IRS AND GUITARS


“On Aug. 24, 2011, federal agents executed four search warrants on Gibson Guitar Corp. facilities in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. One of the top makers of acoustic and electric guitars, including the iconic Les Paul introduced in 1952, Gibson was accused of using wood illegally obtained in violation of the century-old Lacey Act, which outlaws trafficking in flora and fauna the harvesting of which had broken foreign laws. … Interestingly, one of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Co. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain ‘East Indian Rosewood,’ which is the exact same wood in at least 10 of Gibson’s guitars. So why were they not also raided and their inventory of foreign wood seized? Grossly underreported at the time was the fact that Gibson’s chief executive, Henry Juszkiewicz, contributed to Republican politicians. … By contrast, Chris Martin IV, the Martin & Co. CEO, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the Democratic National Committee over the past couple of election cycles. … Juszkiewicz’ claim that his company was ‘inappropriately targeted’ is eerily similar to the claims by Tea Party, conservative, pro-life and religious groups that they were targeted by the IRS for special scrutiny because they sought to exercise their First Amendment rights to band together in vocal opposition to the administration’s policies and the out-of-control growth of government and its power. The Gibson Guitar raid, the IRS intimidation of Tea Party groups and the fraudulently obtained warrant naming Fox News reporter James Rosen as an ‘aider, abettor, co-conspirator’ in stealing government secrets are but a few examples of the abuse of power by the Obama administration to intimidate those on its enemies list.” —Investor’s Business Daily

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