The president's flapping lips are also sealed when it comes to applying his disclosure standards to the shadowy, George Soros-backed Center for American Progress, which has supplied the Obama administration with countless top policy staffers, including special Department of Health and Human Services assistant Michael Halle and HHS Director Jeanne Lambrew, a former senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. CAP founder John Podesta was Obama's transition chief, overseeing the backroom process of rewarding friends and allies with plum positions. CAP flacks shrugged off conflict-of-interest questions: "We respect the privacy of supporters who have chosen not to make their donations public," CAP spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said.
As for respecting the privacy rights of Obama's foes? Not so much.
It seems to me no small coincidence that this disclosure charade comes just as numerous tea party organizations are reporting that the Internal Revenue Service has targeted them for audits. According to Colleen Owens of the Richmond (Va.) Tea Party, several fiscal-conservative activist groups in Virginia, Hawaii, Ohio and Texas have received a spate of IRS letters. The missives demand extensive requests to identity volunteers, board members and ... donors.
This is B.O.'s M.O. His bully brigade did the same to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its donors during the November 2010 midterms as payback for the organization's ads opposing the federal health care takeover. And in 2008, Obama's allies at a Soros-tied outfit sent out "warning" letters to 10,000 top GOP givers "hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions." Witch hunt leader Tom Matzzie, formerly of Soros-funded MoveOn.org, bragged of "going for the jugular" and said the warning letter was just the first step, "alerting donors who might be considering giving to right-wing groups to a variety of potential dangers, including legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives."
Matzzie also advertised a $100,000 bounty for dirt on conservative political groups "to create a sense of scandal around the groups" and dissuade donors from giving money. The effort was cheered by Accountable America adviser Judd Legum, founder of Think Progress -- the same group that led the attack on the Chamber of Commerce and is run by Podesta's Center for American Progress. Just as with the Obama super PAC led by former White House officials, Matzzie's group "Accountable America" was a 501(c)(4) nonprofit entity that shielded the identity of its donors.
Oh, and remember this? In 2008, St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch and St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, both Obama promoters, threatened to bring criminal libel charges against anyone who spread what they considered "false criticisms" of their Dear Leader.
It is no small exaggeration to conclude that Team Obama's dead aim is to chill conservative speech and criminalize conservative dissent. All Americans for prosperity must push back with one voice: No, you can't.