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A few years ago, Catherine Engelbrecht was just a family business owner, wife and mother from Houston, Texas. She is a tall, soft-spoken woman with an easy demeanor. The type who wouldn’t harm a fly but might actually nurse it back to health.

During Texas elections, she would volunteer at the polls and noticed some things that didn’t sit right. It seemed very easy to cheat or lie your way into a voting booth where you had no business voting. People often hear about these things, throw up their hands and complain that the system is flawed. They grumble and sit back down thinking nothing can be done about it.

Catherine did the opposite. When everyone sat back down, she stood up and got to work to put integrity back into the elections system. In 2010 she founded the group True the Vote and set the organization to keeping the voting system pure and lawful.

The retaliation against her was almost immediate.

The left went on the offensive and did everything in their power to drag Catherine’s name through the mud. You name it, they accused Catherine Engelbrecht of it. In other words, she was on the right track. There was something going on, and Catherine was getting too close to discovering what it was.

Aside from the attacks by leftist news outlets such as MSNBC, and actual elected officials like Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee and Representative Elija Cummings of Maryland, Catherine found her group hounded by another foe as well.

“My life before I spoke out for good government stands in stark contrast to the life I now lead. As a wife, a mother, and small businesswoman working with my husband, raising our children and participating in my church and PTA, the government collected my taxes and left me and my family in peace. But when I helped found and led True the Vote and King Street Patriots, I found myself a target of this federal government…”

The IRS came for Catherine, like they did many other conservative groups. True the Vote, King Street Patriots, and even her personal business was attacked with inquiries and audits. Despite finding no problems, they still fined her and her husband upward of $20,000.

Back during the elections of 2012, I had the privilege of working for Catherine and True the Vote making videos for them. She’d tell me that the organization wasn’t left or right wing. It wasn’t about the success of a candidate or a party; it was purely and simply about election integrity. Nor was it about an ideological agenda, other than the fact that fair elections were a good idea.

“If our elections aren’t truly fair, then we aren’t truly free,” she would say.

When the IRS came after Catherine and her family for trying to keep this idea at the forefront of our election process, this very kind woman became a force to be reckoned with.

Appearing before the House of Representatives Oversight Committee on hearings regarding the IRS, Catherine told her frightening story about how the government had gone after her professional and personal life. She told how Representative Cummings, who was in fact sitting on the committee, had personally taken it upon himself to silence Catherine and True the Vote through the power of his office. She told how the FBI and IRS probed into everything from her Facebook and Twitter posts, and sought to go through her membership manifest on the grounds of finding “Domestic Terrorists,” and much, much more.

“The answers to these questions are not of interest to the typical IRS analyst,” she told the committee, “but they are certainly of interest to a political machine that would put it’s own survival against the civil liberties of a private citizen.”

Catherine went on to make her stance clear.

“…but know this. My experience at the hands of this government has made me more determined than ever before to stand before you and all Americans to say that I will not retreat, I will not surrender, I will not be intimidated, and I will not ask for permission to exercise my constitutional rights.”

Watch her testimony here.

The story of Catherine Engelbrecht is an important one because her story could be anyone’s given story in this day and age. Catherine was an everyday and average citizen that stood up for what is right and was consequently attacked by her own government in an attempt to terrorize her into shutting up and sitting down.

Bravery like Catherine Engelbrecht’s should be an inspiration to us all.

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