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The 35-second video entitled "Corrupt" explains that Merkley was one of several Democratic Senators who wrote a letter to the IRS in 2012 requesting the agency "immediately change the administrative framework for enforcement of the tax code as it applies to groups designated as 'social welfare' organizations." The letter accused some 501(c)(4) groups of using their tax exempt status to hide the names of donors to political campaigns and threatened to take legislative action if the IRS failed to act.
"Sen. Merkley's targeting of conservative groups is in extreme violation of his oath of office and our Constitutional rights as citizens," Wehby campaign spokesman Dean Petron said in a statement. "If Jeff Merkley spent half as much time fixing our economy as he does targeting his political enemies, than perhaps one-in-five Oregonians wouldn't have been forced onto food stamps."
Wehby's campaign called Merkley's statements an about face, but the Democratic senator's campaign called the attack "blatantly false" that was "practically plagiarized from the national Republican playbook."