With news that the IRS targeted some 500 conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, an op-ed at the Investor’s Business Daily suggests the 2011 raid of Gibson Guitars was another example of the administration targeting conservatives, the Daily Caller reported on Sunday.
“The inexplicable raid nearly two years ago on a guitar maker for using allegedly illegal wood that its competitors also used was another targeting by this administration of its political enemies,” IBD said.
On Aug. 24, 2011, armed federal agents raided Gibson Guitar Corp. facilities in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The company was accused of using wood obtained in violation of the century-old Lacey Act, which outlaws trafficking in flora and fauna, the harvesting of which had broken foreign laws.
It was later revealed that Henry E. Juszkiewicz, the CEO of Gibson Guitars, had supported Republicans and donated to GOP candidates and PACs.
“Interestingly,” IBD said, “one of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Co. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain ‘East Indian Rosewood,’ which is the exact same wood in at least 10 of Gibson’s guitars. So why were they not also raided and their inventory of foreign wood seized?”
At the time, Andrew Lawton of Landmark Report wrote that Chris Martin IV – CEO of C. F. Martin, “is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the DNC over the past couple of election cycles.”
“We feel that Gibson was inappropriately targeted,” Juszkiewicz said in 2011, adding the matter “could have been addressed with a simple contact (from) a caring human being representing the government. Instead, the government used violent and hostile means.”
“We don’t what is motivating it,” Juszkiewicz told talk show host Hugh Hewitt. “It is…clear to me that there is some terrific motivation because we are not the only company that uses this type of wood. Virtually every other guitar company uses this wood and this wood is used prominently by furniture and architectural industries, and to my knowledge none of them have been shut down or treated in this fashion.”
Instead of fighting a long, expensive legal battle, Gibson settled with the government, agreeing to pay a $300,000 penalty to the U.S. Government. It also agreed to make a “community service payment” of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation — to be used on research projects or tree-conservation activities.
IBD, however, says that “Juszkiewicz’ claim that his company was ‘inappropriately targeted’ is eerily similar to the claims by Tea Party, conservative, pro-life and religious groups that they were targeted by the IRS for special scrutiny because they sought to exercise their First Amendment rights to band together in vocal opposition to the administration’s policies and the out-of-control growth of government and its power.”
“The Gibson Guitar raid, the IRS intimidation of Tea Party groups and the fraudulently obtained warrant naming Fox News reporter James Rosen as an ‘aider, abettor, co-conspirator’ in stealing government secrets are but a few examples of the abuse of power by the Obama administration to intimidate those on its enemies list,” IBD concluded.
- Report: Gibson CEO GOP donor, Martin CEO Democratic donor who uses same wood
- Federal agents shut down Gibson guitars over Indian law, seize wood
- Charlie Daniels: Obama ‘misleading the country’ through ‘cowardice’
- Dick Durbin: No regrets sending IRS after conservative group
- Dems twist New York Times story to smear Tea Party members as Nazis
- Pattern of abuse? Lois Lerner’s FEC grilled Oliver North about prayer
- IRS official: ‘I have not done anything wrong,’ invokes Fifth Amendment
- IRS targets Christian groups, demands content of prayers
- Armed Homeland Security agents monitor Tea Party at IRS protests
- Retired Army officer warns: DHS preparing for war against American citizens
- Jay Carney to Piers Morgan: Scandals involving IRS, Benghazi, AP ‘don’t exist’
- Limbaugh: Obama administration operating like ‘banana republic-type government’
- Obama Executive Order would seize US infrastructure, citizens for nat’l defense
- Liberal Daily Kos diarist calls for ‘benevolent’ Obama dictatorship
- Anonymous IRS official: ‘Everything comes from the top’
- Flashback: Chuck Schumer, Al Franken sign letter demanding IRS target Tea Party groups in 2012
- NAACP chair: Legitimate for IRS to target ‘admittedly racist’ Tea Party
- Is the ‘mainstream media’ fomenting violence against conservatives?
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