Did Obama Use IRS Audits to Shut Down Grassroots Activists and Sway the Election?

As the scandal chasm opens ever wider beneath this White House and the Mompants President, some interesting questions are being raised about the IRS teaparty inquiries.

Could it be that these investigations were used to dissuade conservatives from organizing, and possibly have skewed the election results?

Consider this report from Pennsylvania where Obama won 20 electoral votes [emphasis added]:

At least three Tea Party groups in Pennsylvania say they have been the target of IRS intimidation, and have either abandoned seeking tax exempt status, shut down, or plan to do so in the near future, the group organizers told PennLive Monday.


Among the three Keystone State groups citing problems with the IRS, two groups were in the Philadelphia area, and another is based in western Pennsylvania. Tea Party leaders in the Harrisburg area say they have had no issues with IRS harassment, but added that they are angry about the mistreatment of other groups.

Later in the article, a Tea Party activist who felt intimidated explains how the IRS kept constrained her political activities:

“I have as much confidence in the president of the United States [initiating a thorough investigation] as I do in the IRS treating people who are in political opposition to the president fairly,” said Jenifer Stefano, a Philadelphia area Tea Party activist.

Stefano said she tried to start her own group called The Loyal Opposition between 2010-2011. But when she applied for tax exempt status, the IRS responded with a litany of questions that put her off.

“I was pregnant and on a single income and they were asking me questions like, ‘Are you on Facebook,” she said incredulously. “They wanted my personal Facebook page.”

“A lawyer told me, ‘They’re going to come after you and if you make one mistake they could ruin your life’,” Stefano added. “I like to think of myself as very tough, but I’m ashamed to say I was intimidated and frightened, and I shut it down.”

Whether the IRS thuggery was enough to win the election for Obama is immaterial to the possibility that the president might have abused his powers in order to shut down opposition, and prevent grassroots activists from organizing.