Congressman Charlie Rangel wrote me to tell of an unacceptable action Bush has taken against the NAACP.
We have come a long way together and we cannot turn back now. The final 72 hours of this election will not be easy. Whether it is doctoring campaign ads or misrepresenting facts about missing munitions in Iraq, our opponents will stop at nothing to retain power.
The most recent example of these despicable tactics is an attempt to intimidate African-American voters by attacking the most powerful symbol of freedom that we have in our community.
The IRS has sent a letter informing the NAACP that it had opened an investigation into the organization that could result in the loss of its tax exempt status. The investigation would determine whether the NAACP had unlawfully “intervened in a political campaign.” Apparently the probe revolved around a speech critical of President Bush’s policies by NAACP chairman Julian Bond during the group’s national convention in July.
This is the tactic of a police state. They’re using the government in an attempt to silence the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States.
By attacking the NAACP because of a speech by its chairman they are saying that no one in a tax exempt organization has the right to speak out against the President’s policies – even while the Bush campaign uses religious and other tax-exempt groups to organize their support. As the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee which has jurisdiction over the IRS, I will invoke the full power of the Committee’s oversight on this issue.
This is yet another example why, when people ask us ten or fifteen years from now, “What were YOU doing during the elections of 2004 when you had a chance to make a difference? We MUST be able to tell them proudly that we did everything we thought we could do and MORE.
This weekend I will travel to Georgia to campaign for John Barrow and Florida to work for Senator Kerry and Senator Edwards. I hope that I can count on you to be doing everything you can to assist the Democratic effort in your own community. If you don’t have time to work this weekend or are unable to get time off from work to help out on Election Day, it’s certainly not too late for your financial contributions to make a difference. You can make a difference by going here: http://www.charlierangel.org/base.html.