IRS to Operation Rescue West: "You're Punked!"
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Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 01:24:28 AM EST
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThis festive looking fellow is Troy Newman, director of Operation Rescue West. Until Monday, ORW enjoyed the privilege of favored tax status as its members harassed Dr. George Tiller and his patients, stalked clinic staff members into their own neighborhoods, and intruded on funeral goers with their gorily graphic "truth trucks" -- all while blatantly violating federal laws regulating the political activities of tax-exempt organizations.

But now the party's over.

On September 11, after years of repeated complaints, the Internal Revenue Service [pdf link] at last moved to strip Operation Rescue West of its tax-exempt status.  Two organizations that have been active in seeking sanctions against ORW's illegal political activities are the nationally recognized Catholics for a Free Choice and the lesser known and unlikely-sounding Maggot Punks, a group of pro-freedom activists based in Wichita, Kansas, also home to Operation Rescue West.  

Last December cyncooper posted a profile of the Maggot Punks here at TTA. Their tradition of "punking out" ORW protestors in clownface on the MP website inspired my own extreme makeover of Troy Newman -- a tribute to the Maggot Punks' achievement in turning "talk to action."

As Frederick Clarkson wrote this week, Catholics for a Free Choice constantly monitors the frequent abuses of their tax exempt status by religiously-oriented organizations. And even the most flagrant violations, such as the overt intervention of Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life in Randall Terry's recent Florida campaign, often seem to pass unremarked and under the radar of official oversight. In fact, Pavone openly defies anyone to stop him.

"We will repeat and intensify this year all we did in the previous election cycles. The pro-abortion groups, the liberals in the Church, the over-cautious attorneys, and the people who don't want to see the Church `influencing elections' can yell and scream all they want. In fact, I invite them to. It won't make a shred of difference. We will move forward with more boldness than ever before."

But the open defiance of Troy Newman has come to an end.

Both Catholics for a Free Choice and the Maggot Punks have issued statements regarding their respective roles in ORW's long-overdue sanctioning by the IRS.

From Catholics for a Free Choice:

[A] CFFC complaint filed in 2004 provided information on ORW's electoral activities during the Boston Democratic Party convention that we considered to be violations of IRS regulations.

Our complaint referred to a full-page ad placed by the antichoice group on July 15, 2004, in the Wanderer, an ultra-conservative national Catholic weekly.  In the ad, ORW called on readers to make what it said was a "tax-deductible donation to help pay the bills and affect the outcome of the election" and called for readers to give a tax-deductible donation to help "defeat [John Kerry] in November and enable President Bush to appoint a pro-life Supreme Court Justice to finally overturn Roe v. Wade." In making its case, Operation Rescue West cited the statements of several cardinals and bishops who had attacked Catholic politicians for their support of a woman's right to choose and invited the support of readers as they are "going into the middle of a war in Boston." [Emphasis in original.] ORW said that the money raised would be spent in Boston during the Democratic Party convention, where it planned to distribute antiabortion, anti-Kerry materials and display highly visible ads on trucks at key sites.

The CFFC's very name declares its mission, and the Maggot Punks declare their own.

The purpose of the Maggot Punks is to preserve reproductive freedoms, maintain the absolute separation of state and church, oppose the proliferation of creationism, put religious terrorists in prison, catalogue the crimes and actions of fundy fanatics, work with other progressive organizations to increase their effectiveness in promote positive social change.

While acknowledging the contribution made by CFFC, the Maggot Punks statement on the revocation of ORW's tax status . . .

Thanks to everyone that supported our efforts. It took a couple years to gather all the data, and seemingly longer for the IRS to investigate everything, but working through the legal system has prevailed. It makes one have faith in the government once again.

. . . provides a little more background on the range of Troy Newman's unsavory activities, and a lot more entertainment.

September 09, 2006
ORW Endorses Beemer

Not afraid to violate their tax-exempt status Troy Newman, spoke before a meeting of the extreme far right Republican group, the Kansas Republican Action Assembly as a representative of Operation Rescue West bragging about abortion clinics they really didn't shut down. Attending the group was anti-flesh crusader Jan Beemer who is running for 86th district Representative against the very sane, pro-Constitution Judy Loganbill. During his self-promotion speech Troy announced that "We need to send people like Jan Beemer to the Legislature..."

Now Troy couldn't possibly be a member of the KRAA, headed by wife beater Mark Gietzen because the bylaws state that members can only be registered Republicans. Troy is a registered Democrat. However I'm sure these little formalities are overlooked because Gietzen needs ORW members to fill the room to make him look important.
Jan Beemer was also in attendence [sic] where she made some insane remarks about Baal and how Dr. Tiller makes baby sacrifices to Baal. Baal is the Babylonian rain god. People would make sacrifices to Baal in order to provide rain for their crops. This was seen as a necessity in a desert region such as the Middle East. Back in the day the Hebrew religion was polytheistic and the Hebrew religion often sacrificed people and animals to their gods. However Beemer tries to include Tiller as a person who sacrifices to Baal. Perhaps it's because Dr. Tiller's last name is Tiller so she assumes he's still a farmer and needs the rain to provide a good crop of wheat or something. Who knows, Beemer is insane.

Newman and Beemer go way back. Newman's little side business is real estate. Troy takes his prophets [sic] from pretending to stop abortion and invests them in properties in Sedgwick and Butler county. He then resells or rents these houses back to suckers who love to live in slums. One of the buyers was Jan Beemer who bought a Newman slum for just $10 above the price Newman paid. Selling at that price while isn't good business unless you buying political favors or laundering money. Beemer's had her own problems with the tax man which the Maggot Punks uncovered. Beemer has since paid those taxes because the antis read this page and informed her of her deliquency [sic].

What's not known is why Troy would try to incur the wrath of another IRS investigation. Catholics for a Free Choice filed a complaint for ORW's anti-Kerry campaign after ORW ran an anti-Kerry ad in a Catholic newspaper. ORW managed to get out of that one somehow. Or perhaps he figured nobody watches anything produced by KRAA because even conservative Republicans consider them a lunatic fringe group.

Whatever the reason for Newman's arrogant disregard of the IRS, he and ORW have finally been called to account.

Earlier this week, ORW gleefully published an account of the "anonymous" harassment of pro-choice Kansas Governor Kathleen Sibelius as she debated her anti-choice Republican opponent, Jim Barnett, at the Kansas State Fair. Appropriately enough, the protestors came dressed as giant cockroaches, which is anti-choice dog whistle code for "Gov. Sibelius won't let us over-regulate abortion providers into extinction." As Barnett was introduced, one of the giant cockroaches rolled over and waved its legs in the air, giving every indication of entering its final throes.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

If that performance was an omen, a sign of things to come for Operation Rescue West, you just have to believe that the Maggot Punks would have approved.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

To Betty Wannabang, Annie Sprinkles, Mr. Zero, Dig Doug Deeper, and Spunky Flasher - congratulations on a job well done.

[Photos: Maggot Punks and Operation Rescue]

Now if only we could figure out an inducement for the Maggot Punks to start a franchise in Amarillo.

After running with Randall Terry all these years, Pavone is accustomed to more weirdness than the MPs ever thought about, but Bishop Yanta would have a holy cow.  ;-)

by moiv on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 01:39:36 AM EST

Troy Newman of Towanda, leader of the anti-abortion organization Operation Rescue, said his appearance Saturday in a cockroach costume at the gubernatorial debate in Hutchinson was meant as "political satire, for crying out loud."

"Who wasn't laughing?" Newman asked.

Democrat Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' backers weren't laughing as Newman and another man wearing a cockroach outfit performed antics during the debate.

One man allegedly pulled Newman's mask, causing a skin injury that required rubbing alcohol and a Band-Aid, according to Newman.
"We're actually thinking about filing for a temporary restraining order, barring the Sebelius campaign from any further acts of violence," Newman said.

That Troy, such a joker -- but he loves the legal system.  Heh.

by moiv on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 01:58:48 AM EST

Is it a possibility that the IRS' newfound concern for the abuses of Operation Rescue is stems from a higher level decision to begin the mainstreaming of the antiabortion movement ? Has Operation Rescue outlived it political usefulness for the Christian right ?

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 10:01:03 AM EST
Only this afternoon a new member of our staff, after hearing a few stories about massive and aggressive protests 'back in the day,' asked me why I thought our daily protest activity is so much tamer now than it was in the 90's.  

My reply was that they no longer muster the numbers that they used to, since they don't feel the same sense of urgency as they did then -- because they have plenty of hardline crazies sitting in the state legislature and the Congress.

by moiv on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 09:50:36 PM EST

The mainstreaming effect.

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 10:55:47 PM EST

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