Greenpeace calls out Mitch McConnell’s IRS hypocrisy with full page ad in Lexington Herald-Leader

Media release - May 17, 2013
Action follows open letter volunteering to testify in IRS investigation in light of Bush-era audit

Lexington, May 17, 2013 —Today Greenpeace placed a full-page ad in the Lexington Herald-Leader reminding Senator McConnell that “Free Speech Isn’t Just for People You Agree With.“ The Kentucky Senator has stated he is “deeply disturbed” by the recent allegedly politically motivated audits of tea party groups by the IRS, though he was notably silent during similar activities targeting progressive organizations during the Bush years.

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The ad comes on the heels of Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford publishing an open letter to the Congressional Committee leading the investigation into the audits.  The letter called on the committee to widen the scope of its investigation to politically motivated investigations from years past, including those that targeted Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, and the NAACP.

The letter states, in part:

“In the past dozen years, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) were subject to politically-motivated tax investigations by the IRS and Congress.  Greenpeace is offering to testify about being the target of politically motivated audits in 2004, because regardless of which party holds power, these abuses are egregious and must stop.”

The ad is part of Greenpeace’s continued work to promote good governance, regardless of the party in power.

"While Mitch McConnell's constituents clearly care about the First Amendment and the environment, the Senator continues to show he cares only about politics,” Radford said.  “Sadly, it doesn’t come as a shock that he would leap to defend the Tea Party while ignoring the rights of groups like Greenpeace. The true test of any politician’s commitment to free speech comes when the rights of the people that he votes against are being trampled, not when he simply wants his friends to win.”

Read the full letter here: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/Global/usa/planet3/PDFs/politically-motivated-IRS-audits.pdf

See the full ad here: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/Global/usa/planet3/PDFs/lexington-herald-ad.pdf

Read the blog, What do Greenpeace and the Tea Party have in common?

For further comment, contact Travis Nichols, 206.802.8498,