This story about Catherine Engelbrecht should be enough to show what an unbridled, corrupt government agency such as the IRS can do to a private citizen.
And we all should be concerned.
Not as conservatives or liberals or libertarians, but as AMERICANS.
“They were scared,” she explains, “and you shouldn't be scared of your government.” - Catherine Engelbrecht
Here are the highlights of the story:
- Bryan and Catherine Engelbrecht operate a small manufacturing plant in Rosenberg, Texas
- In 2008 frustrated by politics, Catherine began attending Tea Party events
- As a ballot box volunteer in 2009, Catherine began witnessing administrative issues and "outright voter fraud"
- Catherine founded two political organizations, King Street Patriots, a local community group that hosts weekly discussions on personal and economic freedoms and True the Vote, which seeks to prevent voter fraud and trains volunteers to work as election monitors.
- In July 2010, Catherine filed for tax exempt status with the IRS
- That winter the FBI began inquiring about a one time attendee to a King Street Patriots event
- In January 2011, the IRS visited the Engelbrecht's shop and began an on-site audit of both their business and personal returns
- The IRS auditor requested to see the Engelbrecht's farm, count their cattle, and look at their fence line
- The IRS began questions for the tax exempt status for both organizations delaying each with more questions
- The FBI continued contacting the King Street Patriots in May, June, November and December 2011
- In February 2012 the IRS requested every Facebook post and Tweet Catherine had ever written. She also received questions about her family, whether she had ever run for political office and which organizations she had spoken to.
“It’s no great secret that the IRS is considered to be one of the more serious [federal agencies],” Catherine says. “When you get a call from the IRS, you don’t take it lightly. So when you’re asked questions that seem to imply a sense of disapproval, it has a very chilling effect.” - Catherine Engelbrecht
On the same day they received the questions from the IRS, Catherine says, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) launched an unscheduled audit of their machine shop, forcing the Engelbrechts to drop everything planned for that day. Though the Engelbrechts have a Class 7 license, which allows them to make component parts for guns, they do not manufacture firearms. Catherine said that while the ATF had a right to conduct the audit, “it was odd that they did it completely unannounced, and they took five, six hours. . . . It was so extensive. It just felt kind of weird.” - Catherine Engelbrecht
- In July 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) visited Engelbrecht Manufacturing. According to Bryan Engelbrecht, the agent found only “little Mickey Mouse stuff, like, ‘You
have safety glasses on, but not the right kind; the forklift has a seatbelt,
but not the right kind.’” Yet Catherine and Bryan said the OSHA inspector
complimented them on their tightly run shop and said she didn’t know why she
had been sent to examine it.
- After the visit, OSHA fined Engelbrecht Manufacturing $25,000 which was worked down to $17,500. Bryan Engelbrecht: "We didn’t want to make any more waves, because we don’t know [how much further] OSHA could reach.”
"Fifteen thousand dollars is “not an insignificant amount to this company. It might be to other companies, but we’re still considered small, and it came at a time when business was slow, so instead of giving an employee a raise or potentially hiring another employee, I’m writing a check to our government.” - Bryan Engelbrecht
- In September 2012, Senator Barbara Boxer (D- CA) accused True the Vote of voter suppression
“As you know, an organization called ‘True the Vote,’ which is an offshoot of the Tea Party, is leading a voter suppression campaign in many states,” Boxer wrote, adding that “this type of intimidation must stop. I don’t believe this is ‘True the Vote.’ I believe it’s ‘Stop the Vote.’” - Senator Barbara Boxer (D- CA)
- In October 2012 Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) also accused True the Vote of voter suppression
“Some have suggested that your true goal is not voter integrity, but voter suppression against thousands of legitimate voters who traditionally vote for Democratic candidates.” He added that: “If these efforts are intentional, politically motivated, and widespread across multiple states, they could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.” - Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
- In November 2012, the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality did an unscheduled audit on Engelbrecht Manufacturing. According to Catherine Engelbrecht the inspector told them that they had received a complaint but could not provide any details.
- After the inspection, the agency notified the Engelbrechts
that they needed to pay for an additional mechanical permit, which cost about
$2,000 per year.
- The IRS has sent two more rounds of questions and still has not approved tax exempt status for both organizations after three years
- In April 2013, the ATF conducted another unscheduled audit at Engelbrecht Manufacturing
“The way all of these personal instances interweave with what was going on on the nonprofit side . . . it amounts to something. You can’t help but think that statistically, this has to be coordinated on some level.” - Catherine Engelbrecht
- On behalf of the True the Vote and King Street Patriots,
Representative Ted Poe (D., Texas) sent a Freedom of Information Act request to
the FBI, OSHA, and the ATF, inquiring whether the organizations were under
criminal investigation. A statement on Poe’s website states that “the reply
from these agencies was that none of these individuals were under criminal
investigation. Well, if they’re not, why are they being treated like criminals?
Just because they question government.”
“I left a thriving family business with my husband that I loved, to do something I didn’t necessarily love, but [which] I thought had to be done,” she says. “But I really think if we don’t do this, if we don’t stand up and speak now, there might not [always] be that chance.” - Catherine Engelbrecht
Catherine Engelbrecht Discusses IRS Targeting on Huckabee
Information about the two organizations Catherine Engelbrecht founded:
King Street Patriots takes its name from the original group of patriots who demonstrated in the streets of Boston in 1770 in response to confiscatory British policies enacted against the colonists. King Street was known as the hub of historic and patriotic acts of community activism. The Boston Massacre, tar and featherings, marches of the Sons of Liberty, routings of the Tea Party, and the ride of Paul Revere all unfolded on this cobblestone road. The protestations of King Street’s activists sparked rebellion among the colonies and eventually culminated in the American Revolution.
It is in the same spirit that King Street Patriots has launched its efforts to battle the most brazen attempt by liberals in the last fifty years to further an agenda which Patriots considers diametrically opposed to the welfare of all Americans. King Street Patriots is committed to:
- American Exceptionalism
- Constitutional Governance
- Civic Duty
Unfortunately, Americans have lost faith in the integrity of our nation's election results and fraud and law-breaking has become all too common in our electoral system. We hope to change that perception. True the Vote is a citizen-led effort to restore truth, faith, and integrity to our elections.
She sounds like a patriot to me...
If this story doesn't send a chill down your spine, then you should research history. This is nothing short of fascism, the same tactics the Nazis and the communists applied. Using government agencies to harass and intimidate private citizens because of their political beliefs is despicable. This is something that every American citizen should be gravely concerned with.
This is WRONG and it should not be happening in the United States of America ever.