The Ethics in Government Act (EIGA) of 1978, enacted by a Democrat-controlled Congress, was tricky, and contained complicated new reporting rules for campaign finance. Many statist types used it to persecute political enemies, notably Republican Congressman George V. Hansen of Idaho, who harshly criticized IRS abuses of American citizens. Guess who the government retaliated against. Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro also had campaign finance form violations of a similar type but paid a fine and walked away. Ms. Ferraro and her husband were wealthy liberals and got preferred treatment. George Hansen went to prison for fifteen months, before the conviction was overturned. Guaranteed: you can walk around the streets asking people if they are familiar with George Hansen and few would know who he was. All should know this. It could happen to anyone.
Liberals get preferred treatment, of course. Conservative George Hansen was an early Barry Goldwater backer and was one of only nine Republicans in the House to back Ronald Reagan over Gerald Ford in the 1976 Republican primaries. The first House Republican to endorse Reagan was Dr. Ron Paul. George Hansen never recovered his health from the maltreatment and medical neglect he suffered in prison and died recently at age 83. He was the first member of Congress to introduce the idea of the flat tax. He wrote a book in the late 1970s titled To Harass Our People, detailing the abuses of the IRS. This started his political downfall, though he remained popular with voters. He lost reelection in his last run by only 170 votes in 1984 out of 202,000 cast. George Hansen (1930-2014) Rest in Peace.
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