Katie Pavlich

President and founder of the election integrity group True the Vote Catherine Engelbrecht testified in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs yesterday about the IRS targeting of her group and her personal business. Before 2009, Engelbrecht was not part of the political process, but after volunteering at the polls during Texas elections, she saw instances of fraud and abuse that she didn't think could go unexposed. Her decision to found her election integrity group would get her multiple visits from a handful of federal government agencies.

"My life before I spoke out for good government stands in stark contrast to the life I now lead. As a wife, a mother, and small businesswoman working with my husband, raising our children and participating in my church and PTA, the government collected my taxes and left me and my family in peace. But when I helped found and led True the Vote and King Street Patriots, I found myself a target of this federal government," she said. "Shortly after filing IRS forms to establish 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations, an assortment of federal entities including law enforcement agencies and a Congressman from Maryland, Elijah Cummings came knocking at my door. In nearly two decades of running our small business, my husband and I never dealt with any government agency, outside of filing our annual tax returns. We had never been audited, we had never been investigated, but all that changed upon submitting applications for the non profit statuses of True the Vote and King Street Patriots. Since that filing in 2010, my private businesses, my nonprofit organizations, and family have been subjected to more than 15 instances of audit or inquiry by federal agencies."

Engelbrecht was audited by the IRS, ATF and received multiple visits by OSHA and ATF.

"I found myself a target of this federal government," she said.



After the hearing, Engelbrecht and her attorney Cleta Mitchell filed a complaint against Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings for his intimidation and singling out of True the Vote. Back in 2012, True the Vote issued a formal request to Cummings asking him to retract defamatory statements he made about the Houston based group on national television and in writing.

"Congressman Cummings on three separate occasions sent letters on letterhead from this committee, stating that he had concerns and felt it necessary to open an investigation on True the Vote," Engelbrecht said.

On Fox News' The Kelly File, Engelbrecht described federal government intimidation as "weaponizing of government."


Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her new book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, will be published on July 8, 2014.

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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography