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IRS wasn’t only agency hassling True the Vote

By   /   May 16, 2013  /   18 Comments

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org

HOUSTON — Since filing for tax exemption as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2010, the founders of True the Vote, a Houston-based group that tries to prevent elections fraud, have been overwhelmed with scrutiny from a host of government agencies, in particular, by the Internal Revenue Service.

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TRUE THE VOTE: Catherine Engelbrecht’s organization has revealed multiple cases of voters casting ballots in two states in the same election.

Catherine and Bryan Engelbrecht have suffered through 18 separate encounters with five government agencies, from surprise audits to FBI visits to never-ending demands for paperwork.

The government has been scrutinizing True the Vote, the Engelbrechts’ tea party group, which is called King Street Patriots, and the family’s oil services manufacturing business.

King Street Patriots sought tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit.

Engelbrecht kept silent about all this scrutiny for more than two years, but after the abuse-of-power stories coming out of Washington this past week, she decided to go public, appearing on several conservative talk radio shows this week.

True the Vote spokesman Logan Churchwell sent Watchdog.org a timeline of the encounters, which include two unscheduled audits by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, six visits or phone calls by the Federal Bureau of Investigation looking for domestic terrorists, five rounds of questioning by the IRS over True the Vote’s application and one round over King Street Patriot’s  application, both of which were filed in July 2010, and neither of which has been approved yet.

That’s not to mention the IRS audit (they actually got money back) or the audit by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and another by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Most of the audits went fine, aside from the hassle of having to shut down operations for the day, although OSHA “handed down a four grand fine where somebody didn’t have a seat belt on,” he said.

The most persistent and intrusive agency has been the IRS. Each round of questioning built on the round before, asking as many as 40 questions, with five or more parts to each question.

“Imagine it’s the worst essay test you ever took in college,” Churchwell said.

The IRS basically wanted every piece of paper True the Vote had, plus printouts of every page on its website, and every tweet or Facebook post the group had ever made.

It would take around 300 pages of material to answer a round of questions, Churchwell said. True the Vote would be given two weeks assemble and return all the materials under pain of having its application cancelled, according to the IRS letter he provided.

Questions included:

  • “You stated the organization may create documentaries. Provide copies of any completed documentaries including printed transcripts.
  • “In regards to the organization’s public education activities you state the organization seeks to educate the public and influential individuals. Define influential individuals.”

Contact Jon Cassidy at jon@watchdog.org or @jpcassidy000.

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Jon Cassidy is the Texas bureau chief for Watchdog.org. He also writes a weekly column on politics for The American Spectator. He was formerly a reporter and editor for The Orange County Register in California and a reporter at The Hill in Washington, D.C. His work has been published by Fox News, Reason, The Federalist, Human Events, and other publications. He is a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow and a graduate of the University of Southern California. He and his wife Michelle live just outside Houston with their two children.

  • WarriorClass III

    Ever more abuses by the Federal government, while the Texas legislature does nothing. Especially Senator Huffman who never saw a government agency she didn’t love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rhonda-Reichel/1339255666 Rhonda Reichel

    Wow….don’t tell me this wasn’t coordinated between agencies against TRUE THE VOTE…a non profit to prevent voting fraud. I can see why the government wouldn’t like that mission, considering how corrupt our elections are. Why are all these people just now speaking out? I guess the chickens**t media wouldn’t even give them the time of day before this IRS scandal. Self serving jackasses should have known this was going on but didn’t bother reporting until they could exploit it for ratings. But they sure do report Venezuela’s elections, who are 10 times more transparent than ours, and claim fraud without one shred of evidence????

    Can people sue the government for harassment? If they can, she’s got a pretty good case. The FBI, REALLY??? No wonder they can’t track terrorists they are too busy with harassing patriots. Now there iS a good example of some time wasted investigating this organization instead of monitoring who is coming in and out of our country. All those agencies, FBI, NSA, CIA, DHS and the 12 others, need to be combined and under one head so that there will be accountability. IDIOTS !!!

  • Rick

    This has all the markings of obama’s tentacles. A power grab leading to dictatorship.

  • http://twitter.com/Miller51550 Bob Miller

    Perhaps MORE will come forward and tell the truth about how OBAMA and his cronies attacked them because they question the Dictator in Chief.

    This is not going to go away… NO mater what the DEMORATS and OBAMA WANT.

    There must be a Special Prosecutor to get these crooks on the stand and then to CUT Deals to find the Truth.

    Those unwilling to DEAL.. Go to Gitmo for a six month stay before being questioned again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharon.knapik Sharon Knapik

    Disgusting. This is persecution. It’s also completely un-American. I hope the orgs that have been wrongly persecuted join together for a class action suit against the government, and the specific individuals involved. What they did is well beyond normal policy and procedure. They made up new rules just to thwart the ambitions of these conservative groups. That’s banana republic stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/Jack_Plisken Snake Plisken

    Unbelievable. This is banana republic stuff.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eli.m.biz MD Manchinelli

    ATF, DOE, IRS, CPS ( see: the Nikolayev family out of Sacramento CA ):

    all used as mechanisms to facilitate tyranny. Their higher purposes now officially things if the past… if indeed there ever were any.

    Thanks, will be sharing this for further awareness.

  • patriotkat

    pure evil treachery. very dangerous. Americans are just waking up and they better watch out

  • BG

    Three Words – Class Action Lawsuit

  • BG

    “There must be a Special Prosecutor to get these crooks on the stand and then to CUT Deals to find the Truth”

    I agree, phone, write, or email Congress and demand one. This is our time in history. Let’s rise to the occasion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thelma.wright.92 Thelma Wright

    Yes, definitely tyranney. The FairTax bill, in congress now would get rid of all income taxes, if passed. Support the FairTax and tell your Representative and Senators in Washington to support the bill by being a co-sponsor.

  • HappyClinger

    FILE A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT for political persecution, discrimination, harassment, trespassing, illegal search and seizure, misuse of government office, and on and on and on. Throw the book at these criminals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Don-Bruce/1797401993 Don Bruce

    “All those agencies, FBI, NSA, CIA, DHS and the 12 others, need to be
    combined and under one head so that there will be accountability.
    IDIOTS !!!”
    Good name for that organization….IDIOTS!!! Internal Department Intent On Training Sociopaths.

  • Michael P

    Why are these victims staying silent? They need to shine a light on the cockroaches and expose the corrupt administration

  • David

    Good. Now let ‘True The Vote’ win a major lawsuit against King 0bama and his America-hating henchman. Better our tax money go to American groups than illegal aliens and Muslim Brotherhood.

  • east/west889

    And the list of victims will go on and on and on…..and the House of Horrors is to blame for it all!

  • Mark

    Doesn’t true the vote claim to be a bi-partisan group? So does that mean the IRS went after conservative and bipartisan groups now. lol

  • jb1111

    Thank GOD for WATCH DODS!!!

    Is this America??