Sen. Pat Toomey has lambasted President Obama over news that the IRS unfairly scrutinized Tea Party organizations and other conservative groups when evaluating their non-profit status.
At a Finance Committee meeting Tuesday, Toomey remarked, “I don’t know how we could come to the conclusion that this is not politically motivated.”
“We don’t even know who made the decision. How do we know what motivated that decision? On the face of it, it certainly appears that it is completely politically motivated.”
Republicans have seized on that improper conduct by the IRS and the Obama administration is in full retreat. Toomey, never a friend of the IRS, has been a vocal critic.
But Toomey’s response isn’t entirely apolitical. He emailed supporters Wednesday to ask them to contribute to his campaign over the IRS scandal.
“There are some in the administration who are determined to stifle conservative voices,” he wrote. “They know – as we know – that if we conservatives get our message out, the public will be on our side.”
“We need to fight back and we need to hold them accountable,” he said, linking to a website to collect campaign contributions.
Update: Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) sent a similar missive:
“The only way we can hold Washington Democrats accountable is by keeping control of the House. Can you please help me fight by donating $5, $10, $25 to my campaign?” he wrote as part of an email Wednesday.
The scandal has reinvigorated conservative grassroots groups, still reeling from their failure to unseat Obama in 2012, but who were vital to Toomey’s effort in 2010 and will be again in 2016.
He will indeed have a tough race if former Rep. Joe Sestak gets into the race. Sestak lost to Toomey by 2 points in 2010 and recently started a committee to explore a rematch in 2016.
Here’s the full text of the email:
Subject: We Must Hold the IRS Accountable
I am very upset by the news of the IRS targeting conservative groups.
There are some in the Obama administration who think the rules don’t apply to them. They think they are above accountability.
There are some in the administration who are determined to stifle conservative voices.
They know – as we know – that if we conservatives get our message out, the public will be on our side.
So that is exactly what we need to do. We need to spread our message of optimism and freedom. We need to fight back and we need to hold them accountable.
We know that President Obama’s campaign team will target me in Pennsylvania, and we are building a top-notch campaign team that will go toe-to-toe with the Obama machine.
But we need the resources to make this a fair fight. I am asking for your support so we can get our message out. Any amount that you can give will be helpful as we begin to gear up. No amount is too small.
Thank you for your generosity and your commitment to this fight,