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Harry Reid’s War on Conservative Speech

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has mentioned Charles and David Koch over 134 times from the floor of the Senate. Last week Sen. Reid announced that he would bring a constitutional amendment to the Senate floor that would allow Congress to set even more limits on political donations. Make no mistake, this isn’t a call to get “special interest money” out of politics. It is a directive from the most powerful man in the Senate to punish two private citizens for their beliefs and success.


In an interview with BuzzFeed, Senator Reid said, “The Koch Brothers, I’m not walking away from them. I’m going to be on their tail for the whole campaign because if they think Romney was watched closely by me, that’s nothing compared to what it’s going to be like with the Koch Brothers.”

In his call for the amendment on Thursday, Senator Reid made the false claim that this would “level the playing field” and “make campaigns fair.” But what is “fair”?

Is it fair that unions and liberal donors like George Soros and Tom Steyer aren’t singled out as, Reid called the Kochs, the greatest threats to America because they donate to political causes?

Is it fair for a government official to call people “un-American” because of their political beliefs?

Is it fair that Reid uses his attacks on the Kochs to raise money for his own cause?

Is it fair that the party that controls the executive branch and half of the legislative branch are proposing a constitutional amendment to limit the speech of their political enemies?

Americans shouldn’t be targeted and punished by Reid’s definition of what is “fair.”


We now know that Democrats’ targeting of individuals who engage and donate to conservative causes are not isolated incidents. This week it was revealed that the IRS targeting of tea party groups and organizations came from its Washington D.C. headquarters and is wide-spread. From The Foundry:

In an email July 6, 2010, IRS official Holly Paz asks agency lawyer Steven Grodnitzky “to let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling tea party applications in the last few months.” Judicial Watch identifies those named as Cindy Thomas, then director of an IRS office in Cincinnati, and Sharon Camarillo, then a senior manager in the Los Angeles office.

The Washington Times also reported that 10 percent of tea party organization donors have been audited by the IRS.

Despite assurances to the contrary, the IRS didn’t destroy all of the donor lists scooped up in its tea party targeting — and a check of those lists reveals that the tax agency audited 10 percent of those donors, much higher than the audit rate for average Americans, House Republicans revealed Wednesday.


By Sen. Reid’s own admission, his number one goal is to end the funding and expansion of conservative ideas in America. His call to “level the playing field” is a farce. He uses his attacks on conservatives from the Senate floor and vows to silence them as a way to fundraise for himself. Reid not only wants to end the funding of conservative ideas, but amend the Constitution that gives us the right to free speech and political activity without retribution from the government.

That, Senator Reid, is un-American.

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