The Conservative Hispanic Society is expressing outrage that the Internal Revenue Service targeted them. In a press release going out today, the Conservative Hispanic Society says that though it applied for 501(c)(4) status in 2010, its application still has not been approved.
CHS Executive Director Chris Salcedo did not mince words in his reaction to the news: “It seems the Obama political machine has infiltrated every aspect of our government. Politics now dictates our response to terrorist attacks. And now the IRS is being used as a weapon to punish people our president has referred to as his ‘enemies’.”
The “enemies” mention refers to a statement that President Obama gave in October 2010, as the IRS abuse was in full swing. Mr. Salcedo, a veteran journalist, has frequently written for this site.
CHS President Steve Navarre focused on how deeply un-American the IRS abuse is. “Through the Constitution, our nation’s founding fathers tried to guard against elected leaders using the power of government to oppress the people,” Navarre says in the press release. “The type of government overreach displayed by the IRS brings to life our founder’s deepest fears.”
The Conservative Hispanic Society is far from alone. On March 16, Fox Latino reported that several conservative groups in Texas say that along with Tea Party groups and Jewish and Christian groups, the Internal Revenue Service targeted them too. Texas Rep. Bill Flores (R) believes he was targeted after working with the Waco Tea Party, which was also targeted. Flores, a certified public accountant, was among the first in Congress to question the IRS’ actions. The San Antonio and Dallas Tea Party groups both report being targeted by the IRS. Katrina Pierson, head of the Dallas Tea Party, traveled to Washington last week as the IRS abuse blew up into a full scandal. Voces Action, a Texas-based group that teaches Spanish-speaking and English-speaking communities about the Constitution, was targeted according to its founder and president, Adryana Boyne.
The breadth of IRS abuse across Texas is disturbing, given President Obama’s tense relationship with the Lone Star State and Democratic ambitions to turn it blue. Democrats have not won a statewide race in Texas in a generation, and Republicans control both houses of the state legislature with strong majorities. Republican Gov. Rick Perry has battled with the administration over everything from offshore drilling to coal power plants to border security for years. State Attorney General Greg Abbott was party to the state lawsuit against ObamaCare and has battled the administration on Second Amendment rights. President Obama’s response to a call for enhancing security on the border was to joke about putting alligators and moats in place of the Rio Grande. Both John McCain and Mitt Romney defeated Obama handily in Texas’ 2008 and 2012 presidential votes.
IRS abuse of Hispanic groups across Texas may introduce racial and demographic angles into the scandal. Democrats have long pined for Texas’ growing Hispanic population to help them flip the staunchly Republican state to Democratic control. Conservative and Republican Hispanic groups have sprung up in the last few years to bring more Hispanic voters, who in Texas tend to be socially conservative, into the GOP fold. The IRS abuse of these groups has undoubtedly curbed their ability to fund raise and spread their messages, at the same time that the president’s Battleground Texas group ramps up its operation, unfettered by any IRS interference, to turn Texas blue.