It was not exactly a glorious sendoff as a group of conservative activists from Iowa departed Des Moines on Wednesday to begin a nationwide tour to promote and produce their anti-IRS documentary, “Unfair”. A late afternoon rally to launch the bus tour from the State Capitol was promoted for several days on Facebook. However, when the time came to depart, the only ones in attendance were the half dozen or so participants on the bus tour.
“We didn’t really promote the rally,” Craig Bergman quickly pointed out. Instead, they were taping promotional videos for the film.
A longtime activist and campaign veteran, known for his outspokenness, Bergman is spearheading the film’s production and will be the main on-screen talent in the documentary. His ultimate goal for the film is to abolish the IRS.
“When April 15, 2014 hits, it will be the 100th anniversary of you having to pay the government, of you having to fill out the forms that violate your Fourth Amendment rights, your Fifth Amendment rights, your First Amendment rights, your Seventh Amendment rights and your Eighth Amendment rights,” Bergman said. “We are talking about 50 percent, five out of 10 of the Bill of Rights that are violated by the IRS.”
To fight back against the IRS, Bergman and crew are embarking on a 32-day, 28-state bus tour. They plan to travel to different towns to capture horror stories of Americans victimized by a government agency run amok. They’ll also use the tour bus to promote the upcoming documentary, which they hope to debut on Tax Day, 2014.
The group includes some of Iowa’s most outspoken conservatives. Along with Bergman, there’s Jake Dagel, Steve Hoodjer, Judd Saul and TIR’s resident photographer Dave Davidson. They will spend a month huddled on the bus, complete with four TVs, a lounge area, a mobile editing system, and some very cramped bunk beds.
“When we looked at the cost of sprinter vans and having people taking turns driving and the anxieties that would cause and the hotel expenses, versus wrapping a bus and hiring a bus charter for almost a month, the costs were almost the same and the convenience is a thousand times more and the advertising and PR that you get with this thing driving around, it was just a no-brainer,” Bergman said. “We had to go that route.”
The going rate for a bus tour similar to the one the “Unfair” crew is undertaking would cost around $2,500 per day, plus about $8,000 for the logos and advertising on the outside. So, although no one showed for the rally kickoff, the planned documentary has already gotten plenty of monetary support.
The Facebook page has almost 50,000 likes, a preliminary trailer has more than 100,000 views on YouTube and they’ve reportedly raised around $300,000 for the film’s production. The tour is likely to bring in plenty more recognition and financial assistance. A book is also in the works, to coincide with the movie release.
“Our funding is coming from donors and investors,” Bergman said. “Unfair, LLC is a typical movie production. We sold shares in it and we have investors from all over the country who believe in that, who bought shares at $10,000 a pop.”
And no, liberal conspiracy kooks, the “evil” Koch brothers are not behind this project. We asked.
“No,” Bergman said. “Every one of these (investors) are grassroots people who have bought one or more shares.”
The bus tour departs from Cedar Falls Thursday morning. The extensive journey includes stops at four large, conservative conventions, including the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference taking place this weekend in Kansas City.
Bergman has already interviewed political heavyweights like Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck for the film. He is likely to land several more before production is done. Although the anti-IRS fervor that gripped the nation earlier this year has been overshadowed recently with issues like Syria, it is likely to jumpstart once again as Tax Day 2014 approaches. Bergman and company certainly hope so.
“The most important thing, if this movie is successful, if this book is successful, is that we will engage the social conservatives to understand fiscal policy is moral policy,” Bergman said.
Photo by Jake Dagel
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