arrested after attempt to storm Justice Department
By Tim CraigWashington Post May 20, 2013
federal law enforcement officials arrested 17 people Monday after protesters
opposing foreclosures attempted to storm the entrances of the Justice
protesters with groups called the Home Defenders League and Occupy Our Homes
marched on the building about 2 p.m. Some set up tents on the lawn and sidewalk
while others ran up to the building’s Constitution Avenue entrance.
D.C. police, 17 people were arrested. Ann C. Wilcox, an attorney who represents
protesters, said several were tased during the scuffle. A D.C. police
spokeswoman said D.C. police were not involved in the tasing. Federal law
enforcement officials on the scene declined comment.
closed Constitution Avenue for much of the afternoon, leading to traffic
As of 4:45 pm,
about 50 protesters were standing in the street or sitting on the sidewalk, and
police were preparing for more arrests. Officers equipped with crowd dispersal
agents guarded the entrance to the Justice Department. A police helicopter
a protester, said Attorney General Eric Holder is the target of the
“A couple months
ago, Eric Holder said banks are too big to prosecute,” Collette said. “We think
that is fundamentally wrong.”
Our elected representatives write a law in plain english---in this case one that says non-profit organizations must be "exclusively" for the promotion of social welfare (above). Then a bunch of un-elected bureaucrats decide that congress didn't really mean what they said. Instead, the bureaucrats claim that when congress wrote the word "exclusively" what they actually meant was "primarily." Hmm. Do those two words mean the same thing to you? Me neither.
So the folks we elected said that in order to qualify as a not-for-profit organization you must always be doing social welfare, and never be doing anything else (like political advertising). But the people we did not elect decided (on their own) that non-profits could take a break from all that boring "social welfare" stuff and get into a little side business--like raising gazillions of dollars from anonymous donors to spend on nasty and mostly false political ads.
That little tax loophole, though unquestionably unlawful, is big enough for Super PACs to drive a truck through---which is exactly what they are doing with impunity.
When we speak about government by consent of the governed, we mean that the laws we agree to abide by, must be written by the folks we elected. Their words matter. Because every period and semi-colon of every statute that has ever made it from an original draft, to a committee mark-up, to a public hearing, to floor debates, to amendments in both the House and Senate, to a conference committee report, and finally to a signing ceremony, deserves to be respected as written.
And only the people we elected to write those laws in the first place get to change the words or their meaning---not bureaucrats, not judges, only legislators.
When a law is vague or just plain stupid we have only ourselves to blame for the people we chose to write it. But when a law is simple and straightforward, shame on us for standing by silently while a bunch of back room bureaucrats twist its clear public intent to their own private purposes. (Kudos to MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell for first pointing this out. --np)