profit group, through a letter dated March 24, 2014, for withholding their donor information from their annual 990 filing and the interest will accrue every day April 14, 2014 if the group continues its refusal to pay the fine.
Tim Shoemaker of C4L stated, “As a matter of principle, C4L believes it is vital to protect the privacy of our donors to prevent some form of retribution if the donor list should happen to “leak” out of the IRS.”
Shoemaker also reported that Megan Stiles, Communications Director at C4L, told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday, “There is no legitimate reason for the IRS to know who donates to Campaign for Liberty.”
Stiles conveyed to the Washington Examiner that past leaks of conservative donors were sent to political opponents who despise conservative groups and by providing the IRS donor names, it will lead to harassment as it has occurred in the past.
“Often these leaks have been made to political opponents of the conservative groups whose information was leaked. Leaking the donor information is intended to harass and to intimidate those donors from donating to political causes, “Stiles said. “Campaign for Liberty has refused to provide donor information to the IRS to protect the privacy of our members… now the IRS has demanded the information and fined Campaign for Liberty for protecting its members’ privacy.”
The IRS tactics under the Obama administration has been under scrutiny since it was revealed in 2010 that the IRS was targeting conservative leaning organizations for political gains favoring democratic candidates.
Since that time, numerous Congressional IRS hearings have been held in D.C. and on Tuesday, the Republican National Committee (RNC) filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for withholding records sought by the RNC’s 2013 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Nevertheless, as Campaign for Liberty pointed out, when it comes to first amendment rights, that recent history and court precedents side with C4L due to cases such as the NAACP v. Alabama and International Union UAW v. National Right to Work.
“Many other 501(c)(4) organizations protect their donors privacy in the same way C4L does, “Shoemaker said.
“Yet for some reason, the IRS singled out C4L for harassment.”