Here's what I know: While they pretend to champion privacy rights, top left-wing operatives have routinely ransacked and plundered through the private documents and personal records of conservative groups, business owners and public figures. Through it all, those on the right standing against government tyranny have refused to stand down.
During the Clinton years, senior IRS official Paul Breslan revealed that the administration's auditors specifically targeted conservative critics. On the hit list: Judicial Watch, Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers, the National Rifle Association, The National Review, The American Spectator, Freedom Alliance, National Center for Public Policy Research, Citizens Against Government Waste, Concerned Women for America, and the San Diego Chapter of Christian Coalition.
Steven Miller, one of the Clinton IRS agents who helped conduct those witch hunts in the 1990s, is currently the head of the Obama IRS department that has now admitted it discriminated against tea party groups. Jackboot history repeats itself.
In 1997, far-left Congressman Jim McDermott obtained and leaked an illegally taped phone call involving House GOP leaders to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The New York Times. Far from a low-level underling, McDermott was the top Democrat on the House Ethics Committee at the time. Ohio GOP Rep. John Boehner won a $1 million civil lawsuit against McDermott. McDermott's leak was condemned by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan as "willful and knowing misconduct (that) rises to the level of malice in this case."
In 2005, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee -- headed by New York Sen. Charles Schumer -- targeted then Maryland GOP Lt. Gov. Michael Steele as he considered a U.S. Senate bid. Two of Schumer's staffers illegally obtained Steele's credit report by using his Social Security number, which they got from public documents. They set up a fake email account and then impersonated Steele on a website to filch his financial information.
Democrats framed the sleazy move as the work of junior staffers. But the supervising operative involved, Katie Barge, was senior research director of the DSCC, a former researcher at the George Soros-funded attack group Media Matters for America and a researcher for presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards.
Schumer's other document plumber, Lauren Weiner, was a DSCC researcher who had worked for Dick Gephardt and the Democratic National Committee. She pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining a credit report and escaped jail time. After she was fired, she earned a journalism degree at the Columbia University School of Journalism.
In 2006, longtime Democratic operative Bob Fertik called on his minions to attempt to obtain the private phone records of prominent conservatives through shady online information brokers. "If money is scarce," Fertik vowed, "Democrats.com will reimburse you if you buy the records for an important phone number and discover gold when you get the records."
In October 2008, top Ohio Democrats targeted real plumber Joe Wurzelbacher after he challenged then presidential candidate Barack Obama's "spread the wealth" radicalism. Helen Jones-Kelley, then director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, ordered underlings to scour government databases for dirt. In addition to pawing through his child-support papers, her agency also checked Wurzelbacher in its computer systems to determine whether he was receiving welfare assistance or owed unemployment compensation taxes.
Jones-Kelley was not just a high-level state official. She was also an Obama campaign donor who volunteered to arrange an event for Michelle Obama and provided the campaign with nearly 20 names of potential donors ahead of a Dayton campaign stop. Three years after resigning, she found herself back on the taxpayer dole with another government job. Corruptocrats protect their own.
Also in 2008, Obama's allies at a Soros-tied outfit named Accountable America 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, promised "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 to dissuade donors from giving money.
The effort was supported by Judd Legum, founder of Think Progress, which is run by former Clinton scandal manager turned Obama confidante John Podesta's Center for American Progress.
During the 2010 midterms, the Obama bully brigade waged a similar campaign against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its donors as payback for the organization's ads opposing the federal health care takeover. During the 2012 election season, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina declared war on free-market philanthropists Charles and David Koch and private donors to their nonprofit activist group Americans for Prosperity.
As I warned in my column in March 2012, it seemed "no small coincidence" at the time that Team Obama was threatening conservative activists publicly "just as numerous tea party organizations (were) reporting that the Internal Revenue Service (had) targeted them for audits. According to Colleen Owens of the Richmond (Va.) Tea Party, several fiscally conservative activist groups in Virginia, Hawaii, Ohio and Texas (had) received a spate of IRS letters. The missives demand(ed) extensive requests to identity volunteers, board members and ... donors."
The latest confession by Obama IRS officials that they targeted tea party, pro-Constitution and pro-Israel groups isn't a sign of "rogue" behavior. It's tyrannical Democratic business as usual.