Louisiana’s governor, Bobby Jindal, will join the chorus of Republican voices calling for jail time for the Internal Revenue Service officials who targeted Tea Party 501(c)(4) organizations for extra scrutiny.
“You cannot take the freedom of law-abiding Americans, whether you disagree with them or not, and keep your own freedom,” Jindal will tell Republicans, according to remarks obtained by political blog Politico. “When you do that, you go to jail.”
This week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters: “My question isn’t about who’s going to resign, my question is who’s going to jail over this scandal?”
Meanwhile, Democrats are criticizing both the targeting of conservative organizations, and the revelation from the Associated Press that the IRS may have been going after small organizations while leaving large, influential organizations alone. "The IRS goes AWOL when wealthy and powerful forces want to break the law in order to hide their wrongful efforts and secret political influence," said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island).
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Liberals are also concerned that conservatives will use the scandal to block further IRS scrutiny of “civic betterment” groups that, regardless of political orientation, use their tax exempt status to shield donors to political causes. "We expect that opponents of disclosure will try to use the recent developments to allow the groups that are misusing the tax laws to hide donors to continue misusing them.” said Fred Wertheimer, founder of Democracy 21, a non-profit organization that works to remove the influence of private money from politics.