Texas State Rep. Harvey Hilderbran (R) is running for state comptroller. As the IRS considers codifying its abuse of conservative and Tea Party groups into official regulation, the agency had to seek public comment under federal law. The proposed regulations would force social welfare groups to either disclose their donors, or lose their tax-exempt status. Republicans in Congress have charged that the IRS is attempting to make new laws, which only Congress is allowed to do. Predictably, Democrats have either remained silent or even supported the IRS as it seeks to extend its power.
The comment period on the proposed regulations closed February 27, but not before state Rep. Hilderbran was able to submit his take.
Hilderbran filed the following, in opposition to the IRS proposal.
As the investigation into a blatant abuse of power by the IRS and its political targeting of groups has stalled under the leadership of a major Obama donor, we have now entered into perhaps even more dangerous territory.
As a legislator, small businessman and business consultant, I am deeply troubled about proposed regulations to force 501(c)(4) organizations to either end their tax-free status or be forced to disclose their donors.
This change is being done through the executive branch, intentionally going around the Congress which exists to write and pass laws.
The IRS has demonstrated a stunning and illegal targeting of conservative groups which hearkens back to the Nixon era and an enemies list. In Texas, for example, several nonprofit tea party and conservative groups, including two in Houston and Waco, have been specifically targeted.
As many are painfully aware, The IRS is totally out of control. Punishing conservative nonprofits and forcing them to choose between ending their tax-free nonprofit status or disclosing their donors, opening them up to political retribution, is wrong.
I, Harvey Hilderbran, oppose this new regulatory burden.
Hilderbran has pledged that if he is elected comptroller, he would make the office a resource for Texans who have been abused by the federal agency.
A number of Texas-based groups were targeted by the IRS. They include the Waco groups Hilderbran mentions, as well as Houston-based True the Vote and the Dallas Tea Party.