Congressman tries to dismiss TEA Party leader at Congressional hearing – Rep. Jim Jordan dresses him down

During a hearing of the House Oversight And Government Reform Committee on the IRS’ alleged targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status yesterday, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) tried to dismiss Catherine Engelbrecht’s, founder of the King Street Patriots, concerns over potentially being targeted by the IRS. Unfortunately for Rep. Connolly, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was there to dress him down.

TheBlaze reports:

During her opening testimony, Engelbrecht recounted the close scrutiny her family and her small business underwent from multiple federal agencies soon after she applied for her group’s tax-exempt status, suggesting that the reviews may have been politically motivated.

[…]

OSHA visited Engelbrecht’s business soon after she filed an application requesting tax-exempt status for the the King Street Patriots. The OSHA visit resulted in her business being fined roughly $25,000 for various violations, including “the wrong type of safety glasses on an employee” and “the wrong type of seat belt on a forklift.”

Rep. Connolly, however, was not sympathetic.
“I would just note for the record,” he said, “because we’re so concerned about the law here, and making sure there are no violations of the law, are you aware of the fact that it’s actually illegal for … [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration] to give advance notice when it gives inspections? That’s actually a matter of law.”

“I’m not contending that they should’ve given us notice,” Engelbrecht responded. “I’m only observing –”

“But you complained about it. You complained that you didn’t get advance notice,” Rep. Connolly interjected. “I understand the concern, but you understand that they can’t check in advance to see will you be there.”

“Nor did we try to do anything to discourage that process even though we weren’t on premise,” she said.

“And I absolutely take that at face value,” he continued, “but it’s a huge leap then, given that, to conclude that someone’s out to get you, Ms. Engelbrecht, that there’s any political motivation whatsoever with OSHA following its standard operating procedure.”

At that point, Rep. Jordan had had enough. He fired off the following series of questions:

JORDAN: Ms. Engelbrecht, in the first 20 years of business, did OSHA ever visit your place of business?

ENGELBRECHT: No sir.

JORDAN: Never once?

ENGELBRECHT: No sir.

JORDAN: After you filed the [tax-exempt application for King Street Patriots], OSHA visited then, right?

ENGELBRECHT: Yes sir.

JORDAN: In the first 20 years of business did the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] ever come to your business?

ENGELBRECHT: No sir.

JORDAN: And they came a couple times once you filed your application?

ENGELBRECHT: Yes sir.

JORDAN: And in your first 20 years of business, did the IRS ever audit you?

ENGELBRECHT: No sir.

JORDAN: But once you filed your application, they audited you?

ENGELBRECHT: Many times.

JORDAN: And in your first 20 years of business, did the FBI ever visit you?

ENGELBRECHT: No sir.

JORDAN: But once you filed your application, did they visit you?

ENGELBRECHT: Six times.

Jordan made his final point: “Mr. Connolly wants us to believes that’s all a coincidence.”

“I believe in fact-based, empirical oversight,” Rep. Connolly responded. “And innuendo and drawing conclusions and paranoia do not substitute for fact-based, empirical oversight.”

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“This is what they tried to do to me,” Glenn said of Rep. Connolly’s dismissal of Engelbrecht. “They don’t want you to use your noodle. They don’t want you to be thinking. They don’t want you to tie these things together and think for yourself. They are discouraging critical thought. There’s no way a society lasts with a government like this.”

Ultimately, Glenn surmised this exchange is just further proof the government is looking to create a generation of lemmings instead of a group people who think critically.

“This is a reason why we say: Do your own homer work. Everything the government is doing is not promoting the general welfare,” he concluded. “They’re telling you become a slave of the stat… That’s what our government is doing. Crippling all of us. They want us as their children to live under their roof all time and not go and be who we’re supposed to be and be our own independent people. That’s not promoting the general welfare. So what are they doing?”

Watch the heated exchange below:

Front page image courtesy of the AP

  • Three Friends

    Even though liberty unleashes prosperity, it is relentlessly attacked by those attempting to redefine it from “the absence of coercion” to “the power to coerce”.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/zerses Moirrainefortruth

    Power corrupts those who don’t have a grounding force.

  • Klasko

    I did everything I could to help unelect Gerry Connelly (VA 11th congressional district), but he seems to be entrenched after only a couple of terms. I hope we can unseat him this time around. He needs to go.

  • Payton Manning

    Since collectivist illusions are generally conjured up to exploit our emotions and attempt to justify plunder’s injustice, we have no reason to accept them as moral, legitimate, or just.

  • Anonymous

    How many Americans reason effectively enough to differentiate between “Promote the General Welfare” and “generally promote welfare programs”?