Conservatives Protest Ohio Dems, IRS

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A "Don't Tread On Me" flag flies above an Ohio flag at a Cincinnati Tea Party protest on Tuesday.(Photo: WVXU)
A "Don't Tread On Me" flag flies above an Ohio flag at a Cincinnati Tea Party protest on Tuesday.(Photo: WVXU)

Though the Ohio Republican Party has been dealing with a split among its constituents, the GOP hasn’t forgotten its oldest oppoenent: Democrats.

It wasn’t as much a protest as it was a picketing session, with nine Republican party activists holding signs and chanting outside the headquarters of the Ohio Democratic Party.

The signs blasted Ohio Democrats for not demanding more information about the trio of scandals President Obama is facing – the attack on Benghazi, the Justice Department’s search of phone records from the Associated Press, and the IRS’s admitted targeting of conservative organizations for extra scrutiny.

Jade Overstreet is a senior at Ohio State and said she spoke for the group of demonstrators.

We are here to demand answers today. We definitely think it’s wrong that ODP is not making sure that its elected officials are not profiling citizens and it was wrong that the IRS targeted certain groups and it’s totally against what our country stands for, and we really think that some answers should come out and we should have the right to know what’s going on with this IRS scandal, so…

The drone in the background throughout the demonstration – a counterprotest of sorts, as a Democratic Party worker ran over and over a few tiny patches of treelawn throughout the event.

Reporter: “Is the lawnmower on purpose?”
Kurtz: “Well, we schedule to mow our lawn pretty regularly. It’s important to keep the party headquarters looking nice and pristine.”

Jerid Kurtz speaks for the Ohio Democratic Party, and took aim at the incoming chair of the ORP while once again previewing next year’s election.

As Gov. Kasich’s ally over at the Republican Party, Matt Borges has many tax problems of his own. Came out that he owed more than $500,000 in back taxes at one point. So it’s always interesting to see the party talking about the IRS and taxes, but hypocrisy is nothing new to the governor.

These kinds of protests aren’t unusual at political events – there are usually signholders from the opposing party at high-profile speeches and candidate appearances.

And Democratic activists protested outside the Ohio Republican Party headquarters after one of the presidential debates last year – dressed to address Mitt Romney’s comment about “binders full of women”. But this suggests the 2014 campaigns are starting early, and will be lively.

As the protest continued in Columbus, Tea Party activists from Ohio and neighboring states gathered in downtown Cincinnati to draw attention to the IRS’ ongoing scandal.

Click here to hear details on the Cincinnati protest

Several hundred people gathered on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square before marching to the John Weld Peck Federal Building. That’s where employees with the Cincinnati IRS office admittedly applied extra scrutiny to conservative and other groups applying for 501(c)(4) tax exempt status. Dee Cohen from Cincinnati calls the IRS and White House administration’s actions abusive.

“How could you not be angry? I mean, we’re going to try to suppress the press. Let’s get those reporters, we want to know who their contacts are. Let’s check their emails. Let’s make sure we don’t have free press anymore. Let’s get them (Tea Party groups) money-wise with the IRS. It’s all this intimidation. It’s outrageous. This is the US not Venezuela.”

Dave Kern of Liberty Township says he came to protest the “outrageous actions” of the IRS across the board.

“(It’s) not some so-called low-level worker at the IRS here in Cincinnati. It’s impossible that this originated from them. But the person who authorized this from the top. That’s where it should end up and they should be rightfully prosecuted and jailed. It’s outrageous.”

Tea Party organizers say an apology isn’t enough. They want the Obama administration to quote “make concrete and transparent steps” to ensure this never happens again. The IRS meanwhile says while its employees acted inappropriately they were not driven by political bias.


  • Patrick Henry

    If the IRS has identified a trend of political organizations of a certain persuasion attempting to abuse “non-profit” status, I would definitely hope that the IRS agents used that information when identifying organizations for further scrutiny.