Dark Money Co-opts the IRS and No One Says A Word

This meme was mainstreamed by Rupert Murdoch

The comatose mainstream news media ignored the story yesterday, preferring instead to act as amanuenses to the GOP’s alt-Russia conspiracy lunacy (see my post “The GOPpelgänger Cometh“, and Jonathan Chait’s New York Magazine story of two days later, with essentially the same analysis).

Here’s a typical “report” on it:

Justice Department settles IRS lawsuits from 400 conservative groups claiming discrimination
Kevin Johnson / USA Today

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that the Justice Department is settling class action lawsuits brought by more than 400 conservative groups who said they were “improperly” …

And here is the GOPaganda version:

Trump DOJ settles lawsuits over Tea Party targeting by Obama IRS
Brooke Singman / Fox News

The Trump administration, after years of litigation, has settled lawsuits with Tea Party and other conservative groups who say they were unfairly targeted by the IRS under the Obama administration.

[…]

“The IRS’s use of these criteria as a basis for heightened scrutiny was wrong and should never have occurred,” Sessions said in a statement Thursday. “It is improper for the IRS to single out groups for different treatment based on their names or ideological positions.” While the IRS did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment, court documents show that the agency did offer an apology….

And their trailing gaggle of GOPagandists can be seen here. But let me disabuse the uneducated. And let me NOT allow poisonous GOPaganda to be swallowed without a peep from our “watchdog” press. 

I came to blogging prominence because I prepare taxes and have to take 30 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) each and every year. Because I live in Oregon, I have to be licensed and this was the program the IRS was TRYING to enact nationwide before the “libertarians” sued and got it stopped. The IRS became a target for Congressional Republicans, who felt that the IRS works for … somebody else, I guess.

i. How I got onto this story

In the summer of 2006, I was in Pendleton, Oregon for a tax convention. The Welch’s plant in Pasco, Washington that my great-uncle Rudy worked at closed that week, in a bit of personal synchronicity. And a somewhat sleazy tax lawyer (who would resign from the Oregon Bar in 2015 following his 2014 felony conviction for tax fraud, among other professional problems) was speaking on setting up and using charitable organizations to shield cash from the IRS.

Now, this guy had always bugged me, for instance calling the Estate Tax the “Death Tax” during continuing education classes. I noted that I was NOT a Republican (as are most tax preparers) and that there was NO SUCH THING as a “death tax.”  To his credit, he went back to using the correct terminology. But I had to watch him like a hawk, and his later conviction wasn’t a surprise to me. Especially after that Pendleton class.

(Ironically. we’d watched the infamous O.J. Simpson low speed chase on TV at the hotel bar at ANOTHER tax convention.)

You see, what he told us was that you could use 501(c)3s as a handy-dandy tax shelter, setting up a charity and then not having to pay a CENT for any charitable purposes. You could, he said, even put all your family on the payroll and  pay them for their “work” for the charity. They would pay taxes on the salary, of course, but the charity didn’t have to give a CENT to any charitable cause!

A fact that Donald Trump took full advantage of, as we learned during the campaign.

And he went into the whole nature of the dodge, just a the news was explaining how Bill Gates had talked Warren Buffet into putting almost all his money into a self-owned charity (as Gates had done) and I felt like only I and a few tax professionals knew the REAL story behind it: Gates’ money was now entirely sheltered from the “Death Tax” and he could give himself and his wife a salary at WHATEVER level he wanted, and that the charity could pay for all his expenses and travel to accept awards for his charitable works, to “inspect” how his charities were doing all over the world, etc. etc.

FREE WORLD TRAVEL. FREE SALARY FOR NO WORK. NO ABILITY for the tax man to touch anything but his petty cash. No WONDER Warren Buffet went for it. To everyone else, it was a GREAT DAY FOR CHARITY and how wonderful these richie riches were being so charitable!

Well, to themselves, at least. What else would come, no one could say.

And that was how I learned the ins and outs of how to manipulate the “charitable” tax codes into arenas never intended.

The attorney was almost gleeful in his recitation of how many different ways we could “bend” the tax laws to shield our clients from their legitimate taxes. So, when I heard almost a decade later that he’d been convicted of felony tax fraud, I was NOT at all surprised. He’d been headed down that road for a long time.

But I’d had one OTHER brush with the 501(c)3 charitable section of the tax code.

Almost EXACTLY ten years earlier, I had run across this with the “Heritage Foundation,” looking over their website (1996) and wondering WHY their clearly partisan political activities were NOT in utter disobedience to the US tax code.

Silly me.

What it’s all about, finally. No deep virtues here
save for the ‘virtue of selfishness.’

All balls and no brains, I CALLED the IRS in Washington D.C. who referred me to their Baltimore office. Before I could even make the call, they’d evidently been tipped off, and the Baltimore office was ready for me. I was made to feel like an absolute idiot and all but chided for having made so ridiculous a charge. Oh, and I could file the following paperwork in triplicate, etc. etc.

Later  I DID find a blatant break with “non-partisanship,” as they suggested that the way for “movement” conservatives (as in “bowel”?) should break into Washington, DC was by starting with the Alexandria, Virginia Young Republicans, but as I later learned, even flagrant violations don’t get much more than a wrist slap. No one at the IRS is interested in enforcing the political proscriptions against politicking on the public’s dime,  for reasons that will become obvious.

I won’t mention that Illaraionov was an intimate of Vladimir Putin at
the time. There’s an entire blog post on it, but that’s a tale for another day.

Now, make no mistake, the Heritage Foundation, the CATO Foundation, and an army of others ARE in utter contempt of the spirit of the tax code, but their Republican (and, alas, Democratic) allies in Congress are so strong that no self-respecting IRS agent would dare to publicly charge them with what they’re actually doing:

The One Percent has used the 501(c)3 to force YOU, serf, to foot the bill for their politicking. When Republican congresscritters gave their two-minute “special order” speeches on CSPAN, chances were it was a VERBATIM lift from the Heritage Foundation’s webpages, which, coincidentally and accidentally printed several pieces every day that were EXACTLY two minutes in length, if you read them properly. I heard many, verbatim, ON CSPAN. Coincidentally. And accidentally.

In a pig’s eye.

So, when the sleazy Republican tax attorney dug down and really explained what was going on, I was, for the first time EVER in my tax profession, actually INTERESTED and totally engaged.

ii. Synchronicity

I had, for some time, suspected that Oregon’s “initiative” process had been co-opted by cranky gazillionaires as a petrie dish for Frankenstein legislation.

When I received a letter from US Term Limits in Glenview, Illinois*, it only took me an afternoon on the internet to track down the beginnings of a ball of snakes that I would eventually spend the entire 2006 electoral season exposing … quite successfully. Proving to myself, at least, that one man with a typewriter can move the world.

[* See ENDNOTE]

If you want to follow that story, just go here: “The Locusts”.  The entire online book-as process is still free here: Unlimited Terms of Endearment.

For THIS, suffice it to say that I discovered a DISCRETE network, intimately connected with but never (significantly) TO the Koch Brothers, using dark money funneled through 501(c)3s (to create fully tax-deductible almost political action: e.g. indoctrination and ‘education’ right up to the line of politickin’ FOR a candidate or ballot question) and 501(c)4s (to SHIELD the donors, legally, from everybody). And everybody involved had one or two “foundations” to their name, with interlocking and interlinking boards of directors, ending with Americans for Limited Government on whose Board  the president and a director of the CATO Institute sat.

Yeah. In 2000 Howie Rich AND Rupert Murdoch served
on the CATO Board of Directors with David Koch

Oh, and twinned Castor 501(c)3s (fully deductible charity like the Red Cross) and Pollux 501(c)4s (for civic leagues, like volunteer fire departments, but whose rules allowed donations to be made ANONYMOUSLY).

Example that may or may not be connected. The Koch Brothers used to have a twinned (c)3/(c)4 called ‘Citizens for a Sound Economy’ which split like an amoeba in 2004 each half replicating the missing number behind the (c): FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity. And all you need to have one of these magical vehicles, is a small set of properly filed paperwork, and you can store several in your closet, if you need to.

A neat little trick came during the heart of the campaign, in the fall, that year, when Americans for Limited Government suddenly did the amoeba split and became the Sam Adams Alliance (no direct affiliation) who were magically “gifted’ the Chicago offices, and didn’t have to move so much as a desk (a Chicago newspaper had noticed that ALG had broken Illinois campaign law) and poof! the offending entity vanished out of state while all the same desks and same offices and same telephones, xerox machines and fax machines gathered the same dust and the same used chewing gum was stuck under the same desks by the same interns. But the “lawbreaker” was no longer in Illinois. Magic. IRS magic. (ALG was operating as US Term Limits as far as physical presence was concerned — as noted, these foundations and alliances and Americans For and Citizens Against, and such take up remarkably little space, being, in essence, tax phantoms, incorporeal corporations):

US Term Limits in Glenview* moves to Chicago 501(c)3

Then, US Term Limits magically becomes the Sam Adams Alliance
This is from the USTL 501(c)4 990 tax return, but the website’s the same!

Notice that they pay nothing for about $200K worth of office stuff.
Well, why not? They’re the same people! 2006 IRS Form 990

And notice where they still are in 2008.

[* See ENDNOTE.]

And, of course, NO party affiliation. I mean, the Heritage Foundation always got away with “we’re not Republicans; we’re CONSERVATIVES“, but the Shadow Masters were truly non-affiliated. They were doing their own thing (going after a variety of issues, including a few term limits, but MOSTLY about “eminent domain” as decided in the Supreme Court’s KELO decision, which I agree was probably wrongly decided, but to Howard Roark wannabes, the very NOTION of “eminent public domain” is anathema, nemesis and rilly rilly grotty, dude.  Gag me with a spoon.

The key that happy summer was that they had been doing this kind of stealth legislation ever since they’d been successful with their “Term Limits” movement in the early 1990s, but didn’t realize that a reporter (me) no longer had to drive to the state capitols and the secretaries of states’ offices to view the campaign filings, and that the multiple linkages exposed them in a way that they couldn’t have ever anticipated.

And, technology, having already pantsed them, also outed their organizations’ key players because the West is much smaller in population than the states they’d been playing in in the Midwest and on the East coast so that, for instance, a contribution of $100,000 in Idaho, where, in 2006, political contributions of $10 and even $5 were more the norm than the exception, that $100,000 from Howie Rich’s 501(c)4 in New York City stuck out like a sore thumb. It had to be reported. What DIDN’T have to be reported was where that money came from. There was even “AMERICA AT ITS BEST PO BOX 1678 KALISPELL MT 59903” a PAC bought from Virginia* that operated out of Montana and mysteriously sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Idaho, Nebraska, Arizona and I think California. It was confirmed after the election that it had been the treasurer of Howie Rich’s Americans for Limited Government acting as president of the four- or five-man board. WHERE the money actually came from is anybody’s guess.

[*You can actually purchase an existing such entity from its previous owner, evidently. The Illinois Policy Institute existed at a much lower ebb before it was purchased for John Tillman in 2007. See ENDNOTE.]

And each little state wrote about its state initiative, and often mentioned me, but never looked any further than their own borders. And I realized that the states were not, in themselves, strong enough to withstand organized stealth political money. But, like Paul Revere riding by the School for the Deaf, my warnings were wasted.

They even set up a doppelgänger website called “Cure Angry Leftitis” which wasn’t particularly distinguished, but DID manage to slam me, personally, on TWO different pages. I guess I got under their skin. THEN they set up a “blog” that published the classic “he is a horrible person” oppo-slur on me, while pretending to be a blog about “initiatives.” Right.

click for the larger, annotated version

(After the election, of course, the blog was made private, and the website vanished, but I kept the screenshots and the files.)

But in the he said/she said world of comatose journalism, the Portland Oregonian did the obligatory story, and then linked to my blog as an acknowledgement, and then to their doppelgänger blog as the “opposition.” (Which is precisely what the GOPs are doing as the semiconscious /awakening media giants are doing, as they print the allegations about “Hillary and Uranium and Russians and the FBI and the Infinite Scandal™ etc. He said/she said.)

Or, succinctly, in a story about being conned by front groups hiding shadowy money manipulating state measures and CONSTITUTIONAL measures, they linked to the … front organizations. And to a transparently front group that had only existed for perhaps a month!

A stone age press covers a space age swindle

The Shadow Masters lost their initiative battles in 2006, and promptly sent out a press release claiming victory in nine states they hadn’t anything to do with, nor claimed BEFORE the election, and crawled back under the rock they’d emerged from.

But the national media never heard about the story, preferring instead to play personality politics in the off-year election.

I pioneered several investigative techniques that we take for granted now: looking up the IRS filings online, locating houses and offices using Google maps, and cross-referencing documents and associations online. And I knew that it would probably not work that well ever again, as the Shadow Masters became aware of the threat and hired the best techies they could to defend their online presence. Americans for Limited Government, for instance, founded Net Right Daily and offered free stories and cartoons to struggling local newspapers.

The shadow masters learned their lesson well. And, while they licked their bruised egos, they began to plot anew.

And this strange anti-me blog appeared at the end of 2007.

But evidently died for lack of interest.

And I was discovered by Salon’s blog roundup by Steve Benin (now with Rachel Maddow) and Crooks and Liar’s Mike’s Blog Roundup (no longer run by Mike) where I’ve been featured for a more than a decade, now. And I used my newly acquired internet research skills to find my biological father.

iii. Parties, Tea and Necktie

Then again, almost everything I’d been tracking in 2006 was made legal by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision on January 21, 2010. Citizens United was, of course, ANOTHER Koch-connected operation.

The Tea Party arose from those I’d tracked. Specifically from Eric O’Keefe’s Sam Adams Alliance, whose newly-employed IT, Eric Odom registered (or claims to) the first Tea Party group.

This time, the Koch connection* was firmly made  and out in the open in several instances, and, surprise! the Tea Partiers used the old 501(c)4 trick, as they were coached to do in “training” seminars held across the land.

[* Take it from me: the Koch machine, ofttimes called the “Kochtopus” is a staggering colossus of a behemoth of a juggernaut to try and wrap your head around. This is one of the reasons that the small-minded so often dismiss it. Harry Reed wasn’t just whistling “Dixie” on the floor of the Senate as he tried to warn us about them. Sadly, he wasn’t paid any more attention, finally, than I was.]

I won’t go into the details, since I have already written tens of thousands of words on the subject, at the time. Heck, I was such a thorn in Eric O’Keefe’s side that he named me as an all-but-stalker in one of his court filings that quashed the Wisconsin “John Doe” investigation. I guess if you’re a reporter, and aren’t with a big time (e.g. comatose) media outlet, you’re a stalker. Or something.

Read this very short article on the John Doe Investigation, but know this FIRST: the State Supreme Court election was finessed by the selfsame forces successfully avoiding the investigation into the dark money behind the Scott Walker administration.

Increasingly brazen, the formerly intensely secretive
Kochs now have the candidates openly grovel.

Back? OK:

What you need to understand is that sometime between the off-year elections of 2006 (nationwide ballot measures, initiatives and questions) and 2010 (Tea Party) the originally “libertarian” groups switched from non-partisan to Republican. I’d left the formal Democratic party after the 2004 election, to reclaim my journalistic independence. As a result, I didn’t get all kinds of Democratic spam/snail mail. But I ALSO opened myself to other kinds of political mail, and it was a mass mailing from US Term Limits of Glenview, Illinois that put me onto them.

I later came to realize the same thing that they had: you got to pick a side in these shark-infested waters. Whose side are you on?

They chose Republican, and the GOP swallowed the homunculus whole, as the Koch League’s money and the “Tea Party Phenomenon” gerrymandered the 2010 census results into a hoped-for permanent Republican majority. But as the Shadow Masters made alliance with the Murdoch Machine and the increasingly impotent talk radio slandersphere, the GOP found itself increasingly swallowed by the serpent they’d made common cause with. This had been attempted before, when the Term Limits Gang made common cause with Gingrich and the Contract on America™ in 1994, but it quickly broke down after the election when the Term Limits crowd demanded ‘my way or the highway’ as  reported in Common Cause magazine. (This is one of their hallmarks: don’t work or play well with others.)

So. to get back to the narrative, the Shadow Masters trained and equipped the Term Limits Crowd, and then, the Murdoch Machine pushed the narrative that the IRS was DISCRIMINATING against the Term Limits “Civic League” filings, even though the facts were admitted that a) No one was turned down or harmed and b) no one was harmed or turned down. But the screech of victimhood was too good to let go.

IRS official Lois Lerner was made into a national scapegoat for attempting to honor the intention of the 501(c)4 law, which the Tea Partiers were blatantly pissing on, in essence, so that dark money (later entirely legalized by the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott, er Citizen’s United case) could flood into the 2010 elections in a tsunami.

They had learned their lesson from their 2006 de-pantsing, and created all kinds of national “news outlets” awards, etc. etc. They had spawned in a thousand directions and while their first attempt at a tax day protest by Oregon’s FreedomWorks affiliate fizzled, (again, magic, as Citizens for a Sound Economy’s 2004 Oregon office became a FreedomWorks office, without moving so much as a potted plant), its rebranded clone, the Tea Party Movement (with many of the Usual Suspects acting as “officials” of the “grass-roots” movement) succeeded far beyond their wildest dreams.

Money like no one had ever seen flooded into state legislature races and an historic landslide tipped a dozen states into the Red. I mean, a legislative race that had rarely seen more than $2000 spent, total, suddenly saw a contribution of $10,0oo or $50,000. Over and over again.

And, wouldn’t you know, not only didn’t the comatose national media notice it, but by 2012, CNN had a bus shadowing the “Tea Party Express” bus (a money-making political stunt out of the offices of Russo Marsh in Sacramento, California, originally the GOPpelgänger “You Don’t Speak For Me Cindy” anti-anti-war (OK  PRO-war) protest bus.

This proved lucrative and thence it was the Anti Obama bus and finally, the “Tea Party Express” bus, which it remains as to this very day.

Bus tours became popular. This 1984-ish one took place in early 2011

Dick Morris, Michael Medved, Ralph Reed, Stephen Moore on what is
in essence, Betsy DeVos’ current agenda at the Dept. Of Education
Coincidence? I don’t think so.

The tour was partially sponsored by the Illinois Policy Foundation which
is run by former Sam Adams Alliance president, John Tillman
and also former president of Americans for Limited Government*

[* See ENDNOTE]

CNN even ceded further “legitimacy” to this front group by co-sponsoring a debate with it in 2012.

And the same Omaha World Herald who had been outraged by the stealth antics of Americans for Limited Government in 2006 — with the Editor Emeritus coming briefly out of retirement to write an outraged editorial decrying stealth money and stealth ballot initiatives — was quoting their website and spokesman as legitimate “conservative” news by 2008. Institutional memory ain’t what it used to be, I guess.

This attorney’s congressional candidacy lost its momentum when 
this little tax document showed up. (Almost $1 million over several years)
You’ll never guess who dug this up. The Oregonian sure as hell didn’t
credit anyone for the research when they grabbed the story.

Having won by questionable means, the Tea Party narrative was turned into a “scandal” (the typical guilt-by-association fallacy that fuels a googleplex of GOP lies including the current Tinker to Evers to Chance to Bob to Carol to Ted and Alice FBI colluded with the Russians and Hillary wrote the Pee Pee Dossier “scandal”).

from the Library of Congress

iv. Scaping the Goat

Much as they might have wanted to, Lois Lerner was never prosecuted because she’d never done anything wrong. For this, she was forced into early retirement, and still they yowl for her scalp.

In the eternal squalling of the GOP infants’ Stygian night, then endless cries for justice for the Tea Party were seen as a valuable asset, and there was a settlement last fall, as the IRS basically agreed to allow the continual and now blatant disregard for the 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 sections of the “charitable” code to turn cranky zillionaires’ political wet dreams into sacraments of the body politic. And we, the public, get to foot the bill for most of their political conditioning and quiet agitation, and, where we don’t, we don’t get to know WHO is behind the latest political “innovation” that will destroy institutional memory and eternally lower taxes.

How do I know this?

When a tax was passed here for like, roads, INSTANTLY the Shadow Masters’ familiar groups were here attacking our legislators and fighting against the tax not because it wasn’t in the civic interest, but because it was a TAX!

Post card sent to my house in 2007;
hilariously, she isn’t in my district

Now: who is going to stand up for the IRS, right?

(And, thanks to Grover Norquist*, we now have a system in which every tax CUT can NEVER be matched by a tax increase if it’s a bad idea (like Bush’s zillionaire tax cuts that took place even as we went into an endless war in the Middle East that was NOT funded, save by borrowing money — mostly from China, giving them the ability to tank our economy ANY TIME THEY CHOOSE by calling in their loans!).  In other words, our “tax” system is now like a tire guard — DO NOT BACK UP, SEVERE TIRE DAMAGE  — so that taxes can only go down, but never back up. Which explains the current GOP tax cut plan in Congress.)

[* See ENDNOTE]

They have their “scalps.” The current director, John Koskinen is passed over for a new “Trump Friendly” tax attorney, David Kautter, as an intentional snub. At least Koskinen, the poor fellow, can now dine on something more nutritious than humble pie.

And they have their agreement that the IRS will now NEVER question any political 501(c)4 or 501(c)3 thus allowing them to do their indoctrination, engage in their Pavlovian conditioning, and spread their ideologies as though they were churches, and NOT cranky gazillionaires now engaging in politics on YOUR dime. Consider Foster Friess. Or the Koch Brothers, who have to be responsible for at least 1000 pages of the tax code, all by themselves.

Of course this is all “charitable.” You know, like the Girl Scouts
or your local church. Either way, you ultimately pay the bill.

Let me tell you a little secret about the tax code: Each page of the now over 70,000 pages in the tax code is, except for maybe a hundred pages of actual meaningful law, a monument to grifters, scam artists, tax cheats and, yes, felonious attorneys.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said* that taxes were the price he paid for his membership in a club called “civilization.”  These guys want free memberships.

At your expense. Remember that.

[* “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.” — quoted by the IRS above the entrance to their headquarters at 1111 Constitution Ave. (Wikiquote)]

Simpler does NOT equal fairer. Here’s simple: everybody pays $1000 in taxes every year, no exceptions.

Is it fair?

Fair? Make up your mind!

Every page, every regulation plugs a hole that some clever crook found to cheat his fellow citizens out of his membership fee.

Now, remember, he still wants to play the golf course, and use the banquet facilities. He wants to attend the parties and swim in the pool. But he thinks that YOU ought to pay his membership for him.

The IRS never had a chance. Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department took sides AGAINST them, leaving them to twist, slowly, slowly in the wind. All because zillionaires didn’t want their money seen in the job of destabilizing and degrading governance.

And in the abject groveling of the IRS before the Attorney General, and the League of Koch, the IRS gets much-beloved humiliation and the Tea Partiers get MONEY and an abject apology for attempting to enforce the law. How great is that? Functionally, billionaires playing politics using these tax games is, in many cases, exactly the same as being a church: ZERO taxes.

The IRS has been castrated and co-opted by the Shadow Masters. Now I understand why the IRS offices in Baltimore and DC were in such a hurry to get rid of me back in 1996. But fear not, the gazillionaires have left the IRS’ teeth and claws intact to go after YOU.

Don’t that make you feel whole lot better? to quote the B-52s. Dance this mess around.

And the Shadow Masters?

Well, kids, serf’s up.

And you’re about to become the serf. Hereditary oligarchy and an American aristocracy is just around the corner.

You might want to become proficient at doing something that millionaires need done.

And you’ll have plenty of time to ask yourself later why nobody in Mainstream Media (other than Jane Meyer at the New Yorker) has covered this waterfront with any alacrity. Or urgency. Just remember: while most conspiracy theories are hogwash, conspiracies ARE demonstrably and historically real.

And, as the Republicans have co-opted  the IRS, so, too, the Tea Party has co-opted the Republican Party. And the Shadow Masters are doing just fine. 2006 was just a minor speed bump to them. They have learned to create short-term 501s, so that by the time they’ve had their extensions to file, the election they were formed to manipulate is nearly two years behind them (by using some fancy tax tricks) AND they have folded that tent and raised another one.

And this is a real conspiracy to all but destroy government. Somehow “libertarians” seem to think that were there no government, all would be hunky dory, and the Free Market is the solution to all ills. (Right. Nothing like a medical system operating on Free Market Principles. You know, like jacking up the price of medicine 6000% … because they can.) And so forth.

Now, read this “headline” in all its glorious context:

Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:   IRS Apologizes To Tea Party, Finally

The big money behind the Tea Party has pulled a Dick Cheney: They’ve forced the fellow they shot in the face to apologize to them for being shot.

Courage.

PS: you might want to read the unedited version of the PBS Interview they did with me in 2006. The edited PBS version is here.

END NOTE: Tinker to Evers to Chance:

John Tillman (from LinkedIn)
CEO at Illinois Policy Institute
Illinois Policy Institute
Wayne State University
Greater Chicago Area
500+ connections

CEO
Company Name Illinois Policy Institute
Dates Employed Jul 2007 – Present
Employment Duration 10 yrs 4 mos

The Illinois Policy Institute is a nonpartisan research organization dedicated to supporting free market principles and liberty-based public policy initiatives for a better Illinois.

People often ask us whether the Institute is conservative, libertarian, or whether we fall under some other political label. Labels can sometimes provide helpful shorthand to make it easier for strangers to become better acquainted, but they also can be inaccurate or miss the bigger picture.

The Illinois Policy Institute is dedicated to promoting the principles of liberty in all levels of government. While the word liberty can be interpreted in many ways—and applied to many different arenas—we focus specifically on economic liberty and free market principles.

Co-founder, President & COO
Company Name Sam Adams Alliance
Dates Employed Nov 2006 – Apr 2007
Employment Duration 6 mos

President
Company Name Americans for Limited Government
Dates Employed May 2004 – Nov 2006
Employment Duration 2 yrs 7 mos

Poster boy John Tillman lives on a golf course in Glenview, Illinois (Gee, isn’t that where … ?) and was once, literally, the President of Golf, Illinois. Looking out for working class men and women like you. Right. Sure.  Tillman owns a bewildering array of 501(c)3s and 501(c)4s, in December 2014, he was named to the Board of the National Taxpayers Union, which works hand in glove with Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. The latter two, along with the Illinois Policy Institute are members of the stealth-funded State Policy Network.

from Google maps

Cross-posted from his vorpal sword

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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